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Summary

The new novel in Bernard Cornwell's number-one best-selling series "The Warrior Chronicles", on the making of England and the fate of his great hero, Uhtred of Bebbanburg.

In the battle for power, there can be only one ruler.

England is fractured, torn apart more by internal fighting than the threat of Viking invasion. The ruler of Mercia is dying, leaving no legitimate heir. His wife is a formidable fighter and great leader, but no woman has ever ruled over an English kingdom. And she is without her strongest warrior and champion, Uhtred of Bebbanburg.

So the scene is set for an explosive battle between elders and warriors for an empty throne. The vacant throne leaves a dangerous opportunity for the rival West Saxons to seize Mercia. But Edward of Wessex is distracted by the succession of his own throne, with two heirs claiming the right to be West Saxon king. And while the kingdoms are in disarray, the Vikings, this time coming from the west, will go on the rampage once more.

The very future of England hangs in the balance. A hero is needed, a hero who can destroy the threat to Mercia, a hero who will ultimately decide the fate of a nation…

©2014 Bernard Cornwell (P)2014 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

Praise for Bernard Cornwell:

"The best battle scenes of any writer I've ever read, past or present. Cornwell really makes history come alive" (George R.R. Martin)
"Cornwell is always in full command of his material" (Sunday Times)
"Like GAME OF THRONES, but real" (Observer)
"Tense, powerful, compulsive" (The Times)
"He's called a master storyteller. Really he's cleverer than that" (Telegraph)
"Nobody in the world does this better than Cornwell" (Lee Child)

What listeners say about The Empty Throne

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An adequate replacement for Jonathan Keeble

I found it really hard to get through the books between Sword Song and this book because of the change from Jonathan Keeble to the others. Matt Bates is great at playing a different voice for each character so it is never confusing for the listener. He lacks the hoarse battle beaten storyteller voice of Keeble but he is certainly second best

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Good but nothing new

I have listened to all the others so I guess I will keep going, although I have to say it is getting quite difficult to differentiate between the titles. Its more slashing, burning and colourful insults (amusing and entertaining but not challenging or particularly surprising). It does exactly what you would expect, good fun, but in many ways a bit dull. This series needs to go out with a bang. ASAP.

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Much better narration

Matt Bates seems to have found his feet! Still miss Jonathan Keeble, but I've grown to like Matt

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Good book - another enjoyable story.

Well written, well read but at times the readers accents and voices seem to blur into one which made it tricky to follow in parts where all the characters had similar names! I enjoyed it and looking forward to the next instalment.

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Another easy listen from BC

If you like the series you'll like this. An easy listen with our hero remaining a hero. Somewhat predictable but never the less entertaining.

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Uthred grows greater with age and with every book

This is Uthred at his most vulnerable, weakened and fragile for the first time since The Last Kingdom. Despite this fact, he is at his wisest most relatable and inspiring point in his life. Another incredible entry to this dazzling story. Matt Bates is fantastic, he has grown into the charecter, Keeble was fantastic too but I appreciate Bates so much. Brilliant, just brilliant

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Brilliant

Another superb episode in Utred's epic tale. He goes to sea to voyage to new and hostile shores with less fear than many people have when boarding a plane.

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the empty throne

loved the story can't wait to start the next book. getting used to the narrator

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better than the TV series

I got 6 of the books on Google play books and took my time reading them thinking they would be the same as the TV series, which isn't bad, but the books differ greatly and the story is better. Read (or listen) to the books.

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great story

very good title in an amazing series. a few twists and turns as well really enjoyed it

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  • Rui Ribeiro
  • 23-08-16

Entertaining

Still a very interesting book, especially for anyone who has listened to the previous books in the series. Not as good as some of the previous books, but keeps on telling the story of saxons and their viking enemies through the remarkable character of Uhtred, in a narrative that is always well built and enthralling.

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  • Erin
  • 16-10-15

So very very good

Fantastic series and truly excellent narrator - listened to the whole series and now beginning again with the first book

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  • luke
  • 01-03-15

Eight books in and still well worth a credit.

Where does The Empty Throne (The Warrior Chronicles, Book 8) rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Among the chronicles it is in the top half

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Empty Throne (The Warrior Chronicles, Book 8)?

As always, the ending was the best part!

What about Matt Bates’s performance did you like?

Good but not great

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Every book Cornwell has written is a "one-sitter". Stretching it out is always a challenge.

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  • Andre
  • 19-07-22

good story, horrible narrator

I find it extremely difficult to listen to Matt Bates.Of all the wonderful narrators out there also those who have read narrated Bernard Cornwell's books, the choice was made to use someone who cannot do accents, who has almost no difference in character voices. Good story, frustratingly Bad narration.