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)
Jonathan Keeble, performed the first 4 books and nailed the voices of all the characters for me. why would you change performers in the middle of this epic series?I cant listen to the other performers not because they are not good, but because im now use to Jonathan Keeble's reading and voices. please bring him Back!!!!
please bring Back Jonathan Keeble.
From Austen to zombies!
This is the first book of Lords of the North that I've listened to because the first two are available only in the abridged format (Are you listening, Audible? Abridged is yuck!).
I enjoyed the detail of Cornwell's Agincourt, so I was expecting more of the same for this book, set in my favorite period of British history. I wasn't expecting Lords of the North to be at all humorous, but I was pleasantly surprised. Uhtred is disappointed in Alfred the Great's lack of generosity--Uhtred helped Alfred drive back the invading Danes, but because he was pagan, Uhtred was rewarded only by being made the lord of Five Hides, an estate of questionable value and little prestige.
He leaves Five Hides to take back Bebbanburgh castle, rightfully his, from his uncle. "And that was when the stupidity began," he says early on. He gets into one crazy mess after another, throwing his lot in with the deluded slave/king Guthred and a band of religious fanatics--that doesn't turn out well, and the craziness keeps on coming.
Uhtred is looking back on his life through this volume, and as he laughs at the stupidity of his younger self, we laugh with him. This isn't a strictly comic novel, however--we get plenty of political plotting and a great deal of fighting (some of which is quite violent and might be a turn-off for some readers). I also got all the historic detail I was hoping for.
I see that some other reviewers aren't happy with the narrator. If I'd started with book one and a different narrator, I might feel the same way, but as it is I think Tom Sellwood was a great choice. His Northumbrian accent is spot on (enough so that it might be an issue for readers not used to northern British accents). But the best part is that he's actually acting--I really got a sense of Uhtred being an older man looking back on the follies of his youth.
Overall, highly recommended for readers who like battles, adventure, and even a few laughs.
The narrator of the first two books was a lot better. The story was as gripping as the other books in the series, however, the change of narrator spoilt it for me.
Tom Sellwood has absolutely NO business narrating this series PERIOD!!! He is very well spoken but utterly lacks the deep, raw, throaty, strong, authoritative, passionate, GRITTY & MASCULINE voice necessary to convincingly portray a 9th century Viking Warlord and the battle hardened men around him!!!!! His voice/voices is/are shamefully weak and his portrayal is truly nothing shy of disastrously flat and impotent. Thoroughly and totally disappointed after having started the first two books in the series read by the amazingly talented and powerful John Keebles, whose voice is the PERFECTION for this series!! But for whatever horrible reason the John Keebles version from book 3 and on are not available in the U.S. to purchase so I had been forced to settle for the awful Sellwood version to continue Uhtrid's mighty tale... Dear god I beg you please fix this awful mess and give us Keebles versions right this moment!!! And my money back for the god awful version I just muscled my way through!!! Please help!!!
I love BOOKS and reading, listening is as good when I can't look at the book. I listen every minute driving.
I listen to audio books to be entertained or to get through books I have a hard time reading but still want to know about them.
This series is all about entertainment. I enjoyed the first two books although they only came as abridged. The difference between the two is a couple (8hrs) more hours of entertainment.
Same good story, Same great charactor and all the same action and adventure as the first two. Also I have enjoyed the same reader through all the books and he does a very good job.
The reader does an exceptional job delineating characters through vocal inflection. There is also a coarseness to his voice and accent that adds a great deal to the story-telling.
If you haven't ever read Bernard Cornwell, this series is an excellent way to get introduced to a fabulous writer, historian, and story-teller.
In the past I've avoided books with battle scenes because I get lost in the minutia. Cornwell has a way of drawing you an in and imparting important story information while describing the battle. The nearest I can come to comparing his writing style is by comparing him to Louis L'Amour. They both incorporate historical fact and details into their fictional characters and stories.
I am not an avid 'reviewer of books' on audible.com. I do listen to about 4-6 books / month though and this is the first that i have found worthy of giving praise. the author is fantastic, describing in great detail of the time period and culture while still delivering a spectacular plot line.
Furthermore, the narrator is perfectly cut out for the part giving the book unexpected zeal.
By far my favorite on audible.
The story is exciting and engaging, but it is the narrator's ability to use accents and intonations to distinguish the characters, and to call up an illusion of time and place that makes this stand out from other genre historical novels.
I wish the rest of the saga was available unabridged and done this well.
My son and I have enjoyed listening to all of the Saxon Chronicle Adventures the unabridged are the best. I found this is a great way to explore history and spend great fun quality time with my twelve year old son , we listen to the story ,get absorbed into the characters and research the real life exploits of that period on the internet .This whole series series is great !
The author needs to keep the same reader from the first 2 books. It is very distracting to have another Utred voice. Especially one much less masculine.
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