Early in the story, a girl, Ragna, is attacked (presumably raped).

It seems like it must be either Sigurd (because Somerled made him think it was appropriate behaviour) or Somerled himself.

Sigurd attacks Somerled as a result, but that could be because he's angry at being tricked by him, or angry that he attacked the girl. Sigurd is also upset at her death, but that could be because he's angry that it's his fault, or just that she died.

Later, Somerled presumably kills Sigurd. I don't see why he would do that if Somerled himself was the attacker.

Somerled denied doing it when asked by Eyvind, and despite everything else, he was generally honest with Eyvind.

There's also some mention of it late in the book, but I don't remember exactly what it was (and don't have a copy handy any more). If I remember correctly, it only left me in more doubt about whether it was Somerled or not.

Is this answered in the book? Or at least made clearer than it seems to me?

  • 1
    A bounty, huh... you may want to increase it and see if someone can dig it out for you. Sorry I can't be more helpful... Commented May 3, 2011 at 16:33
  • 1
    Here's a link to someone on Goodreads who has reviewed the book. She may know.
    – Alisha
    Commented Jun 22, 2011 at 21:38
  • Why ask a question to which "No" is a valid answer if you're going to refuse the answer of 'no'?
    – Jeff
    Commented Jun 24, 2011 at 14:20
  • 2
    If the answer is no, and from someone who has read the book, I would accept it. Why answer a question when you have no familiarity with the material?
    – Tony Meyer
    Commented Jun 24, 2011 at 22:10

1 Answer 1


Most readers believe that Somerled raped Ragna who then later killed herself.

From a reader at Juliet Marillier's official forum in response to my question about your question(lol):

I always understood it to be that after Somerled raped Ragna, she was so traumatised she killed herself. Those two actions were what caused Sigurd's hatred of people and destructive attitude. I got the definite feeling that Sigurd held Somerled responsible for Ragna's death.

There are some other random blurps across the internet that seem to confirm this theory, but no official word from the author (to my knowledge).

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