Sword Song

Sword Song

The Battle for London

Book - 2008
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The fourth installment of Bernard Cornwell's bestselling series chronicling the epic saga of the making of England, "like Game of Thrones, but real" (The Observer, London)--the basis for The Last Kingdom, the hit BBC America television series.

The year is 885, and England is at peace, divided between the Danish kingdom to the north and the Saxon kingdom of Wessex in the south. Uhtred, the dispossessed son of a Northumbrian lord--warrior by instinct, Viking by nature--has finally settled down. He has land, a wife and two children, and a duty given to him by King Alfred to hold the frontier on the Thames. But then trouble stirs: a dead man has risen, and new Vikings have arrived to occupy the decayed Roman city of London. Their dream is to conquer Wessex, and to do it they need Uhtred's help.

Alfred has other ideas. He wants Uhtred to expel the Viking raiders from London. Uhtred must weigh his oath to the king against the dangerous turning tide of shifting allegiances and deadly power struggles. And other storm clouds are gathering: Alfred's daughter is newly married, but by a cruel twist of fate, her very existence now threatens Alfred's kingdom. It is Uhtred--half Saxon, half Dane--whose uncertain loyalties must now decide England's future.

Sword Song is Cornwell's finest work yet--vivid with period detail, this breathtaking adventure throroughly reimagines one of the most fascinating tales in all of history--the birth of England--and breathes life into the brilliant king who made it possible: Alfred the Great.

Publisher: New York : Harper, c2008.
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780060888640
0060888644
Branch Call Number: CORNWELL
Characteristics: xv, 314 pages : map ; 24 cm.
Alternative Title: Battle for London

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b
Blabbermouth
Aug 12, 2014

Just finished number four. I've enjoyed this series a lot. Our warrior Uthred is the hero & heads into a fight with great relish. This time he has to rescue Aethelflad & he does along with his sword - Serpent Breath. Good history of the times & some good action. A good read.

w
windcyclist
Mar 22, 2011

Outstanding historical fantasy with strong character development. Highly recommended for UK enthusiasts. A closing tear jerker.

t
Twayne
Jun 23, 2010

Not as strong as previous entries in this series.

z
zipread
May 13, 2010

Reading Cornwell is a little like eating peanuts: once you've tried a few you just can't quite. And it's just as well that he is a very prolific author. All of his work is historical fiction --- some of his novels are reputed to have been made into TV shows.

This work features our perennial hero, Uthred Lord of some place he can't return to. In the meantime, he is a warrior who has been trickeds in taking more that one oath to King Alfred to do his bidding. There are maidens to marry (Gertie) and to rescue Aethelfled (where do they get these names from the list of the top 50 girls names for Mercia in 807); feckless and incompetent sons in Law (Aethelred): and an assortment of able swordmen bent on sending their adverseries to Odin's hall.

Standard fare for Cornwells novels --- lots of fighting; shield walls; disembowlement; decapitation; more gor than you can fit into a longboat --- and lots of fun action. Like the others, we have here another page turner.

If you loved Cornwells other books you won't be disappointed. And unlike peanuts, these books aren't fattening (not unless you're so engrossed in them you can't keep your hands out of the chips bag or off the ale pot.

d
DavidSmyth
Feb 15, 2009

A great book and good addition to
a Cornwell's Saxon Series line of
books on the formation of England.

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d
DavidSmyth
Feb 15, 2009

"I told you once," I said," that killing a cripple
was no way to make a reputation."

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