Uhtred arrives in the north to discover rebellion, chaos, and fear. His only ally is Hild, a West Saxon nun fleeing her calling, and his best hope is his sword. Needing other allies, he chooses Guthred, a seemingly deluded slave who believes he is a king. Together they cross the Pennines to where a desperate alliance of fanatical Christians and beleaguered Danes form a new army to confront the terrible Viking lords who rule Northumbria. Instead of victory, Uhtred finds betrayal. But he also discovers love and redemption as he is forced to turn once again to his reluctant ally, Alfred the Great.
A breathtaking adventure, Lords of the North is also the story of the creation of modern England, as the English and Danes gradually become one people, adopting each other's languages and fighting side by side.
©2007 by Bernard Cornwell; (P)2007 HarperCollins Publishers
"Cornwell...breathes life into ancient history with disarming ease, peppering it with humor and even innocence." (Publishers Weekly)
Like the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, the Saxon Chronicles take a while to catch on. The first book was engaging but not gripping. The second was better and this thiird one, "Lords of the North" was just Superb. Uhtred is the essence of untamed masculine ethos and the reader grows to love him more and more with the passing of time. Like most of Cornwall's novels, female/male relationships tend to be rather superficial, and repeating romances starts to get old after a while. However, the action is fast paced, the battles are brutal and the plot is pure Cornwallian Fascination.
Cornwell continues the saga of Utred's captivity and forced slavery. The writing is lively, never dull, and characterized by several climatic man-to-man challenges on his quest to regain prominence lost. Readers should be warned, however, that some of the verbal sparing breaks into rather vicious and sexually-charged insults cast against the enemy. The nature of these insults are extremely graphic and pity the listener who has this playing audibly in a carload full of kids. Descriptions of violent sword play highlight the work as well.
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