Bernard Cornwell--"the most prolific and successful historical novelist in the world today" (Wall Street Journal)--returns to his Saxon Tales saga with the epic story of divided loyalties, bloody battles, and the struggle to unite Britain.Read more...
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Bernard Cornwell--"the most prolific and successful historical novelist in the world today" (Wall Street Journal)--returns to his Saxon Tales saga with the epic story of divided loyalties, bloody battles, and the struggle to unite Britain.
At the onset of the tenth century, England is in turmoil. Alfred the Great is dead and his son Edward reigns as king. Wessex survives but peace cannot hold: the Danes in the north, led by Viking Cnut Longsword, stand ready to invade and will never rest until the emerald crown is theirs.
Uhtred, once Alfred's great warrior but now out of favor with the new king, must lead a band of outcasts north to recapture his old family home, the impregnable Northumbrian fortress Bebbanburg.
Loyalties will be divided and men will fall as each Saxon kingdom is drawn into the bloodiest battle yet with the Danes--a war that will decide the fate of every king, and the entire English nation.
With The Pagan Lord, New York Times bestselling author Bernard Cornwell, "the reigning king of historical fiction" (USA Today), continues his magnificent epic of the making of England during the Middle Ages, vividly bringing to life the uneasy alliances, violent combat, and deadly intrigue that gave birth to the British nation.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-01-06
- Reviewer: Staff
In Cornwall's (1356) latest, 10th century Britain is a splintered land, populated by pagans and Christians and divided between Saxons and Danes. The pagan Uhtred, once favored by Alfred the Great, finds himself distrusted by Alfred's successor, Edward, and at odds with the Christians. Made an outlaw by an ill-considered violent act, he heads north to recapture his old home, the fortress of Bebbanburg; though his grand scheme is less bold than foolhardy. It sets Uhtred on the path to play a crucial role in the coming war between Cnut's Danes and Edward's Saxons. For Uhtred the stakes are personal glory and vengeance against those who wronged him, but the fate of Britain itself hangs on the unforeseeable consequences of his actions. Cornwall successfully brings an unjustly obscure era in British history to life, showing how grand events can be shaped by what are essentially petty motivations. Cornwall skillfully illuminates the competing cultures of the 10th Century; the conflict between Dane and Saxon is examined with sympathy and insight—without projecting 21st century values onto cultures now alien to us. In the course of this, he shows how historical novels should be written. (Jan.)