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The Burning Land (The Saxon Chronicles, Book…

The Burning Land (The Saxon Chronicles, Book 5) (original 2009; edition 2010)

by Bernard Cornwell

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Title:The Burning Land (The Saxon Chronicles, Book 5)
Authors:Bernard Cornwell
Info:Harper (2010), Hardcover, 352 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Burning Land by Bernard Cornwell (2009)

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Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
Uhtread of Bamburgh continues to do good things against his bitter judgement. The series has a good period flavour, and is on a par with his Richard Sharpe works. we are involved with the education of one of king Alfred's few bastard children, and the attendant military business is well described. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Mar 15, 2016 |
I'm enjoying this book more than I thought I would. I really like the good sportsmanship and common sense of the main character, Uhtred. He and the author have a different perspective than I do, though: several pages about a battle and only one paragraph about sex? Seriously? ( )
  leoht13 | Feb 25, 2016 |
Another thrilling adventure in the Saxon series. After the death of his wife, Uhtred has left King Alfred's service and plans to regain his home from his usurper Uncle. But plans change - the one person who could change his mind does - Aelfreda, Alfred's daughter, asks for his aid, so what else could he do?

( )
  Oodles | Feb 16, 2016 |
Cornwell is a master story teller, no doubt about it! Uhtred is telling the story, so we know he must survive somehow, but still the narrative has the momentum to keep the reader glued to the pages!

What I am loving now is how Uhtred finds his inspiration or his suggestive clues in auguries, in little details that trigger his thinking, that show him where and how to proceed. It's a beautiful touch to his character. That's the kind of open attention that really does create greatness in those times and in these. ( )
  kukulaj | Jan 11, 2016 |
Alfred has stabilised Wessex but the Danes continue to be a thorn in the side of the English. Uhtred once again finds his loyalties divided, as his oath to Alfred conflicts with his desire to return to Viking dominated Northumbria and reclaim his usurped birth rite. This book brings us up to the Battle of Benfleet in 894. It contains all you would expect of a Cornwell book: blood, guts, battles, politics & superstition.

Cornwell writes to a fairly consistent formula, and does it well in an authoritative and believable manner. Basically, he takes historical fact (the Saxon-Dane struggle), overlays his own story (Uthred's tale) and then fleshes it out with his stock set pieces (shield walls, seiges etc). I'm not sure how historically accurate some of these set pieces are as they are used repeatedly throughout the Arthur Warlord saga and the Harlequin books a period covering the best part of a millenium but, to be honest, does it really matter as it makes a good page-turning read?

This is the fifth book in the Saxon Chronicles. While Uhtred is the central character, Cornwell has peopled this novel with characters that bring the conflicts of the times to life. The series depicts both the conflicts between the Saxons and the Vikings and the conflicts between Christians and pagans. The tale may be Uhtred's, but the story is of England in the making. I am looking forward to the sixth novel: I'm hoping that at some stage Uhtred will recover his family home at Bebbanburg. ( )
  Jawin | Feb 14, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
Bernard Cornwell is one of the kings of historical fiction — his Richard Sharpe novels, about a British soldier in the Napoleonic wars, and Grail Quest series have captivated audiences in the United Kingdom and United States. His new book, The Burning Land — the latest in his series The Saxon Tales — is currently on the bestseller list. NPR's Neal Conan talks with Cornwell about the ninth century, writing historical literature and the new PBS series based on his Sharpe novels.
added by bongiovi | editNPR (Jan 28, 2010)
Historical novels stand or fall on detail, and Mr. Cornwell writes as if he has been to ninth-century Wessex and back. He gives a graphic sense of what it's like to stand in a defensive shield-wall and how you go about breaking one. Each of his battles poses different tactical questions and gets imaginatively different answers. His accounts of fire and slaughter, and of Viking methods of extorting money, would seem gruesomely exaggerated if they weren't so often based on old legends or confirmed by archaeology.
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The Burning Land is for Alan and Jan Rust
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Not long ago I was in some monastery.
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The Danes of East Anglia and the Vikings of Northumbria are plotting the conquest of all Britain. When King Alfred's daughter pleads with Uhtred for help, he cannot refuse her request. In a desperate gamble, he takes command of a demoralized Mercian army, leading them in an unforgettable battle on a blood-soaked field beside the Thames.… (more)

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