This is the story of the crofters' remarkable strength and also of their weaknesses, of superstitions and deep-rooted pagan beliefs mixed with Christianity.
The main character is Siegund, a girl of sixteen, for whom growing up is a hard lesson to learn. When a boat drifts to their shores she believes the dishevelled occupant to be the god she had seen in her dream.
Troubled times descend on the islanders who set out to rid themselves of the witch who is causing so much hardship. Who can they blame?
Siegund becomes their scapegoat. The fiddler helps her to escape to the cave of the trolls, which is shunned by all.
When eventually she returns home the islanders, unsure of her powers after apparently having survived the impossible, treat her with curious respect. She uses their feelings of awe and guilt to bring unity back to the island so that they may regain the strength, the pride and dignity they once possessed and perhaps show them that compassion and forgiveness is not a detestable weakness even for the descendants of the heroic Norsemen.