Bernard Cornwell is a rolific author and usually reliable to deliver a solid historical novel with clearly sketched battle scenes and heroic deeds of valor yet not all things are created eual and I have come to appreciate some of his stuff than others The Saxon Chronicles are at the top of my reference list together with his Arthurian epic The Warlord Saga And Death of Kings may be the best of the Saxon books Conta and Boehme Porcelain Identification and Value Guide published yet Alfred the Great is on his death bed his long illnessrogressing despite fervent Rodeo Drive to Raja Bazaar prayers from hisriests and his dream of uniting all Saxon kingdoms under one rule is about to die with him Around Wessex the Danes are gathering their armies and their longboats like vultures around a sick beast The riests that surround Alfred believe eace can be had in exchange for holy relics and long J.R.R. Tolkien prayers One man knows that only strong arms and hard steel will defend the dream of one Britain Uhtred of Bebbanburg has been the shield and sword of Alfred for many years yet he has little to show for his victories in battle Impoverished and sidelined by theriests who resent his faith in the Norse Gods and his libertine lifestyle Uhtred knows that Wessex stands ready to be teared apart from without by the Danes and from withing by competing claimants to the succession of Alfred There are seasons of our lives when nothing seems to be happening when no smoke betrays a burned town or homestead and few tears are shed for the newly dead I have learned not to trust those times because if the world is at eace then it means someone is lanning wars The olitical chess game was not so difficult to follow although there are many layers involved and my three year break from the series made The Labyrinth previous events a little hazy The novel shines in other aspects like the transition of Uhtred from an impulsive berserker and bloodthirsty killing machine into a strong leader of men a tactician and a wily manipulator of information setting traps for his adversaries and turning their own tricks against them To illustrate the Danes know thateople in tenth century Britain were a superstitious lot Uhtred included and they set up and The Raven and the Falcon: Youth Versus Old Age in Medieval Arabic Literature pay a witch torophesize the doom of Alfred s allies and the victory of their own side She was ugliness in human guise the galdridge the aglaecwif Aelfadell After going to the oracle himself and experimenting with shrooms and sex Uhtred decides to set up his own shrine and have a few Christian virgin maids allegedly The Humanist Interpretation of Hieroglyphs in the Allegorical Studies of the Renaissance: With a Focus on the Triumphal Arch of Maximilian I promise victory to the Saxons and doom to the Vikings It is a complex game than I m trying toaint here view spoiler and it ends badly hide spoiler Man how do i love Uthred he is in an interesting age right now most of the famous warriorsif not all of them are already dead at this The Reproductive Bargain: Deciphering the Enigma of Japanese Capitalism period of time and he has become a legend feared and envied by all and a target for all the young warriors seeking fame gold and glory but Uthred s experience shows itself knowing when to slaughter and when to hold back when to be bold and when to be cautious helps him in this fantastic novel Check out my review for this fantastic book on Grimdark Magazine at Grimdark MagazineDeath of Kings the continuation of Uhtred of Bebbanburg s tale is another roaring and shield wall frenzied addition to The Saxon Chronicles Writing that is as sharp as Wasp Sting dialogue that makes even the sternest of nun s laugh Uhtred s band will leave you itching to read There are seasons of our lives when nothing seems to be happening when no smoke betrays a burned town or homestead and few tears are shed for the newly dead I have learned not to trust those times because if the world is ateace then it means someone is Your Life Still Counts: How God Uses Your Past to Create a Beautiful Future planning war You will I suspect have heard of Bernard Cornwell and hishenomenal story telling He has written about Piers Plowman: A New Translation of the B-Text pretty much everything and all of it that I have read 11 books and watched 3 Seasons of The Last Kingdom is incredible You ll want to acuaint yourself with Bernard as soon asossible and be The War against Animals prepared fore as you begin your journey into Bernard s world you will become a Saxon warrior in 9th Century Britain or one of Arthur s trusted warriors in 5th C Britain or an archer for England in the 100 Year War Bernard is a master of writing Hisacing is Fantasy Noir. Übernatürliche Mordfälle perfect hisrotagonists are full of charisma and inspiration and what makes it EVEN cooler is that it is all based on real events That s right This all happened Well most of it anyway Bernard has traced his lineage back to 9th C Britain and discovered an Uhtred of Bebbanburg in his family tree Men do not relish the shield wall They do not rush to death s embrace You look ahead and see the overlapping shields the helmets the glint of axes and spears and swords and you know you must go into the reach of those blades into the lace of death and it takes time to summon the courage to heat the blood to let the madness overtake caution Now Uhtred has fought for the Alfred the Great and the Saxon s for many years showing loyalty that many did not expect of a Saxon boy raised a Dane man He has stayed with Alfred desperate to reap the
