The year is 885, and England is at peace, divided between the Danish kingdom to the north and the Saxon kingdom of Wessex in the south. Uhtred, the dispossessed son of a Northumbrian lord—warrior by instinct, Viking by nature—has finally settled down. He has land, a wife, and two children, and a duty given to him by King Alfred to hold the frontier on the Thames. But then trouble stirs: a dead man has risen, and new Vikings have arrived to occupy the decayed Roman city of London. Their dream is to conquer Wessex, and to do it they need Uhtred's help.
Alfred has other ideas. He wants Uhtred to expel the Viking raiders from London. Uhtred must weigh his oath to the king against the dangerous turning tide of shifting allegiances and deadly power struggles. And other storm clouds are gathering: Ætheleflæd—Alfred's daughter—is newly married, but by a cruel twist of fate, her very existence now threatens Alfred's kingdom. It is Uhtred—half Saxon, half Dane—whose uncertain loyalties must now decide England's future.
A gripping story of love, deceit, and violence, Sword Song is set in an England of tremendous turmoil and strife—yet one galvanized by the hope that Alfred may prove an enduring force. Uhtred, his lord of war and greatest warrior, has become his sword—a man feared and respected the length and breadth of Britain.
Bernard Cornwell was born in London in 1944—a "war baby," whose father was a Canadian airman and whose mother was in Britain's Women's Auxiliary Air Force. He was adopted by a family in Essex who belonged to a religious sect called the Peculiar People (and they were), but escaped to the University of London, and after a stint as a teacher, he joined BBC Television where he worked for the next 10 years.
He began as a researcher on the Nationwide program and ended as Head of Current Affairs Television for the BBC in Northern Ireland. It was while working in Belfast that he met Judy, a visiting American, and fell in love. Judy was unable to move to Britain for family reasons, so Bernard went to the United States, where he was refused a green card. He decided to earn a living by writing, a job that did not need a permit from the U.S. government—for some years he had been wanting to write the adventures of a British soldier in the Napoleonic wars—and so the Sharpe series was born. Bernard and Judy married in 1980, are still married, and still live in the United States—and he is still writing Sharpe.read more