The story is seen through the eyes of Uhtred, a dispossessed English nobleman. Captured as a child and raised by the Danes, he now finds his allegiances divided. But the one thing he knows is that he wants to recover his father's land, the fort by the wild northern sea that we now know as Bamburgh.
Bernard Cornwell is a master of historical fiction and this new series, looking with a fresh light at Alfred the Great, his kingdom, and his legacy, will be as outstanding and as popular as the Grail Quest and the Warlord Chronicles.
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©2004 Bernard Cornwell; (P)2004 HarperCollins UK
"Cornwell is a virtuoso of historical fiction." (Sunday Telegraph)
"Cornwell's narration is quite masterly and supremely well-researched." (Observer)
"Bernard Cornwell is a literary miracle. Year after year, hail, rain, snow, war, and political upheavals fail to prevent him from producing the most entertaining and readable historical novels of his generation." (Daily Mail)
A great listen but missing a bit of je ne sais pas. Then I looked carefully - this was an abridged version with no full length ones available. In fact the series appears to have some in the abridged and some in the unabridged. Audible you have missed a trick.
Incredibly well-researched as usual, Bernard has drawn upon Saga material, Norse alliterative poetry, Alfredian Prose and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles to conjure up a credible early medieval world of personal relationships, differing social and cultural values, the conflicts created by the Danes' need for new land, and the clash of religions - the new and already dogma-bound christianity versus the highly personalised and individual beliefs of the pagan world of the Norse. A cracking good tale with superb authentic background detail from this master storyteller. As they say, 'vitud er enn, eda hvat?'
I have read all the Sharpe books and thought they couldn't be beaten but I adore the Saxon chronicles. Both Sharpe and Utred share the same gritty, lack of respect for authority, impulsive stupidity and the love of a good fight! This is the first of the series explaining the origins of Utred, his upbringing by the Danes and his contact with Alfred the Great. As with all this series, the story twists and turns until you are sure he is done for, but ultimately Utred wins through with fair measures of luck, skill and violence. (Hope I haven't ruined the plot for you!)
While events do seem to be largely based on historical fact, there is also a fair bit of artist's licence in the detail.
I heartily recommend the whole series. I don't know how many times I have listened to them. I can''t wait until the next and probably the final book in the series, Pagan Lord.
I have to say the Bernard has done it again, this is a stunning book. He just keeps on producing thes books that take into another world. Keep them comming.
This is an interesting novel but there are parts missing, and almost an entire chapter at the end. It probably does not make much difference for the story but it makes one wonder how much more is missing.
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