of his osition to amass a war band to take back his home Bebbanburg from his uncle His continues to face this struggle alongside the reality of fighting against the hordes of Danes and other Scandinavian warriorsDeath of Kings has a different format to the revious instalments and is in turn slightly slower but do not worry Bernard Cornwell s staple witty characters have many moments to shine especially in his famous battles that he writers spectacularly This book is full ofBenefits Of His Position
emotional scenes between characters that have been favourites since Book 1 The Last Kingdom which I shall review inscenes between characters that have been favourites since Book 1 The Last Kingdom which I shall review in next month or so Uhtred s relationship with Alfred is one that I have appreciate much the older I get Serpent Breath was famousWasp Sting short and lethal Uhtred is a glorious character that has aged very well He is formidable in battle and uick to anger and one of Bernard s strongest characters I love how he is still similar to his younger self but has changed slightly from experiences and age I am always on Uhtred s side I just wish all of the Saxon s and Danes were too Wyrd bi ful ar d 55 Death of Kings is another magnificent instalment And what s even better is that Book 6 is only halfway through so far Saxon s vs Danes Uhtred stuck in the middle death is all around everyone wants a iece of Britain Storytelling at its best As Alfred is dyingan Uhthred in his middle ages shows no dulling of his vigour and fierceness of a warrior The Danes on Alfred s death embark on another campaign to conuer England And my favourite was reading about Uthred s lover Alfred s warlike daughter AethelfladUthred visits an old sorceress who redicts the death of four kings and of all of Uthred s lovesA brilliant window into 10th century Saxon England Uthred again thrills us a great and rolific warrior and again through his witty repertoire shows his contempt for the church and his A Long the Krommerun: Selected Papers from the Utrecht James Joyce Symposium preference for the oldagan religion of the Saxons Uhtred is back in the sixth installment of the Saxon series King Alfred later known as Alfred the Great to us is dying and is dead Lancelot partway through the story leaving the kingdom open to attack from different opponents especially the Danes But they don t attack right away and thisuzzles Uhtred so he goes off exploring into Dane territory as well as seeking the input from a witch Of course is happening than Uhtred realizes and don t worry because there will be fighting with Danes That said there isn t as much as in the Scorch previous books which was a bit disappointing to me This novel focused a great deal on theolitics and may have been a setup for the next novel I suspect As usual we get the gore dirt and tense shield walls of the Labour Markets, Identities, Controversies period Cornwell is arguably the best author for military historical fiction so if thiseriod is of any interest to you he s the one to read Because the battles were a bit on the low side I gave this novel a notch down from the Marrane Et Marronne: La Co-Ecriture Reversible D Andre Et de Simone Schwarz-Bart previous ones Some of my favorite lines below the grade Note that this is in firsterson narrative for those skippi. The master of historical fiction This Deleuzian Century presents the iconic story of King Alfred and the making of a nation As the ninth century wanes England appears about to belunged into chaos once For the Viking raised but Saxon born warrior Uhtred whose life seems to shadow the making of England this Women's Romantic Theatre and Drama: History, Agency, and Performativity presents him with difficult choices King Alfred is dying and hisassing threatens the island of Britai. ,
Ng the revious five novels Bad idea by the waySTORYPLOTTING B CHARACTERSDIALOGUE B Sagwitch: Shoshone Chieftain, Mormon Elder, 1822-1887 plus to A minus PERIODACTION SCENES Blus OVERALL GRADE B lus WHEN READ January 2012 revised review January 2013 15 That made sense but why would Eohric want the alliance Eohric of East Anglia had been Le rendez-vous perched on the fence between Christians andagans Danes and Saxons for as long as I could remember yet ow he want to Molotov Mouths: Explosive New Writing proclaim his allegiance to the Christian Saxons Because of Cnut Ranulfson one of the twins explained when I asked the uestion Alfred was dying and his death would surely bring theagan swords and hearth fire to Mercia and Wessex And the true faith will be scourged from Britain unless we defend it the older of the two West Saxon riests said Which is why we beg you to forge the alliance Willibald said At the Christmas feast one of the twins addedchokengtitiktitikchokeng 46 He half smiled showing yellowed teeth I would kill you Uhtred he said mildly and so rid the world of a worthless iece of rat shit but that All Our Trials: Prisons, Policing, and the Feminist Fight to End Violence pleasure must wait Heulled up his right sleeve to show a splint on his forearm The splint was two slivers of wood bound tight with linen bands I also saw a curious scar on his Discovering Our Past California Edition: Medieval And Early Modern Times palm aair of slashes that formed a cross Sigured was no coward but nor was he fool enough to fight me while the broken bone of his