Death of Kings Paperback – Jan 17 2012
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Pub Date: 2012-01-17 Pages: 544 Language: English Publisher: HarperCollins US As the ninth century wanes. Alfred the Great lays dying; his dream of a unified England in danger and his kingdom on the brink of chaos While his son. . Edward. has been named his successor. there are other Saxon claimants to the throne-as well as ambitious pagan Vikings to the north. Uhtred. the Saxon-born. Viking-raised warrior. whose life seems to shadow the making of England itself . is torn between his vows to Alfred and his desire to reclaim his long-lost ancestral lands in the north Now. he must make a momentous decision that will forever transform his life and the course of history:.... take up arms- and Alfreds mantle-or lay his sword down and let the dream of a unified kingdom fall into oblivion.
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Top Customer Reviews
`Every day is ordinary, I thought, until it gets interesting.'
Uhtred has grown to admire Alfred, albeit grudgingly at times, but does not feel the same respect for Alfred's heir, the ætheling Edward. Uhtred knows that Edward mistrusts him and he also knows that battles will need to be fought if the country is to be united. The Danes are not the only enemies: there is also a rival claimant for the throne.
`.., but victory does not come to men who listen to their fears.'
We see a number of different aspects of Uhtred in this novel: the tenderness he feels for King Alfred's daughter Æthelflaed; his delight in annoying the priests who believe that prayer is the path to victory; and his capacity for strategic planning for the battles he knows must be fought. Uhtred may be battle ready and cynical about the role of Christianity but his encounter with a mysterious pagan witch still leaves him shaken.
Uhtred of Bebbanburg is larger than life and while he dominates the story, it fits within what we know of the history. In this blending of history and fiction, Bernard Cornwell brings this period to life. There are reminders that while Alfred's kingdom is becoming increasingly Christian, there are many who still believe in the old gods. The use of the old place names makes the setting seem more authentic - even though I had to keep turning back to check them against the current place names.Read more ›
This is a masterful book, portraying the now-expected treacheries and deceptions. Uhtred as usual is in the middle of everything. His frankly unbelievable romance with Alfred's daughter continues, although it slides further into the background here and doesn't make me snort like it did in the last book.
Uhtred sinks to perhaps new lows by faking an angelic appearance - but who exactly will be fooled?
If you like this series, this new book is one of the strongest entries, on a par with the first 3.
Battle scenes and warriors are not my typical fare, but first-person protagonist of this novel is EXTREMELY engaging. You get him, you're with him all the way. The writing is smooth, the imagery photographic, and the tone intelligent.
Most recent customer reviews
I loved the book and the whole series. Great historical fiction.Published 1 month ago by Caroline Fitz-Gibbon
#6 in the series and just as riveting as the previous 5 books. Uhtred's story continues as England is reshaped.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer