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Publisher's Summary

The year is 878, and the Saxons of Wessex, under King Alfred, have defeated the Danes to keep their kingdom free. Uhtred, the dispossessed son of a Northumbrian lord, helped Alfred win that victory, but now he is disgusted by Alfred's lack of generosity. Uhtred flees Wessex, going north to search for his stepsister in the formidable stronghold of Dunholm.

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.

Ready for battle? Don't miss the rest of the Saxon Chronicles Series, including The Last Kingdom (Book 1), The Pale Horseman (Book 2), and Sword Song (Book 4).
©2007 by Bernard Cornwell; (P)2007 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

"Cornwell...breathes life into ancient history with disarming ease, peppering it with humor and even innocence." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Story

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  • Overall
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  • Story

what happen to Jonathan Keeble,

What does Tom Sellwood bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

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!!!!

Any additional comments?

please bring Back Jonathan Keeble.

57 of 58 people found this review helpful

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Good story, didn't like the change of narrator

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.

19 of 19 people found this review helpful

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Sellwood is AWFUL! Bring back KEEBLES!!!

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!!!

35 of 37 people found this review helpful

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  • Lesley
  • Seattle, WA, United States
  • 02-07-12

Looks heavy--but it's not!

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.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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I can't listen to this guy

After two books with Jonathan keeble, it's impossible to start, much less finish this book with anyone else.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Different reader

Any additional comments?

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.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Unabridged is better

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.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Lana
  • Des Moines, IA, USA
  • 06-17-08

History and High Adventure!

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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

The Narrator Does It

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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narrator is the worst. Johnathan Keeble is the man

wow! quite possible the worst narration I've heard yet!!. he just about ruined the whole series for me. Keeble is in the next book but I'm stopping after that until Keeble does the whole series. Tom Sellwood should go read children's books and leave these novels to real men!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful