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The sixth installment of Bernard Cornwell’s bestselling series 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.

As the ninth century wanes, England is perched once more on the brink of chaos. King Alfred is dying; with his passing, the island of Britain seems doomed to renewed warfare. Alfred wants his son Edward to succeed him, but there are other Saxon claimants to the throne—as well as ambitious pagan Vikings to the north.

With the promise of battle looming again, Uhtred, the Viking-raised but Saxon-born warrior, whose life seems to shadow the making of England itself, is torn between competing loyalties. Uhtred’s loyalty, and his vows, are to Alfred—not to his son—and despite long years of service to the old king, Uhtred is still reluctant to commit to Alfred’s cause. His own desire is to reclaim his long lost ancestral lands and castle to the north. As the king’s warrior he is duty-bound, but the king’s reign is nearing its end, and his death will leave a vacuum of power. Uhtred is forced to make a momentous choice: either take up arms—and Alfred’s mantle—to realize his dream of a united and Christian England, or be responsible for condemning it to oblivion.

Death of Kings is a harrowing story of the power of tribal commitment and the dilemma of divided loyalties. This is the making of England magnificently brought to life by “the best historical novelist writing today” (Vince Flynn).

Published: HarperCollins on
ISBN: 9780062097118
List price: $10.99
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Another excellent book in a great series. Cornwell's ability to take a brief skein of history and to turn into a compelling story keeps him at the very forefront of the current author's of historical fiction.more
The year is 899, and Alfred the Great is on his deathbed. His favorite Danish-raised pit bull, Uhtred of Bebbanburg, is summoned to appear before the dying king. A broke lord who is the continued target of assassination attempts, Uhtred knows he will be asked to swear fealty to Alfred's son Edward, and help keep the kingdom of Wessex together in what promises to be a round of internal strife and opportunistic attacks by the Danes. While Uhtred still dreams of reclaiming his birthright of Bebbanburg castle (Bamburg), he has resigned himself to the fact he'll never have the men to do so until Alfred's vision of a united England is realized. Alfred grants Uhtred a wealthy estate, and in return, he pledges himself to Edward,Uhtred expected the Danes to attack immediately. Alfred's brother's son laid a claim to kingship, but was run into exile. The King of East Anglia (a Danish stronghold), is allied with other strong Danish Jarls and they amass a large army, the largest single army yet. However, the army suffers from too many leaders, and while they wreak local havoc, they accomplish little when they finally invade 3 years later.Edward is faring no better...trusting in the advice of priests over that of his warriors. When an opportunity to trap the invading army falls by the wayside as Uhtred is summoned to Edward's court in London, the plan becomes to wait them out then pursue. Edward cites waiting for reinforcements from Kent as the reason for this delay. As the climatic battle approaches, Uhtred struggles to make sense of everything that has been happening. Nothing seems quite right. Finally, he has an ah-ha moment where he sees everything in perfect clarity. He could still be wrong and if so, will be condemned. Uhtred is now 45 years old. We know Edward rules for 25 years, and his son, Aethelstan, was the first to become king of all of England. War injuries are building up...Uhtred can't be top warrior for much longer. But I'm sure Cornwell will continue giving us entertaining tails...I wonder if Bebbanburg will ever be his?more
While I did enjoy reading Cornwell's "The Burning Land" I preferred “Death of Kings” as there was a great deal of political and religious intrigue throughout the book which appealed to me despite less emphasis on military conflict. Again Cornwell demonstrated an excellent knowledge of the subject matter of the time in which he was setting his book as is typical of his other works. I would be content to read other works in the Saxon Chronicles but, if I can be allowed a gripe or two as I own all bar two of Cornwell's works, I still would like it to reach a definitive conclusion soon so as to reduce the similarities between Uthred and Derfel Cadarn, from the Warlord Chronicles, my favourite series, who deserves to be a stand-alone figure in his own right. Finally I think it is overdue for Nathaniel Starbuck to march again given that Sharpe is essentially retired.more
The Sixth book in the series brings Alfred closer to his goal to unite England and Lord Uthered is in the middle. Like the other 5 books this is a very easy read and fast-paced book that is an enjoy to read. The fiction is melted into the historical facts so well that you really believe it could have happened this way. The more you read the mover you learn about the characters and their goals and the more you believe them.These books are made to read under a blanket on a rainy Sunday.more
Read all 5 reviews

Reviews

Another excellent book in a great series. Cornwell's ability to take a brief skein of history and to turn into a compelling story keeps him at the very forefront of the current author's of historical fiction.more
The year is 899, and Alfred the Great is on his deathbed. His favorite Danish-raised pit bull, Uhtred of Bebbanburg, is summoned to appear before the dying king. A broke lord who is the continued target of assassination attempts, Uhtred knows he will be asked to swear fealty to Alfred's son Edward, and help keep the kingdom of Wessex together in what promises to be a round of internal strife and opportunistic attacks by the Danes. While Uhtred still dreams of reclaiming his birthright of Bebbanburg castle (Bamburg), he has resigned himself to the fact he'll never have the men to do so until Alfred's vision of a united England is realized. Alfred grants Uhtred a wealthy estate, and in return, he pledges himself to Edward,Uhtred expected the Danes to attack immediately. Alfred's brother's son laid a claim to kingship, but was run into exile. The King of East Anglia (a Danish stronghold), is allied with other strong Danish Jarls and they amass a large army, the largest single army yet. However, the army suffers from too many leaders, and while they wreak local havoc, they accomplish little when they finally invade 3 years later.Edward is faring no better...trusting in the advice of priests over that of his warriors. When an opportunity to trap the invading army falls by the wayside as Uhtred is summoned to Edward's court in London, the plan becomes to wait them out then pursue. Edward cites waiting for reinforcements from Kent as the reason for this delay. As the climatic battle approaches, Uhtred struggles to make sense of everything that has been happening. Nothing seems quite right. Finally, he has an ah-ha moment where he sees everything in perfect clarity. He could still be wrong and if so, will be condemned. Uhtred is now 45 years old. We know Edward rules for 25 years, and his son, Aethelstan, was the first to become king of all of England. War injuries are building up...Uhtred can't be top warrior for much longer. But I'm sure Cornwell will continue giving us entertaining tails...I wonder if Bebbanburg will ever be his?more
While I did enjoy reading Cornwell's "The Burning Land" I preferred “Death of Kings” as there was a great deal of political and religious intrigue throughout the book which appealed to me despite less emphasis on military conflict. Again Cornwell demonstrated an excellent knowledge of the subject matter of the time in which he was setting his book as is typical of his other works. I would be content to read other works in the Saxon Chronicles but, if I can be allowed a gripe or two as I own all bar two of Cornwell's works, I still would like it to reach a definitive conclusion soon so as to reduce the similarities between Uthred and Derfel Cadarn, from the Warlord Chronicles, my favourite series, who deserves to be a stand-alone figure in his own right. Finally I think it is overdue for Nathaniel Starbuck to march again given that Sharpe is essentially retired.more
The Sixth book in the series brings Alfred closer to his goal to unite England and Lord Uthered is in the middle. Like the other 5 books this is a very easy read and fast-paced book that is an enjoy to read. The fiction is melted into the historical facts so well that you really believe it could have happened this way. The more you read the mover you learn about the characters and their goals and the more you believe them.These books are made to read under a blanket on a rainy Sunday.more
The further adventures of Utred in the Saxon saga. I wanted to read it in one go. Brilliant and I hope the next installment is soon.more
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