Review by Mark Thistlethwaite.
Uhtred of Bebbanburg, the priest killer and Pagan, Saviour of Mercia and England’s only hope.
In this the seventh title in the Warrior Chronicles, Bernard Cornwell, probably the greatest ever living historical fiction writer returns to early England. In the north, Cnut and his legendary sword, Ice-Spite, Ruler of a Pagan horde of Spear Danes are aching for the chance to earn riches and reputation in the Southern lands of Mercia. But in an England, as yet un-born in the truly unified sense, constant political manoeuvring by the Saxon kings keep the country divided. And where you find division, you always find Vikings; an entity that comes alive and grows into The Beast at the very smell of fear and weakness.
In the South is the young King Edward, son of the great King Alfred, led by an army of Priests and protected by the Burgh’s of Wessex. In the middle is Lord Aethelred, a weak vain man with illusions of grandeur. The Lord of Mercia has only one weapon available to him, Uhtred of Bebbanburg; and then only through his estranged wife Aethelflaed, King Edwards sister and Uhtred’s lover. This like all the others in the series is skilfully written and well researched with clever sub plots entwined with intelligent political choreography and incredibly deep and colourful characters.
I can honestly say that in Uhtred we have one of my favourite characters, funny, blunt and uncouth, but honest and loyal, a man of his word. Yet again Bernard Cornwell delivers a rip roaring tale of the birth of a nation and with the Coup de Grace still to come, I am sat in knowledge that “Uhtredaewre” will return. Five star!!
Thanks for this great review Mark!
Mark Thistlethwaite reviews for HNS