The fate of a new nation rests in the hands of a reluctant warrior in this thrilling sixth volume in the acclaimed New York Times best-selling Saxon Tales series.
As the ninth century wanes, Alfred the Great lies 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 and castle in the north. As the king’s warrior, he is duty-bound, but Alfred’s reign is nearing its end, and Uhtred has sworn no oath to the crown prince. Despite his long years of service, Uhtred is still loath to commit to the old king’s Saxon cause of a united and Christian England. Now he must make a momentous decision, one that will forever transform his life... and the course of history: take up arms - and Alfred’s mantle - or lay down his sword and allow the dream of a unified kingdom to fall into oblivion.
©2011 Bernard Cornwell (P)2011 HarperCollinsPublishers
The narrator, was so off in his timing it made it un-listenable. turned a gripping compelling adventure and ruined it for me.
Jonathan Keeble. when he narrated the story, it was an adventure like an action packed movie, could not stop listening.
Since keeble has left as narrator, this series has turned into just a story as opposed to an action packed adventure that had me hanging on every word, the characters were so real
If you haven't listened to earlier books in this series you may not be disappointed withis one however I hated the narration. Almost no distinction in voice for each character, seemed very dull in comparison to earlier books in the series naration and I hated the way the old English town names had been changed to modern. I found it hard to listen to since I love the author and all I could do was think about how I hated the naration and unnecessary changes. And to top it off the historical notes at the end of the book were missed.
The best parts of these books are Bernard Cornwell's fabulous one liner wit and also the description of the battle scenes are very vivid.
Horrible horrible horrible - nuff said !
Mainly disappointment due to the naration differences from the earlier series books. Difficult to follow the story with such monotone reading and I wanted to scream every time Uhtred came from Bamburgh and not Bebbanburg
Why the changes. I was so excited to see the book in Audible, I can't say I regret buying it since I love the series so much but was left feeling cheated, what a shame.
Great story. Terrible reader. Very disappointed in the performance. And the director even more for allowing it to happen. Love the series though.
Absolutely, this series is amazing. I can't wait to read the next book as well as his other series.
The culmination before the ending.
I think Stephen Perring did excellent if I had listened to this book individually and not listened to all of the other books. The same reader read the first few books and they have had different readers for the last couple. Stephen's probably fell in the middle of the readers. I understand that it must be difficult to keep the reader consistent; however, I think the new reader should at least listen to one or two of the other books so that the pronunciations stay the same. In this book the characters names (including the city the main character is from) and several of the city names had different pronunciations.
Uhtread is back! Always a great story!
Clearly he did not listen to the previous books, or study up on pronunciation. IIt was SO distracting to hear him pronounce it You-tread, of Bambray, not Utread of Bebenbergh. The pronunciation was so distracting that I got lost several times in the story, because I was trying to figure out which character or location he was describing. Perring has a great voice, but after listening to the deep, sonorous voices of previous narrators, I didn't connect this narrator to my image of the main character.
I listen while driving. When I review, I'm much more apt to discuss the performance than the content. Sometimes, a bit of both.
I've read ALL of the Saxon Stories available as of 7/6/2015 and have loved every one!
But, there are a few problems:
Cornwell includes notes in his books at the very end. For some reason, the author's notes aren't read on the recording at the end of the book or, at least, not consistently! Can you really call the book "unabridged" at that point?! :)
Also, if you sail into "fjord", it's pronounced "fih-YORD", If you fight Kjartan The Cruel and refer to him as "kih-JAR-tin" then you've successfully distracted me from my listening pleasure. I then stop listening and choose a few select words for the reader/performer, his engineer, the producer...all of you!
But, then again, the books are SO GOOD!!! :)
The story alone. It was hard listening to this unenthusiastic narrator. His mispronunciation of words was extremely annoying. It always took a moment to realize what or whom he was speaking of.
Johnathon Keeble hands down. ALL the other narrators left much to be desires
If the narration had been better I would say yes, but it was hard just getting through the book at all. I was so caught up on the narration that I often had to rewind to hear parts again.
I am an avid eclectic reader.
This story takes place in 899 A.D. with the death of King Alfred. King Alfred is credited with uniting the Kingdoms of England to throw out the Danes. Cornwell is so good at verbally painting a picture of the countryside and the people one feels as if one's been transported there. Looking at the role of the church in today's society and what control the church had over peoples lives for good and bad in 899AD could be a good thesis for a student. The last half of the book builds into the battle between the Danes and Edward 1(Alfred's son) to control England. Cornwell is the master of writing battle scenes. He puts one right into the action, I can smell and hear the battle. I can feel the emotions and see the swords and axes flying. (I don't need a movie, it is in my head). I think Cornwell is one of the best historical novelist today. He makes history so exciting the learn about.
Love the story, but the pacing of this reader is off. I prefer earlier performers who growled out the story with a rhythm and tenor of a man believable as the main character, Uthred.
More volumes please.
Uthred. To listen to stories.
I love reading Bernard Cornwell's books, but the performance of the final Saxon books is dreary. They become hard to listen too. The first ones are great. Jonathan Keeble is excellent and portrays the characters as you would envision fighting men of this time. But the narrators become more and more dreary and do portray the characters well. I am disappointed with the narrating but as always, will continue to read Cornwell.
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