• The Pale Horseman

  • The Last Kingdom Series, Book 2
  • By: Bernard Cornwell
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Keeble
  • Length: 14 hrs and 6 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (143 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A Saxon raised by Vikings. A pagan fighting for a Christian King. The conflict at the heart of a hero will be played out in the fight for England.

It is 877. Across the kingdoms of Britain the Danes are gaining strength. Uhtred of Bebbanburg, a pagan warrior, must decide who he will align with: the Vikings who raised him or Alfred, King of the West Saxons.

As the Danes make for Wessex and threaten to destroy the kingdom, Uhtred will forge an uneasy alliance with the king, to lead the last remaining Saxon army in a battle that will be a fight for the very existence of England.

©2005 Bernard Cornwell (P)2014 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic Reviews

Praise for The Pale Horseman:

"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)
"It is stirring stuff, and few writers are better qualified than Cornwell to do justice to the excitement of the times…Ninth-century Britain and a master of storytelling - it is a marriage made in heaven." (Sunday Telegraph)
"Cornwell's mastery of historical sources and his aptitude for battle scenes is well established…the language, and particularly the dialogue, is raw and unarchaic, rich in insults and Anglo-Saxon expletives." (Times Literary Supplement)

What listeners say about The Pale Horseman

Average Customer Ratings
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One of the best books in many year

Nuanced characters, excellent performance, deep look into historical times. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes fantasy, history, and good story telling.

2 people found this helpful

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Excellent

It's hard to stop listening. The story and the excellent narration grabs your attention and it's hard to put it down.
Highly recommended.

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Profile Image for Diana Boskma
  • Diana Boskma
  • 01-04-18

great narrator

the narrator does an amazing job. he makes tgey characters sound properly different. the books are amazing as well as tgey writer knows very well what he's doing.

3 people found this helpful

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  • D I Freeman
  • 02-16-16

Great listen

The story continues at a rapid pace with uthred torn between his loyalty to the Saxons and Earl Ragnar. This in my opinion is even better that the first book and I am starting the third book immediately. Fantastic

3 people found this helpful

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  • PEH
  • 04-27-16

Excellent. Brilliant performance.

If you could sum up The Pale Horseman in three words, what would they be?

A superb buy.

What other book might you compare The Pale Horseman to, and why?

The whole series and all Bernard Cornwell's books. They are credible and engaging. Full of excitement and characters you care about.

Which character – as performed by Jonathan Keeble – was your favourite?

His performance captures the essence of Ughtred. The tone of voice expresses such emotions, and doubts. Such a shame he hasn't recorded the whole series.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes. Absolutely. Both for the story and the performance. (I'm now waiting for more in the series.)

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Profile Image for Nahid  hajialikhani
  • Nahid hajialikhani
  • 11-17-19

Great story, excellent narrator.

I'm a fan of Bernard Cornwell and really enjoyed this series. The writing skill is outstanding, characters are engaging, plot is intriguing but the best part is the depth of the research into the birth of England. Last but not least is the performance of the narrator. Jonathan Keeble is great.

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  • Mo Bass
  • 05-09-22

Blood, gore, treachery and honour

I was engrossed from start to finish. A wonderful tale of heroes and fools remarkably well narrated.

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  • Jordan Laing
  • 05-09-22

superb story, unbelievable narration

The combination of keeble and Cornwell is simply captivating. The gritty story line with Keebles passionate reading makes this one of my favourite audiobooks so far

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Profile Image for David Alexander
  • David Alexander
  • 03-21-22

Excellent narration

Absolutely brilliant series of books and the narration of all these is second to none

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Profile Image for Lisa Kennedy
  • Lisa Kennedy
  • 03-06-22

great listen

loved it , found it hard to stop listening very happy with this audio

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  • brian sims
  • 01-16-22

Brilliant

Just listened for the second time, brilliant narrative. I've read the books and watched the TV series but this is my favourite.

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Profile Image for Mr. N. C. Angel
  • Mr. N. C. Angel
  • 12-16-21

Superb

Just wonderful - cracking storytelling and a masterful read by Jonathan Keeble. Right I’m off to download the next one!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-09-19

Superbly done again

Again The narrator has excelled himself in this book two of the series,
I think I’ve become a great fan of Jonathan Keeble he does a brilliant job and keeps you totally intrigued and enthralled in the book with his tones, pauses and changes of voices, accents fir each different characters,
It was well written and I cannot wait to listen to the rest in the series.
After watching The last Kingdom it has been very interesting listening to the books of this series, again there is always more in a book.
Bring on the next one

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-20-20

Fantastic Master Johnathan Keeble

I have listen to the 1st 4 books and i must say Johnthan keeble makes it

1 person found this helpful

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  • MHarg
  • 12-14-19

For Odin

Jonathan Keeble brings this story to life, enhances, and builds on the solid foundation left by Cornwell. His ability to mimic the vast array of tones and accents amazed me to the last chapter.
Great story, which only makes me want to read the history books. Fantastic.

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  • Jason Craig Morant
  • 04-06-22

A good book

A great fast paced story with good characters and a excellent performance by the narrator shame there is a change of narrator coming up in future books

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  • Simon Bowler
  • 02-03-22

The story of Alfred & the Danes he conquered

The second book of the series following Utred in Wessex and his love hate relationship with Alfred. On the scant bones of the Anglo Saxon Chronicles and Esser’s life of Alfred Cornwall has woven a richly satisfying tale of 9th century Britain.
Full marks to Jonathan Keeble for his wonderfully varied voice - a complete listening pleasure

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  • MasterDownUnder
  • 11-24-21

Two down and eleven to go...!

This is great. Nothing like the TV series. Well, they have clearly cherry picked that which they wanted and left the rest, and there is lost. Talk about details and complete plotlines and charactors you've never heard of. I am just about to start the next one... WELL WORTH IT!

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Profile Image for Amber-Claire
  • Amber-Claire
  • 10-29-21

I’m loving this series!

Both the first and now the second books in the series have kept me totally enthralled. Bernard Cornwall brings a time long ago alive and you can’t help but grief for them when their story ends.
Jonathon Keeble is legend! I could listen to him all day!…which is pretty much what I have been doing ;)