Judith is the daughter of a heartless Saxon lord, Cerdic, Thane of Oakwood. After her mother passes away, her father marries a wicked Norman woman named Bertha. Thereafter, she is treated as a servant: forced to work and thrashed for every minor infraction. In 1066, when her father dies at the Battle of Hastings and England falls under Norman rule, her life changes for the better. Raoul “the Hawk” is a Norman baron who is given Oakwood and the adjacent lands.