sword arm was mending You were fighting women again I asked nodding at the strange scar He stared at me I thought my insult had gone deep but he was evidently thinkingchokengtitiktitikchokeng 50 Some had hurled spears first Those spears thumped into our shields making them unwieldy but it hardly mattered The leading Danes tripped on the hidden timbers and the men behind In This Land: The Purple Book, Volume Four pushed the falling men forward I kicked one in the face feeling my iron reinforced boot crush bone Danes were sprawling at our feet while others tried to getast their fallen comrades to reach our line and we were killing Two men succeeded in reaching us despite the smoking barricade and one of those two fell to Wasp Sting coming up from beneath his shield rim He had been swinging an ax that the man behind me caught on his shield and the Dane was still holding the war ax s shaft as I saw his eyes widen saw the snarl of his mouth turn to agony as I saw his eyes widen saw the snarl of his mouth turn to agony as I twisted the blade ripping it upward and as Cerdic beside me chopped his own ax down The man with the crushed face was holding my ankle and I stabbed at him as the blood spray from Cerdic s ax blinded me The whimpering man at my feet tried to crawl away but Finan stabbed his sword into his thigh then stabbed again A Dane had hooked up his ax over the top rim of my shield and hauled it down to expose my body to a spear thrust but the ax rolled off the circular shield and the spear was deflected upward and I slammed Wasp Sting forward again felt her bite twisted her and Finan was keening his mad Irish song as he added his own blade to the slaughter Keep the shields touching I shouted at my menp 52 Cerdic s ax sliced down through linen wool iron bone and brainchokengtitiktitikchokeng58 His voice faded He was still embarrassed by the revious night s argument in his hall He had watched one of my own men insult me and he had revented me from giving The Houdini Solution: Put Creativity and Innovation to work by thinking inside the box punishment and the incident lay between us like a burning coal Yet both of usretended it had not happenedchokengtitiktitikchokeng 93 The noise of the fire was a roar Cybercrime and Digital Forensics: An Introduction punctured by the cracks of splitting timberschokengtitiktitikchokeng 122 I frowned at him Was your mother straining at the stool when you were born 286 They re dying I shouted Now kill all the bastards Cnut was not dead but his men were dragging him away and in his lace came Sigurd Sigurdson the uppy who had The Meaning of Difference: American Constructions of Race, Sex and Gender, Social Class, Sexual Orientation, and Disability promised to kill me and he screamed wild eyed as he charged up the ditch feet flailing forurchase and I swung my damaged shield outward to give him a target and like a fool he took it lunging his sword Fire Dragon hard at my belly but the shield came back fast deflecting Fire Dragon between my body and Rollo and I half turned as I drove Wasp Sting up at this neck He had forgotten his lessons forgotten to One Small Step: An Anthology of Discoveries protect himself with his shield and the short blade went under his chin up through his mouth breaking teethiercing his skull so hard that I lifted him off the earth for a moment as his blood oured down my hand and inside my mail sleeve and then I shook him off the blade and swept it backhanded at a Dane who fell and I let another man kill him because Oscytel was coming shouting that I
was an old man the battle joy was in mean old man and the battle joy was in me joy That madness The gods must feel this way every moment of every day It as if the world slows You see the attacker you see him shouting though you hear nothing and you know what he will do and all his movements are so slow and yours are so uick and in that moment you can do no wrong and you will live forever and your name will be blazoned across the heavens in a glory of white fire because you are the god of battle These books make me wanna go In an England ravaged by Danes as marvelously and meticulously laid out by Bernard Cornwell in his The Last Kingdom series an English lord with Danish roots finds himself often at odds with which side to side with Here in book six Death of Kings the English king who s ruled since the beginning of the series finally kicks the bucket and now the new kid gets to sit in the big boy chairand the new kid is shitting his britches Lord Uhtred to the rescueLots of little armies move about a well described Medieval English countryside angling for osition and on the verge of attack during a trying time for the country This is the Danes big chance to win it all for themselves and our anti hero Uhtred is tasked with discovering their lans In true Cornwell style his main character has as many enemies and ill wishers in his own camp as he has actual enemies so it s a struggle at every turn I gave it four stars yet Death of Kings wasn t necessarily better than others in the series I just liked it better than most I think because it s one of the balanced of Cornwell s books The typical character roblems and actual historical stuff blend well together here Nice Birds pacing on the action too This is a solid bridge to the next book CHARGE Alfred looked dead already Indeed I might have thought him a corpse if he had notulled his hand away from Osferth who was in tears The king s long face was Tales from the Ballpark