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Death of Kings: Saxon Tales, Book 6 | [Bernard Cornwell]

Death of Kings: Saxon Tales, Book 6

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 and his desires....
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Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (362 )
5 star
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4.3 (312 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Jean Santa Cruz, CA, United States 06-27-12
    Jean Santa Cruz, CA, United States 06-27-12 Member Since 2010

    I am an avid eclectic reader.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Saxon's"

    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.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fredrik Anderson Dayton, OH, United States 02-08-12
    Fredrik Anderson Dayton, OH, United States 02-08-12 Member Since 2004

    hogvet

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    4
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    "The next volume"
    What did you love best about Death of Kings?

    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.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Death of Kings?

    More volumes please.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Stephen Perring’s performances?

    Yes


    If you could take any character from Death of Kings out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Uthred. To listen to stories.


    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer CROSS PLAINS, TENNESSEE, United States 02-01-12
    Amazon Customer CROSS PLAINS, TENNESSEE, United States 02-01-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great series ruined by narrator"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    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.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Death of Kings?

    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.


    What didn’t you like about Stephen Perring’s performance?

    Horrible horrible horrible - nuff said !


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    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


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gordon Arlington, TX, United States 02-03-12
    Gordon Arlington, TX, United States 02-03-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Worth the wait but..."

    Overall I enjoyed this book although it was not up to the high standards of Cornwell's other offerings in this series. Uhtred is still blood thirsty, violent and still loves the shield wall. I would recommend this series to anyone interested in good historical action.

    The narration by Stephen Perring wasn’t horrible, it was just okay (at best). After some time I even grew used to it, but the way in which he pronounced certain places and names was more than a little off-putting. I much preferred the previous renditions in the series by Jamie Glover.

    .

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lakisha 04-22-12
    Lakisha 04-22-12 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not the right narrator"
    What did you love best about Death of Kings?

    Uhtread is back! Always a great story!


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    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.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ari 04-12-12
    Ari 04-12-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Changed Place Names!"

    Bernard Cornwell didn't fail. As always, this one takes you where nobody else could. My beef though is with the narration. Not with the narrator himself, who did quite a good job except for the fact that he says "Yuhtred" instead of the John Lee popularized "Ootred." My gripe is with the changing of place names. Cornwell uses the ancient names of English places/cities, but the narration chose to use the modern ones. I do not see any logical reasoning behind the change except that perhaps it affords easy pronunciation or that readers would have an immediate knowledge where the action is taking place. However, it is almost sacrilege to the author's research and effort. It also takes a huge chunk of the historical experience, what with ancient Saxons and Danes saying "London" instead of "Lundene." Hence the two-star performance.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Tampa, FL 05-18-12
    David Tampa, FL 05-18-12 Member Since 2006

    Love listening to books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Story is repetitive"
    What did you like best about Death of Kings? What did you like least?

    The details by Cornwell are always phenomenal. However, the story just feels like more of the same. Uthred is once again manipulated (weakly) into doing the kings bidding while all his advisers say he is not trustworthy. Same basic plot complications.


    Has Death of Kings turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Not at all.


    What about Stephen Perring’s performance did you like?

    I thought the characters were well done.


    Was Death of Kings worth the listening time?

    Sadly no. I really wish I could say otherwise, but I had to push my way to the end, just to discover all my predictions from very early on were on target. I don't like stories that I know the majority of the story - including the ending - in the first third of the book.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Edward 10-27-14
    Edward 10-27-14 Member Since 2014
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    "A gripping epic series masterfully written"
    What made the experience of listening to Death of Kings the most enjoyable?

    The continued development of the characters mainly Uhtred and King Alfred and the relationship between the two of them Alfred relied on Uhtred to keep his throne


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Death of Kings?

    When Alfred finally showed Uhtred the respect he has earned by awarding him land and title


    What about Stephen Perring’s performance did you like?

    This is the only thing that I found disappointing in this series the only narrative that was any good was Jamie Glover wish he did the complete series


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Uhtred the man that spoiled the Danes conquering England


    Any additional comments?

    I love this app I have loved reading books for the past 15 year's recent medical problems have left me unable to do that anymore because of cronic migraines so keep bringing me all my favorite books on audible

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandra 04-22-14
    Sandra 04-22-14 Member Since 2012

    I was educated into oblivion but have overcome it and am having a wonderful life

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Certainly makes you think"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely. You learn history through a great read.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The relationship between a king and a war lord under his authority. Well written


    Have you listened to any of Stephen Perring’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    First I've heard by this narrator. Really enjoyed his narration


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    A War Lord and His Kings


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Taj Gainesville, Florida, United States 02-15-14
    Taj Gainesville, Florida, United States 02-15-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Excellent book & series but keep reader consistent"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely, this series is amazing. I can't wait to read the next book as well as his other series.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Death of Kings?

    The culmination before the ending.


    What three words best describe Stephen Perring’s performance?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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