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Lords of the North: A Novel (Saxon…
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Lords of the North: A Novel (Saxon Chronicles #3) (original 2006; edition 2008)

by Bernard Cornwell

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1,455315,148 (4.09)27
Member:kenglidden
Title:Lords of the North: A Novel (Saxon Chronicles #3)
Authors:Bernard Cornwell
Info:Harper Perennial (2008), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 352 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:2012-11-26

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The Lords of the North by Bernard Cornwell (2006)

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English (27)  German (1)  Finnish (1)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  All languages (31)
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
In this installment of the 'Saxon Stories', we are finally introduced to the craziness and insanity that is Northumbria. While the first two books were great in their development of Uhtred's story, this is where the main story arc across the main series really gets going. Bernard Cornwell has a habit of playing mind games, and forces his readers to understand that no character, however noble, always makes good decisions. ( )
  bdtrump | May 9, 2015 |
Third in the Saxon Stories set in the 9th century Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of Wessex and Northumbria. It is 878 and Uthred of Bebbanburg is heading north. He has helped the Saxons of Wessex defeat the invading Danes but his help has been mostly unacknowledged by King Alfred so is setting off to help sort out some old business. I haven't managed to find copies of the earlier books in the series yet but this was okay so I might read them in future. ( )
  boppisces | Jan 3, 2015 |
This whole series has been amazing so far! I have been listening to the audio books, this may not be the wisest move depending on the price of gas in your area. The battle scenes are so captivating I find myself sitting in the car at my destination unable to pry myself away until I find out who Uhtred has slain and what inventive insults have been thrown about the bloody place! ( )
  bookymouse | Nov 13, 2014 |
“Lords of the North” is the third in Bernard Cornwell’s Saxon Stories. This episode, set from 878-80, opens about a month after the events in the previous novel.

Uhtred – the anti-hero who is Saxon by birth but Danish at heart – narrates the tale as usual. This time he does not see much of Alfred the Great, who features little in this instalment. But fate, it seems, still links Uhtred with Alfred, despite their dislike of each other, and following Alfred’s actions to free Uhtred from a tight spot, the Danish-loving Saxon swears his oath to do the king another service.

The service is for the pagan Uhtred to settle some trouble up north and seat a Christian Dane on the throne of Northumbria. As usual, there’s some amusing interaction between Uhtred and his faithful friend Beocca; a devout priest who frowns at Uhtred’s disregard of Christian beliefs.

On the whole I found this a very good read, spoilt only by the author’s use of unnecessary dialogue attribution. The actual dialogue itself is superb yet on many occasions its flow is disrupted, even though it’s invariably obvious who’s talking, especially when an exchange is between just two characters. I can’t understand why a talented, seasoned writer like Mr Cornwell feels the need to keep reminding the reader who’s speaking when it’s clear which character it is. For example:

“Alfred wants you back,” she said.
“He wants my sword,” I said, “not me.”

The above exchange is between Uhtred and a female character with nobody else present. The first “she said” is unnecessary, as the reader knows that Uhtred wouldn’t say this. The “I said” is not only pointless but also disruptive to the dialogue. The author has a habit of this latter point:

“Can the crag be climbed?” I asked him.
“No, lord.”
“What about water?” I asked him. “Is there a well?”

Again, the above attribution is unneeded because the reader knows Uhtred is asking the questions and that he wouldn’t call the other character “lord”. Even the most forgetful reader wouldn’t need reminding that Uhtred’s speaking in the above third sentence. Therefore, the second “I asked him” is not only superfluous for this reason, but it also needlessly disrupts the flow of the sentence, plus it’s repetitive. It surprises me that such a good writer as Bernard Cornwell would do this.

I’m also surprised at the overuse of the word “then” – a word I learned to avoid in fiction whilst undertaking a creative writing degree – and “and” is also overused.

But these points regarding style aside, I think this novel is worth checking out if you’re interested in late nine-century English history. It's well-plotted with strong characters. ( )
  PhilSyphe | Jun 21, 2014 |
Uthred of Bebbanburg heads north, now that he has succeeded at the court of Alfred, but getting what he wants isn't going to be easy. The north's a complicated place, and our hero needs to face some of his own baggage and sort out some family issues. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Jun 19, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061149047, Paperback)

The year is 878. Uhtred, the dispossessed son of a Northumbrian lord, has helped the Saxons of Wessex defeat the invading Danes. Now, finally free of his allegiance to the victorious, ungrateful King Alfred, he is heading home to rescue his stepsister, a prisoner of Kjartan the Cruel in the formidable Danish stronghold of Dunholm. Uhtred's best hope is his sword, Serpent-Breath, for his only allies are Hild, a West Saxon nun fleeing her calling, and Guthred, a slave who believes himself king. Rebellion, chaos, fear, and betrayal await them in the north, forcing Uhtred to turn once more, reluctantly, to the liege he formerly served in battle and blood: Alfred the Great.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:56 -0400)

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Returning to his northern home, Uhtred of Bebbanburg finds himself caught up in the takeover crusade of a self-proclaimed ruler of Northumbria, a situation that culminates in a midnight siege on a seemingly impregnable city.

(summary from another edition)

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