Sigwulf, a Saxon prince exiled to the court of Carolus, King of the
Franks, is summoned by the royal advisor Alcuin of York. Carolus
has received magnificent gifts from the Caliph of Baghdad and is
determined to send back presents that will be equally sensational.
White is the royal colour of Baghdad so the most important gifts
will be rare white animals from the Northlands. Sigwulf, having
proved himself as a royal agent to Moorish Spain, has been selected
to obtain the creatures, then take them to Baghdad. He must find
white gyrfalcons and two white polar bears and -- as Carolus has
seen its picture in a book of beasts -- a unicorn. He and his
companions travel far into the north. Though they obtain some of
the animals, they quickly realize that not all are even real.
Setting out for Baghdad with their menagerie, they encounter danger
after danger and it seems that someone is trying to wreck their
mission ...with each stage of the long journey bringing a new and
unexpected peril ...