Tales from the Ballpark Tales from the Ballpark: More of the Greatest True Baseball Stories Ever Told More of the Greatest True Baseball Stories Ever Told More of the Greatest True Baseball Stories Ever Told pale as fleece with sunken eyes sunken cheeks and dark shadows His hair had thinned and gone white His gums hadulled back from his remaining teeth his unshaven chin was stained with spittle while the hand on the book was mere skin covered bones on which a great ruby shone the ring too big now for his skeletal finger His breath was shallow though his voice was remarkably strong Behold the sword of the Saxons he greeted me image error I thought I had run out of steam with Uthred and King Alfred and their wars against the Danes in 9th century England But the BBC America mini series Isocrates I (The Oratory of Classical Greece, vol. 4) production of The Last Kingdom was so tasty and fabulous I got hungry for Cornwell s writing again So glad I did This one was so satisfying up there with the thrills of the first one of the series Uhtred who was born into Saxon nobility in Northumberland but kidnapped and raised a Dane continues to serve the Christian king of Wessex He has a modest estate for his service but little income or honor because of his troublesome heathen ways and antagonism to the church hierarchy that Alfred lets influence his governance The site is on the borderland with ambitious Danish kings under an uneasy truce The unrest is being amplified by the impending death of Alfred as both Danes and Saxons are jockeying to take territory in the impendingower vacuum Uhtred is eager to conuer enemies before they get too strong and wangles a way to reveal their intentionsOf course there are battles aplenty and Cornwell is masterly as usual in Robot Programming: A Practical Guide to Behavior-Based Robotics portraying them But the fun lies in Uhtred s mature ways of using craft in outwit the Danes and garnering intelligence. N to renewed warfare Alfred wants his son Edward to succeed him but there are other Saxon claimants to the throne as well as ambitiousagan Vikings to the north Uhtred's loyalty and his vows were to Alfred not to his son and despite his long years of service to Alfred he is still not committed to the Saxon cause His own desire is to reclaim his long lost lands and castle to the north To spot the Saxons who are about to betray Alfred by allying with them He is middle aged now and growing hilosophical in many ways He keeps a wild young thing for his bed while sneaking time whenever ossible with his forbidden love Athelflaed the king s daughter She is estranged from her treacherous Saxon husband and is now tucked away by Alfred in a nunnery neither of which stops Uhtred For a great in depth review of this book treat yourself to that of Algernon I don t think it necessary to read the books in order though I am doing so With three to go I have something to tide me over while waiting for another season of the BBC roduction We ll see how well he does under Alfred s son Edward as king His battle lieutenants Alfred s bastard son Osfert and the Irish ex The Mystery of the Two-Toed Pigeon priest Finan are wonderful new characters in this book that I would like to read about Hiserpetual goal of recovering his rightful throne at Bebbanburg in Northumbria still lies in the future A few days ago I was sent the following joke A girl no better than she should be goes to the local council to gain some help She has ten sons and when asked their names she saysNathan Nathan Nathan Nathan etc The official asks her Isn t that a bit confusing No she says It makes my life so much easier I just go out into the street and say Nathan time for bed or Nathan time for supper and in they come Simple as that But what happens if you want to speak to one individually Oh that s simple she says I just use their surnames The reason this joke lodged itself in my brain is because i was mid journey through Bernard Cornwell s wonderful telling of the creation of the kingdom of England from the conflicting kingdoms of Mercia Wessex East Anglia and Northumbria and I was in the desperately awkward state of attempting to differentiate the varying characters whose names layer over each other and echo back and forth It is extraordinary how many variations of Aethel something can be crammed into a couple of dynasties I was listening to this on Audiobook brilliantly read by Stephen Perring but it took me about 5 of the 8 CD s to work out which Aethelflaed was married to which Aethelred who was a cousin or was that brother or maybe arch enemy to Aethelwold who was somehow related to Aethelstan and Aethelrich was in love withoh well i think you get my Rack Ruin pointif only they had had surnamesHaving said all that I loved this It was exciting it was brilliantly atmospheric and the stench and sounds and hardness of the 9th Century were as far as i can imagineowerfully captured It is the story told in the first Espenlaub person of Uhtred a great warrior who is also the clash of cultures incarnate He is a Dane living in the service of the Saxons he is a worshipper of the Norse Gods fighting in and for the nascent Christian State of Wessex he is a man of action seeing war as the only way of bringing a lastingeace crashing his head against men who see the Splendid Solution policy of alliance and treaty as the best way forwardoh yes and his mistress is the King s daughter who is married to his cousinThe book begins with the dying Alfred and continues on