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The Pale Horseman (The Saxon Chronicles…
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The Pale Horseman (The Saxon Chronicles Series #2) (original 2005; edition 2006)

by Bernard Cornwell

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Member:rhbouchard
Title:The Pale Horseman (The Saxon Chronicles Series #2)
Authors:Bernard Cornwell
Info:HarperCollins (2006), Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
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The Pale Horseman by Bernard Cornwell (2005)

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English (42)  Danish (1)  Finnish (1)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  All languages (46)
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Where I got the book: audiobook on Audible.

Uhtred son of Uhtred’s adventures continue, with the wily English (but a bit Viking) warrior becoming more deeply enmeshed with King Alfred, the Wessex king he despises but whose interests he always ends up serving. The story starts off with Uhtred making his own action, as he’s bored and decides to go raiding. He ends up with considerable wealth, the witchy Iseult and BIG TROUBLE with Alfred for going rogue. But then fortunately the Danes attack, and Uhtred ends up helping Alfred out of a desperate situation—at great personal cost.

It was incredibly easy to sum up the story, and that fact in itself should give me pause. But no matter—Cornwell makes a straightforward plot into an entertaining series of battles, maneuvers and deceptions that pull you nicely into a world where the Anglo-Saxon English are desperately fighting off the invading Danes. Fighting is lovingly described blow by blow, while women are given about as much attention as a dog or horse (which is a pity because I think Cornwell could have done a whole lot more with Iseult. Now there’s a character just WAITING for Philippa Gregory.) But this is Cornwell being true to his style of story—adventure stories (mainly) for and (almost exclusively) about men, with enough historical realism and details to make you want to dive for a history book about the period (and isn’t that the point?) I love the frequent references to place-names—some of which are easily matched up with their modern counterparts while other are tantalizingly less easy to place—and laughed at the inclusion of the most famous legend about Alfred.

To me, the main drawback about these stories is that they’re too short. I find myself longing for more intricacy and detail. In addition, I wasn’t crazy about the Uhtred-goes-raiding first part of the book, which seemed a bit too like padding for my liking. But hey, I’m trying to find out what makes the blood-and-battles male side of historical fiction tick, and perhaps some of Cornwell’s ability to cut the yapping and get on with the fighting could be a useful asset to some other writers I could name, who err on the side of talking and let all their battles be fought offstage. ( )
  JaneSteen | Feb 1, 2015 |
Thie is a fast paced, well written book. I don't personally enjoy reading about battles, especially when they are graphically described. I'm not sure at this time if I will read more of Mr. Cornwell's books. Perhaps one more to see if I can get a better feel of this type of literature. He does paint an excellent/accurate picture of the timeframe of the book. ( )
  JanicsEblen | Dec 30, 2014 |
A fun trump thru the Saxon age.
( )
  Gregorio_Roth | Dec 5, 2014 |
A fun trump thru the Saxon age.
( )
  Gregorio_Roth | Dec 5, 2014 |
A solid adventure historical. Cornwell knows his way around a battle. ( )
  MarysGirl | Aug 22, 2014 |
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Information from the Portuguese (Brazil) Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Ac her forp berad; fugelas singid,

gylled groeghama.


Pois aqui se inicia a guerra, aves carniceiras

cantam e lobos cinzentos uivam.

The Fight at Finnsburth
Dedication
The Pale Horseman is for George MacDonald Fraser, in admiration
First words
These days I look at twenty-year-olds and think they are pathetically young, scarcely weaned from their mothers' tits, but when I was twenty I considered myself a full-grown man.
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Fate is inexorable.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061144835, Paperback)

The last unvanquished piece of England, Wessex is eyed hungrily by the fearsome Viking conquerors. A dispossessed young nobleman, Uhtred is tied to the imperiled land by birth and marriage but was raised by the Danish invaders—and he questions where his allegiance must lie. But blood is his destiny, and when the overwhelming Viking horde attacks out of a wintry darkness, Uhtred must put aside all hatred and distrust and stand beside his embattled country's staunch defender—the fugitive King Alfred.

The Pale Horseman is a gripping, monumental adventure that gives breathtaking life to one of the most important epochs in English history—yet another masterwork from New York Times bestselling author Bernard Cornwell.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:05:22 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Uhtred, a dispossessed young nobleman, born a Saxon but raised by the Vikings, forms an uneasy alliance with King Alfred the Great to fight for Wessex when the kingdom is attacked by the Danish Vikings in the ninth century.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 13 descriptions

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