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Publisher's Summary

The fourth in the best-selling Alfred series from number-one historical novelist, Bernard Cornwell.

The year is 885, and England is at peace, divided between the Danish kingdom to the north and Alfred's kingdom of Wessex in the south.

But trouble stirs, a dead man has risen and new Vikings have arrived to occupy London. It is a dangerous time, and it falls to Uhtred, half Saxon, half Dane, a man feared and respected the length and breadth of Britain, to expel the Viking raiders and take control of London for Alfred.

His uncertain loyalties must now decide England's future.

A gripping tale of love, rivalry and violence, Sword Song tells the story of England's making.

©2007 Bernard Cornwell (P)2014 HarperCollins Publishers Ltd

Critic Reviews

Praise for The Lords of the North:

“Beautifully crafted story-telling, complete with splendid set-piece battles and relentless derring-do, so gripping that it rarely stops to catch a breath. It demonstrates once again Cornwell's enormous skill as a historical narrator. He would have graced Alfred's court entertaining the guests with his stories” (Daily Mail)
“Cornwell takes the spectres of ninth century history and puts flesh back on their bones. Here is Alfred's world restored - impeccably researched and illuminated with the colour and passion of a master storyteller” (Justin Pollard, author of Alfred the Great)

Praise for Bernard Cornwell:

“Bernard Cornwell is a literary miracle. Year after year, hail, rain, snow, war and political upheavals fail to prevent him from producing the most entertaining and readable historical novels of his generation.” (Daily Mail)
“Cornwell's narration is quite masterly and supremely well-researched” (Observer)

What listeners say about Sword Song

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Loved it!

Once more I have been transported thanks to a great writer and brilliant narrator. Sadly, I have listened to a brief snippet of the next book and find myself torn because of the change in narrator. Jonathan Keeble brings a book and its characters to life for me, I think that a new narrator will be lacking and I will not enjoy the immersion as I normally do. Whatever the reasoning I feel it is poorly done to switch narrator part way through a series.
I may continue at a later date but for now I will savour what has come before and take a break.

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Best narration I’ve heard!

Jonathan Keeble’s performance was superb! His ability to create subtle differences in character with his voice is amazing. I was amazed at the difference in his voice between the older and younger Uhtred.

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Sadly, the 4th and last JONATHAN KEEBLE narration.

The first four novels in this series were simply OUTSTANDING thanks to Jonathan Keeble's stellar NARRATION. For reasons I'll never understand, Bernard Cornwall changed narrators for the 5th novel, and in so doing terminated the remainder of a 13 episode series (for me). I gave episode 5 a listen but failed to make it though the first hour as I so missed Johnathan Keeble's gift of such extraordinary passion..... I immediately started the 3 part WARLORD CHRONICLES (same author) narrated by no other than... JOHNATHAN KEEBLE👍👍👍

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Keeble as narrator adds so much to the story

the story was good but Jonathan Keeble as narrator was great adding so much color to the story telling. I hope he knows how appreciated his efforts are. its amazing how much a great narrator can add to a good series.

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Breathtaking

Another great book in a great series. Gripping story, perfectly narrated. Battles described with amazing detail in a lively manner. Highly recommended.

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Awesome Performance and Story

I love the story and how it's told. Jonathan keeble is my favorite version of this.

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  • Wolfbrother
  • 08-16-21

Love this series and love Jonathan Keeble!

This is my 3rd re-read of the series, and I always get a bit depressed when it's time to leave Keebles narration after book 4 the other narrators are great but Keeble just brings the whole world to life for me.

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  • JanxSpirit
  • 05-06-21

oh no!

I had to end the story half an hour into it. After the previous books I was eagerly waiting for the next installment.
It is all down to the narrator who has not got the warrior's voice of Utred.
And I notice the remaining books are narrated by this person.
Please get Jonathan Keeble back to re-read these books from book 5 onwards.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-08-19

incredibly vivid

really enjoyed the enthralling brutality of the book, without the epic battle scenes of the previous books, the smaller more detailed skirmishes, where just as good.

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  • Deborah Seton
  • 02-23-19

Can I finish it?

At the time of writing this review, I've read up to and including book 6 in the series and am now starting to tire a little of the main character, who seems to be rinsing and repeating.