with the cut and thrust the treachery and courage and confusion and turmoil that accompanies his young heir Edward s ascent to the throne It is a cleverly written account of an incredibly violenteriod in british history known as the Dark Ages when the safety and security of the Roman ascendancy had long assed and the harsh moulding of the Norman Conuest or the glory of the Plantagenets was a still a long way in the futureThe Saxons are shown living side by side with the history of the long gone Romans Characters live in their long abandoned villas statues from their temples are seen being bastardized for use in Churches and convents and the ruins are razed to the ground when stone is needed The Saxons are not great reservers of national history then but i supose that is the oint when this story runs there was no national anything At one oint Uhtred wondered whether if the Romans had not invaded these islands would we ever have crossed a river The sturdy stone How to Be Alone pillars laid across the rivers long ago were still the foundations being used by Dane Saxon and Mercian to cross to carry out their slaughter or defence or harrying or whatever they chose to call itThe story strides back and forth and up and down the length and breadth of what is now England and there is an enormous canvas upon which Cornwellaints but it is when Uhtred is chasing one of his enemies and he comes to him at his enemies court at Wimborne or then clatters on his horse after him across the roman roads through a little village called Blandford Forum that my heart gave a little leap I CYCLE AND DRIVE THROUGH THESE cycle and drive through these i have gone butterfly spotting on Badbury Rings I have a had a lovely couple of gentle kayak trips around Christchurch and you are suddenly struck by the depth of history and blood and adventure that lie deep in these unassuming Racial Theories In Context placesThe battles rollicked back and forth and their bloody descriptions were gory and violent and frightening Heads caved and hacked and cleaved arms and necks and thighs were sliced and shattered and groinsoh good griefthe things they did to groins in 9th Century Britain can never have been a good thing I was driving on a number of occasions when Uhtred or some other bloodthirsty warrior opted for the swift end to a fight with a groin lunge and i can tell you it is really difficult to drive with your legs crossed in sympathy This brings me to a couple of downers in the story Firstly it is told in the firsterson from the distance of years As a result of this the battles and the times when Uhtred seems down and out and finished through his being captured or surrounded or doing something desperately dangerous were a bit flat not the writing which was excellent but just the fact of his being the breathless relator of his own will i won t i survive storyyep Uhtred i think you must have doneAnd secondly verbal anachronisms Cornwell has his heroes and heroines and villains speak in olde worlde speak Speeches are littered with wonderfully beleivable curses about The Queen I pig shit and whelps and bloodthirsty blah blah blah ing Uhtred s weaponry is oddly yeterfectly believably ersonalized His dagger is wasp s sting though as that often does the aforementioned groin thing I think that might be a bit of an understatement and his Sword is the wondrous Serpent breath but
did Saxons really say things like they only come here when they get their arseSaxons really say things like they only come here when they get their arse in Frankia or other such modern day stuff It might seem etty but he is at ains to attempt to create the Dark Ages in sights and sound and the societal construct but then throws in these jarring notes when Uhtred or one of his men suddenly speaks like a rapper or a surf dude or the ever fragrant Aethelflaed my list of new cat names grows apace struts around like Sigourney Weaver in Aliens and spouts off like Germaine Greer Roseanne Barr and Ellen deGeneres all rolled into oneThese seem only small whinges and in some ways they are but they do jar and as a result sometimes work against what is otherwise a wonderfully imagined world I did get thoroughly caught up in the battle for the kingdom of Wessex s survival and Uhtred verbal glitches aside is a very believable character He is by his lights a man of integrity and loyalty he recognizes his faults though doesn t seem to want to do anything to address them which somehow makes him attractively honestand he has the great fortune to gather around himself some very uick witted and funny comrades Cornwell creates a hero definitely but one who does not always get the best lines This too makes him to me seem normal human real This series gets better with age Over the years Uhtred has fought in countless battles and he has slain a countless number of eople He has led warriors and even armies all in the name of Alfred the Great and now Alfred is dying he is old sick and full of bitter regret On his death bed he tries one time to unify England under the banner of Wessex and as ever Uthred must lead this final unrewar. Ut the challenge to him as the king's warrior is that he knows that he will either be the means of making Alfred's dream of a united and Christian England come to ass or be responsible for condemning it to oblivion This novel is a dramatic story of the ower of tribal commitment and the terrible difficulties of divided loyalties This is the making of England magnificently brought to li.