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The fifth installment of Bernard Cornwell’s bestselling Saxon Tales chronicling the epic saga of the making of England, “like Game of Thrones, but real” (The Observer, London)—the basis for The Last Kingdom, the hit BBC America television series.

At the end of the ninth century, King Alfred of Wessex is in ill health; his heir, an untested youth. His enemy, the Danes, having failed to conquer Wessex, now see their chance for victory. Led by the sword of savage warrior Harald Bloodhair, the Viking hordes attack. But Uhtred, Alfred’s reluctant warlord, proves his worth, outwitting Harald and handing the Vikings one of their greatest defeats.

For Uhtred, the sweetness of victory is soon overshadowed by tragedy. Breaking with Alfred, he joins the Vikings, swearing never again to serve the Saxon king. Instead, he will reclaim his ancestral fortress on the Northumbrian coast. Allied with his old friend Ragnar-and his old foe Haesten-he aims to invade and conquer Wessex itself.  But fate has different plans . . .

In The Burning Land, Bernard Cornwell, “the reigning king of historical fiction” (USA Today), delivers a rousing saga of Anglo-Saxon England-an irresistible new chapter in his thrilling Saxon Tales, the epic story of the birth of England and the legendary king who made it possible.

Published: HarperCollins on
ISBN: 9780061966095
List price: $10.99
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Cornwell weaves a compelling tale of shield walls, sieges, and the spread of christianity through the pagan lands. Definitely best to read the other books first before this one, I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be half as enjoyable without the background of the characters. I was really kind of hoping this would be the last book and there would be closure but it looks like poor Utred has more work to do before he settles into his ancestral home.more
The Burning LandFifth novel in this series. Like the others, this is a good page turner, but Uhtred remains, for me, as unsympathetic as ever. It is odd that an author who clearly, to judge by his historical afterword, and rightly in my view, regards Alfred as truly deserving the title "the Great", continues to portray the King is such an unsympathetic light. His son, the future King Edward the Elder, is treated in the same way, though Uhtred's opinion of the Aetheling is improving by the end of the novel after the Vikings are defeated at Benfleet. As in earlier novels, the relentless slaughter is described graphically and is a little wearisome.more
The latest book in Cornwell's Saxon series. If you've read any of the others there's not much to say - Vikings, shield walls, axes, death, Thor, dismemberment... A good time. I continue to enjoy the series.more
In his fifth book of the Saxon series “The Burning Land” Bernard Cornwell strikes gold once again. Chock full of all the candor and brutality I have come to expect from Mr. Cornwell, “The Burning Land” entertained me from vicious beginning to its bowel loosening ferocious bloody end. What I truly enjoy about Mr. Cornwell’s stories are the modest vignettes he paints with his primary and ancillary characters. Such as when Uhtred gave the crying milkmaid a silver coin after she spilled the contents of her cans trying to bow to the warlord. According to his website, Mr. Cornwell is currently working on the next Saxon installment hopefully he can keep the streak going.more
Read all 14 reviews

Reviews

Cornwell weaves a compelling tale of shield walls, sieges, and the spread of christianity through the pagan lands. Definitely best to read the other books first before this one, I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be half as enjoyable without the background of the characters. I was really kind of hoping this would be the last book and there would be closure but it looks like poor Utred has more work to do before he settles into his ancestral home.more
The Burning LandFifth novel in this series. Like the others, this is a good page turner, but Uhtred remains, for me, as unsympathetic as ever. It is odd that an author who clearly, to judge by his historical afterword, and rightly in my view, regards Alfred as truly deserving the title "the Great", continues to portray the King is such an unsympathetic light. His son, the future King Edward the Elder, is treated in the same way, though Uhtred's opinion of the Aetheling is improving by the end of the novel after the Vikings are defeated at Benfleet. As in earlier novels, the relentless slaughter is described graphically and is a little wearisome.more
The latest book in Cornwell's Saxon series. If you've read any of the others there's not much to say - Vikings, shield walls, axes, death, Thor, dismemberment... A good time. I continue to enjoy the series.more
In his fifth book of the Saxon series “The Burning Land” Bernard Cornwell strikes gold once again. Chock full of all the candor and brutality I have come to expect from Mr. Cornwell, “The Burning Land” entertained me from vicious beginning to its bowel loosening ferocious bloody end. What I truly enjoy about Mr. Cornwell’s stories are the modest vignettes he paints with his primary and ancillary characters. Such as when Uhtred gave the crying milkmaid a silver coin after she spilled the contents of her cans trying to bow to the warlord. According to his website, Mr. Cornwell is currently working on the next Saxon installment hopefully he can keep the streak going.more
In book 5 of the Saxon Chronicles, our hero, Uhtred of Northumbria, is once again manipulated to do the bidding of Alfred the Great. Now an ancient man close to death (he is "well over 40"), Alfred is conspiring to obtain Uhtred's oath to serve his son, Edward, who he hopes will succeed him as king. Uhtred, still upset with himself for swearing an oath to Alfred in the first place, avoids this, but Alfred uses a back-door, Edwards sister, Aethelflaed, who Uhtred had sworn to protect. In the midst of this political maneuvering of fealty, the Danes once again are getting ambitious, this time a chieftain called Haeston attempts to divide the strength of Wessex by enticing Northumbrian Danes to attack as well. A curious character in the form of a Frisian beauty named Skade, meanwhile, is playing her own games of treachery, self-interest, and proves as capable as any marauder when it comes to committing atrocities.more
Uhtred, a Danish hired sword for King Alfred, fights against his own kind and trains the future King Edward to be a leader. Uhtred is a wise and wiley warrior who always find a way to turn long odds to his favor, using diversion, old sailcloth, bee hives, and his understanding of ambition to his advantage.more
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