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Sword of Kings: A Novel (Saxon Tales, 12) by…
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Sword of Kings: A Novel (Saxon Tales, 12) (edition 2020)

by Bernard Cornwell (Author)

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227691,742 (4.04)1
Uhtred of Bebbanburg is a man of his word. An oath bound him to King Alfred. An oath bound him to æthelflæd. And now an oath will wrench him away from the ancestral home he fought so hard to regain. For Uhtred has sworn that on King Edward's death, he will kill two men. And now Edward is dying. A violent attack drives Uhtred south with a small band of warriors, and headlong into the battle for kingship. Plunged into a world of shifting alliances and uncertain loyalties, he will need all his strength and guile to overcome the fiercest warrior of them all and with it, the chance to fulfil his oath. As two opposing Kings gather their armies, fate drags Uhtred to London, and a struggle for control that must leave one King victorious, and one dead. But fate as Uhtred has learned to his cost is inexorable. Wyrd bið ful aræd. And Uhtred's destiny is to stand at the heart of the shield wall once again.… (more)
Member:jeff.coatsworth
Title:Sword of Kings: A Novel (Saxon Tales, 12)
Authors:Bernard Cornwell (Author)
Info:Harper Paperbacks (2020), Edition: Reprint, 352 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:2021-06 #31

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Sword of Kings by Bernard Cornwell

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I found this effort by Cornwell to be one of the better novels he has written. Uhtred of Bebbanburg finds himself compelled to carry out an oath that he swore earlier. The oath was to kill several bad men in the service of Athelstan, who will eventually become the first king of a united England. Difficulties, some of them due to Uhtred's own arrogance, intervene. The ending contains a bit of homage to C.S. Forester, one of the giants in the field of action packed historical thrillers. I look forward to the next Uhtred book. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Apr 2, 2021 |
Much interesting historical detail, violent warfare aplenty and another exotic, beautiful woman entangles herself in Uhtred of Bebbanburg's life all one wishes in Bernard Cornwell's "Sword of Kings."
  RonWelton | Nov 23, 2020 |
Uthred and his merry band are off to reduce the number of Athels, hooray! in pre-England Britain. His oaths continue to direct and plague him when the tension mounts and armies gather as King Edward nears his end of life. Challenges at sea and on land keep the story lively until Uthred is captured by his arch-enemy, Waormund; then is gets painfully ugly. As always, Cornwell keeps your attention until the end of this mostly historically correct tale. With a tweak here a nudge there a bit of history is artfully presented. ( )
  jamespurcell | Jul 1, 2020 |
(23) This is the newest Uhtred (The Last Kingdom Series) installment - I have lost track of which number this is but it is the most recent thus I am all caught up. The 3 stars are generous, but I guess because I am also watching the series on Netflix, I did take some enjoyment in it so I won't give it any lower. King Edward dies in this one and Alfred's grandsons battle for power. One, his second born coddled son, nephew of the powerful eldorman of Wessex Aethelhelm. The other Aethelstan, the eldest son, rumored to be illegitimate, but raised by Uhtred to be a great warrior, and in fact does go on to become the first 'king of a united England'. Uhtred makes a vow to kill both Aethelehlm and his nephew (Why? who can remember? It appears even the author forgets. . .) and so leaves Bebbanburg and joins the fight between the two brothers.

It is a complete rehash of scenes of the shield wall; turns of fortune with an army arriving when the good guys are on the brink of defeat, a gate managed to be opened from within the walled city, a triumphant definitive battle between Uhtred and a bad guy. Maybe another wife for Uhtred. Another tragic death for Uhtred to deal with. . . So repetitive even within the book itself the author repeats certain phrasing and sentences verbatim, such as his desire for the new female character introduced. Of course, the new female love interest has a warrior's heart, is stunningly beautiful, and Uhtred must avenge her in some way. Can you tell from this review I am tired of these books. Indeed.

Anyway, I keep reading so there are some redeeming qualities. The story and the Netflix series has become part of my Anglophile obsession of the history of Britain, the monarchy, medieval kings and queens, etc. I have read so much Sharon Kaye Penman, and recently read Hilary Mantel and watched 'Wolf Hall' that I can't resist. While I think I am a bit done with shield walls, I am thankful to the author for hours and hours of transformative storytelling. And yup, I will read the next one when it comes out. ( )
  jhowell | May 16, 2020 |
What can I say about this book other than that it is exactly what you would expect. This is the last entry in a series of books set in England in the 10th Century that feature Uthred Lord of Bebbanburg. In this latest outing, Uthred must honor a vow he made to a dying king. A vow that may lead him to a grave himself.

Nobody does historical fiction like Cornwell and this book is a fine example of why he stands alone in this realm. The characters are rich, the scenery sharp, and the tale seems to spring from the pages. A thoroughly enjoyable read. ( )
  norinrad10 | Feb 7, 2020 |
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Uhtred of Bebbanburg is a man of his word. An oath bound him to King Alfred. An oath bound him to æthelflæd. And now an oath will wrench him away from the ancestral home he fought so hard to regain. For Uhtred has sworn that on King Edward's death, he will kill two men. And now Edward is dying. A violent attack drives Uhtred south with a small band of warriors, and headlong into the battle for kingship. Plunged into a world of shifting alliances and uncertain loyalties, he will need all his strength and guile to overcome the fiercest warrior of them all and with it, the chance to fulfil his oath. As two opposing Kings gather their armies, fate drags Uhtred to London, and a struggle for control that must leave one King victorious, and one dead. But fate as Uhtred has learned to his cost is inexorable. Wyrd bið ful aræd. And Uhtred's destiny is to stand at the heart of the shield wall once again.

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