I came to the series of books from the modern TV series, which I absolutely love and, to begin with, the books really did stand up to that and I loved them too. Whilst I'd like to see the series of books through, I don't think I will because they become too samey.

If you haven't read, I do recommend at least the first 3 books, which give you a great overall impression of Uhtred and his mates and are full of well written and enjoyable scenes.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jane
  • 09-26-18

Another excellent story in the series

Great book, another gripping episode of the story, with the best narrator of all, in my opinion

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-21-17

The most wonderful series

I have fallen in love with this story line, often listening for 4 or 5 hours at a time. Jonathan Keeble was an inspired and perfect choice. His execution of narration has been the best part of the series for me. If I'm right in thinking the next book won't be him I'll be very very disappointed.
The story it's self was full of battles, in all of their bloody detail.
The way in which the scenery, especially the light of night and day was beautifully described.
In conclusion this is by far my favourite series of books I've ever come across.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-19-22

Jonathan Keeble just do not suit for this

Keeble is better than Glover, Mark Battes better than Keeble But the king of the series is Tom Selwood, pitty that read only 3 books, and is not available on audible...

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  • Mo Bass
  • 05-11-22

Blood, gore and glory

Another spellbinding instalment in this rivetting series marvellously narrated by aJonathan Keeble. Power, greed, legacies - we've learned nothing after 14 centuries.

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  • Barrie
  • 05-10-22

Love it Keeble is a legend

Brilliant Cornwell story telling, read by a great narrator. Shame that will change next book. You will need a break before you start book five or you will be disappointed. Why o why do the have to change narrators!!

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  • Cosmic Hare
  • 05-10-22

A sad end to Jonathan Keeble's mastery

I have bought four of The Last Kingdom's audio books which are mostly due to Keeble's fantastic telling of them. I cannot say which I like better, the Netflix series or the audio books. As Keeble was no longer used for this series, for whatever reason, I have now bought The Winter King, Part One of the Warlord Trilogy, also by Cornwell, on the strength of Keeble's performances. I am unfamiliar with the tales and hope that I like them as much. Sorry Uhtred, I doubt that I will be listening to more of your series unless Keeble presents them.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-29-19

Still enjoying the series

I very much enjoy the narrator Jonathan Keeble
And I’m a bit devastated that soon there is a new narrator in the series,
Fully recommended and still looking forward to the next book

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  • Lisa Hayes
  • 04-14-17

Prefer unabridged books

It was a terrific story - I was sorry when the book finished.
Jonathan Keeble's narration was brilliant. Funny, entertaining, thrilling, moving.

1 person found this helpful

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  • MasterDownUnder
  • 12-07-21

Bring back Jonathon Keeble...

This is one of the best series I have ever listened to, and I have done many complete series including Wilbur Smith's Courtney's, Harry Potter, Dune, and both the Belgariad and the Malloreon, but this is perhaps the best of all. Jonathon's voices, accents and such hve been amazing. These are so much more in depth than the tv series, and I wish I'd read (listened) to these books before I'd watch the Netflix series. Now I've heard that the narrator who took over from here isn't as good, so I am cautiously optimistic that they were wrong... We shall see!

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  • Derek Delaney
  • 10-19-21

Goodbye Mr Keeble

Unfortunately this is where I part company with Uhtred on Audible. Had a listen to a sample of Matt Bates and boy have they got the casting wrong for the rest of these books

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  • Mr
  • 06-21-21

Essex War

Fantastic narration as always and a brutal battle on Canvey Island to seal the deal.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-09-21

Excellent!

The narrator is so amazing, I can't get enough of this series. Each book is getting better and better, Cornwall imerses you into this world.

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  • Brendon Anderson
  • 02-03-21

a great turn pager non-stop action and blood and g

a great turn page and non-stop action blood and guts good storyline great characters that's your laugh and love and what and can't wait for their to be more

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  • Kevin
  • 03-29-19

Action packed

I really enjoyed this book and the series. Brilliant narration and a great work.

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  • Joshua R.
  • 09-06-18

Great Voice wprk

spectacularly brought to life through scented and nuanced voice acting. Much more animated than the abridged copy.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-25-18

Very good reading but ....

I was happy with the reading. The stories of Bernard Cornwell are always excellent. But where is the Historical Note? It’s an excellent and vital part of every one of these novels.