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Summary

The fifth novel in Bernard Cornwell’s epic and best-selling series on the making of England and the fate of his great hero, Uhtred of Bebbanburg.

BBC2’s major Autumn 2015 TV show The Last Kingdom is based on the first two books in the series.

In the last years of the ninth century, King Alfred of Wessex is in failing health, and his heir is an untested youth. The Danes, who have failed so many times to conquer Wessex, smell opportunity....

First comes Harald Bloodhair, a savage warrior leading a Viking horde, who is encouraged to cruelty by his woman, Skade. But Alfred still has the services of Uhtred, his unwilling warlord, who leads Harald into a trap and, at Farnham in Surrey, inflicts one of the greatest defeats the Vikings were ever to suffer.

This novel, the fifth in the magnificent series of England's history tells of the final assaults on Alfred's Wessex, that Wessex survived to become England is because men like Uhtred defeated an enemy feared throughout Christendom.

©2019 Bernard Cornwell (P)2019 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

"Cornwell draws a fascinating picture of England as it might have been before anything like England existed." (The Times

What listeners say about The Burning Land

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Disappointed..... gave the book back!

The first For books were great you could have believed there was written and read by a sword wielding blood spitting Warrior but now they feel like they are getting read by a very annoyed accountant.
The narrator hasn’t got a clue about what he is reading characters that are from Devon Wales and Northern England all sound the same.
There’s just no enthusiasm there when Matt bates is reading the script. the word dull comes to mind.
And to find out that this narrator is going to read every book in the series from now on has caused me to call it quits on book number 5. I won’t be going any further which is a shame as Bernard Cornwell is a brilliant writer.

40 people found this helpful

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New narrator hasn't got it

It's such a shame that they changed the brilliant Jonathan Keeble, who read the first four books.

Matt Bates reads in rather flat monotone, struggles with accents and pronounces the names differently.

Keeble on the other hand, bought humor, warmth and ferociousness to his voices. He didn't just read the books, but acted them out with energy and gusto. The stories were much more vivid when he was the narrator.

I think i'll stop with this book, which is a shame, as I was really enjoying the Last Kingdom series. I'm sure Matt Bates would be fine for non-fiction narration, but he was poorly cast in this case.

33 people found this helpful

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New voice actor

They replaced the voice actor, the new one is monotone and not as good at accents. He makes the characters dull.

25 people found this helpful

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DO NOT DOWNLOAD!!

The chap who takes over from Johnathan Keeble is a truly awful narrator!! He mispronounces key characters names, has no ‘punch’ when describing key areas of battle, something his predecessor did excellently and is actually boring! My love of this series died about three hours into this book because of one man. Matt Bates.
Thanks.

20 people found this helpful

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miffed

I found it difficult to get used to the change in narrator. while coming to terms with this, I then had to get used to the different name pronunciation. I am confused as to why you would change halfway through a series, but imagine there was a good reason.

17 people found this helpful

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Absolutely awful

Matt bates has completely ruined an amazing series. Monotone can't pronounce characters names properly battles scenes are awful. Will not be listening to the rest of the books not worth wasting my credits on. An obviously no one at audible is bothering to take notice of what people think.

13 people found this helpful

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The burning land

Was disappointed with this book
I can’t understand why
The first four books were read by
Jonathan Keeble and then we changed the
Narrator didn’t and couldn’t relate to the story teller at all

13 people found this helpful

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Listen to the sample before purchase

Like most people on here I bought the 5th instalment of this series based on the fantastic first 4 books narrated by Jonathan Keeble, only to find out the narrator had been changed to Matt Bates. His narration Completely changes the dynamic of the book and makes poor Utred sound more like an account from Slough rather the great Saxon warrior. Bad inaccuracies in the names of characters and place names story was read and not acted and felt like there was no effort or passion from the narration. Audible... you are not doing these fabulous books credit hiring completely unsuitable narrators, this is not the first book I’ve listened to with poorly researched and badly chosen narration. Get it sorted!! Bring back Jonathon Keeble and do the books the justice they deserve!!! Destiny is all!

9 people found this helpful

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need to have Jonathan keeble,!

Matt Bates is simply terrible at voicing Uthred, if you like the three previous audio books read by keeble, you will most likely not enjoy this. Gutted as loved these audio books

9 people found this helpful

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Narrator

Awful narration. There must have been some reason to change the narrator during the series but could he and the producers not familiarise themselves with the previous versions so that they pronounced the character names the same! Completely changed the story due to lack of consistency.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Duncan
  • 03-07-20

They were so good but I stop here

I wont be finishing the series because of the narrator. After listening to the first four books Jonathon, then switching to Matt Battes isn't doable.

The first 4 books were read with such compassion that in itself made them worth listening too but unfortunately Matt Battes did not live up to that. I hope he can use this going forward.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Russ
  • 27-02-21

What has happened to the narration ?!

I have screeched to a shuddering halt with this series .. brought to a stop by the shield wall that is the flat monotone of Matt Bates narration and voice acting.

What a shame - very disappointed as I was so enjoying the series with the passion of Jonathan Keebles storytelling of the first four books.