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Publisher's Summary

The 12th installment of Bernard Cornwell’s New York Times best-selling series chronicling the epic saga of the making of England - "superior entertainment that is both engaging and enlightening” (Washington Post), and the basis for The Last Kingdom, the hit Netflix series.

It is a time of political turmoil once more as the fading King Edward begins to lose control over his successors and their supporters. There are two potential heirs - possibly more - and doubt over whether the once separate states of Wessex and Mercia will hold together. Despite attempts at pulling him into the political fray, Uhtred of Bebbanburg cares solely about his beloved Northumbria and its continuing independence from southern control.

But an oath is a strong, almost sacred commitment and such a promise had been exchanged between Uhtred and Aethelstan, his onetime companion in arms and now a potential king. Uhtred was tempted to ignore the demands of the oath and stay in his northern fastness, leaving the quarrelling Anglo-Saxons to sort out their own issues. But an attack on him by a leading supporter of one of the candidates and an unexpected appeal for help from another, drives Uhtred with a small band of warriors south, into the battle for kingship - and England’s fate. 

©2019 Bernard Cornwell (P)2019 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about Sword of Kings: A Novel

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Cornwell Is At The Top Of His Game

Cornwell shines best with his series books, and Uhtred appears to be his favorite. This episode has all the elements I have previously loved with an interesting plot line that doesn’t disappoint. Our hero is getting older, but not necessarily wiser in avoiding trouble. As usual, he finds a way to overcome his own mistakes and overwhelming odds to muddle through to an acceptable conclusion which resolves the immediate crisis, while leaving more trouble on the horizon. The author’s notes at the end on facts vs fiction in the book are a nice bonus. Read and enjoy!

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Cornwell still the Lord of his genre

Cornwell shows once again his mastery of historical fiction. Plus he demonstrates supremely capable narration skill. This is another tightly- woven adventure with Mary a full moment. His unsurpassed artistry in dialogue, character and scene description, storytelling and action flow are on full display. I read (really devour) historical fiction and have done so for the past 40 years. Cornwell still represents the gold standard. Many emulate him but none has reached the high bar he has set. I have yet to be disappointed in one of his works and I can say that about no current author writing in his genre. And when I say his genre, I mean HIS genre because he owns it, at least the choicest part of it. I had better stop now, lest my effusiveness serve to embarrass me.

2 people found this helpful

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Amazing

It is rare when a book series keeps getting better with each book. it does

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Great Series and Always Consistent

As someone reading this series from the beginning over a decade, for me Sword of Kings ranks as good as the other titles. To those who haven’t read any of the Saxon Series, start from the beginning for a better understating of the 9th-10th century Saxon world inhabited by Uhtred and his companions. In Sword if Kings we follow a more experienced yet self-doubting Uhtred who is still formidable in his later years. Little is known of the real history from this period and Bernard Cornwell does a great job filling the gaps. Matt Bates is the perfect narrator for the series and I couldn’t imagine someone else doing the job.

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Amazing book, crown to a magnificent series

Perhaps I shouldn't say that just yet, there's apparently one more book in the series I haven't yet read. I understand it's not quite released yet, either, so it looks as if there's to be a long wait. But Mr. Cornwell's works are generally worth the wait; I can't remember a series closer in which I was disappointed.

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I love this series!

One of the best fictional works of our time! Interspersed lots of real history! Bravo Sir!

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Last Kingdom, Best Kingdom

I have throughly enjoyed the series. One of the best historical fiction series that I have read. I appreciate the explanation that the author gives at the end of each book tying characters, facts, politics and their place in history. It was interesting to follow how a united England emerged.

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Bernard Cornwell continues to deliver!

Another great story by Bernard Cornwell and Matt Bates continues to deliver another outstanding performance.

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Cornwell is the master of Historical fiction.

Another great book in the series. In my opinion this series is the bar all other historical fiction is measured against.

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Gets better with each book!

The absolute best Fiction-historical mix ever! Intriguing Exciting Story never lets your interest fade! keep them coming please!