This book is historical fiction, placed in early England. The hero is a young man who has inherited some property, after his father dies. The young man, Heregar, unwisely says things against the king of England. A neighbor with covetous eyes encourages the young man to say more, and then brings this to the attention of the local authorities. As punishment Heregar is kicked out of society. He is outside the protection of the law, he is now an outlaw. At this point in time an outlaw didn't always mean a criminal. An outlaw was someone who was on his own.
Heregar has some great adventures. My daughter also enjoyed the book, but this is more of a boys book. There is intrigue and fighting. There are great wrongs, which are righted by the end of the book. There is lots of sword fighting. The English are being attacked by Vikings. Even though Heregar is no longer part of society, he helps in the fight against the Vikings.
Through the book we learn about how people lived a thousand years ago. We see different facets of society. We see how society worked. In addition to understanding the origin of "outlaw" I learned a few other things about old England. The author, Charles W. Whistler, lived from 1856 to 1913. He wrote a whole series of books of historical fiction spanning about five hundred years of English history.