The Flame Bearer

Saxon Tales, Book 10
Narrated by: Matt Bates
Series: The Last Kingdom Series, Book 10
Length: 10 hrs and 19 mins
5 out of 5 stars (2,882 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The next installment of Bernard Cornwell's best-selling series chronicling the epic saga of the making of England, "like Game of Thrones, but real" (Observer, London) - the basis for The Last Kingdom, the hit television series coming to Netflix in fall 2016.

From the day it was stolen from me, I dreamed of recapturing Bebbanburg. The great fort had been built on a rock that was almost an island. It was massive; it could be approached only on land by a single narrow track; and it was mine.

Britain is in a state of uneasy peace. Northumbria's Viking ruler, Sigtryggr, and Mercia's Saxon queen, Aethelflaed, have agreed to a truce. And so England's greatest warrior, Uhtred of Bebbanburg, at last has the chance to take back the home his traitorous uncle stole from him so many years ago - and which his scheming cousin still occupies.

But fate is inexorable, and the enemies Uhtred has made and the oaths he has sworn combine to distract him from his dream of recapturing Bebbanburg. New enemies enter into the fight for England's kingdoms: the redoubtable Constantin of Scotland seizes an opportunity for conquest and leads his armies south. Britain's precarious peace threatens to turn into a war of annihilation.

But Uhtred is determined that nothing, neither the new enemies nor the old foes who combine against him, will keep him from his birthright. He is the Lord of Bebbanburg, but he will need all the skills he has learned in a lifetime of war to make his dream come true. The latest chapter in Bernard Cornwell's "violent, absorbing historical saga", The Flame Bearer confirms Bernard Cornwell's title as "perhaps the greatest writer of historical adventure novels today" (Washington Post).

©2016 Bernard Cornwell (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

So so

I miss Jonathan Keeble's narration. Doesn't seem the same. But story isn't bad for an ending.

8 people found this helpful

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Wow

Please tell me it's not over. I could read all of them over three times a year and they never get old. Please just one more book.

4 people found this helpful

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A Rousing Tale

I have been following the story of Uhtred of Babbenberg since the first book in the Saxon Stories. In this book Uhtred achieves his goal he has had since book one.

The Saxon Chronicles has been a historical fiction series following the story of King Albert the Great of Wessex and his offspring. Unlike the other books in the series, Cornwell does not have to worry about historical accuracy in this book. In this book, he can allow his imagination to run free. Of course, he still stays within the historical parameters of his series. Uhtred recaptures his Babbenberg home, land and titles.

The book is well written and the historical accuracy of the series has been meticulous. Cornwell is the master of historical fiction; he is also the master of the battle scene. His description is packed with detail and emotions. His battle scene is so dramatic he places the reader in the middle of the battle with all the sights and smells. I have enjoyed all the fascinating characters in this series, real and imaginary. I would guess this is the end of Uhtred’s story. But Cornwell does have the rest of English history to tell us about. This was a great series and a fun way to learn English history.

Matt Bates does a good job narrating the story. Bates has narrated this series since book seven. Bates is an actor and audiobook narrator.

17 people found this helpful

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Great series.

This has been one of the most exciting series I've listened to. Of course you have to accept the bloodshed and the mixing of gods, but, that said, you join with Uhtred in his desires and conquests and worry for him until he somehow pulls out a victory. The spinners (fates) must have enjoyed weaving this life. I cant wait for the next book and hope there is one.

3 people found this helpful

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The Next Generation is Set

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

At least one of the top three of this series, Cornwell has found "another gear". Loved this episode in one of the best historical fiction series of all time.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Flame Bearer?

Æthelstan taking on the older champion at a crucial moment in the attack on Bebbanburg was great drama and, along with Uhtred Junior, the stage is now set for the series to follow another generation towards the unification of England. The next installment will likely start with the death of our beloved Æthelflaed, alas.

What about Matt Bates’s performance did you like?

Matt Bates can do any accent and does most of them superbly. There is usually a large cast in these books and Bates can rise to the challenge. He is particularly good at subtle inflection changes pertaining to dry humor.

Who was the most memorable character of The Flame Bearer and why?

The rise of Prince AEthelstan begins in this book but for me the best character was the mad Bishop, Ieremias, who was loads of fun. Cornwell will have to find another strong female character to replace AEthelflaed.. perhaps it will be Stiorra, his daughter, but there is room for one or two more strong women characters... be they good or bad!! I hope Hannah pops up again and also the young daughter of AEthelhelm, who will hopefully acquire some depth of character as well as being stunningly beautiful.

Any additional comments?

Will Uhtred fight in the next big battle, or will the hilt of the sword be handed over to young Uhtred and AEthelstan?

2 people found this helpful

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I love this series.

The best series in the history of language. I hope Bernard Cornwell keeps it going.

2 people found this helpful

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Love Utrid!

I LOVE all the tales of Utrid . Bernard Cornwall knows how to keep you riveted and knows how to spin a tale! One of my favorites!

1 person found this helpful

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I love Matt Bates voice

I listened to this book in a few days it was so good. love the series and the program

1 person found this helpful

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Listen to or read this book

Excellent series, The Flame Bearer fulfilled the excitement and suspense of the entire Saxon Tales Series

1 person found this helpful

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Excellent Conlusion to the Uhtred story!

What made the experience of listening to The Flame Bearer the most enjoyable?

Great narrator, and lots of adventure

Who was your favorite character and why?

As always, I adore Uhtred. He is very intelligent, and an excellent plotter. His plans and his intrigues are very clever, and he always finds a unique way to get out of trouble!

Have you listened to any of Matt Bates’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

He did a good job. Not as good as some of the other narrators, but still captured Uhtred's arrogance and determination to win at all costs.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I laughed and held my breath, and then laughed again.

1 person found this helpful