[Bernard Cornwell] E-pub Death of Kings read – stationroadsurgerywigston.co.uk

Bernard Cornwell ´ 5 Free read

N 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 Uhtred's loyalty and his vows were to Alfred not to his son and despite his long years of service to Alfred he is still not committed to the Saxon cause His own desire is to reclaim his long lost lands and castle to the north B. A few days ago I was sent the following joke A girl no better than she should be goes to the local council to gain some help She has ten sons and when asked their names she saysNathan Nathan Nathan Nathan etc The official asks her Isn t that a bit confusing No she says It makes my life so much easier I just go out into the street and say Nathan time for bed or Nathan time for supper and in they come Simple as that But what happens if you want to speak to one individually Oh that s simple she says I just use their surnames The reason this joke lodged itself in my brain is because i was mid journey through Bernard Cornwell s wonderful telling of the creation of the kingdom of England from the conflicting kingdoms of Mercia Wessex East Anglia and Northumbria and I was in the desperately awkward state of attempting to differentiate the varying characters whose names layer over each other and echo back and forth It is extraordinary how many variations of Aethel something can be crammed into a couple of dynasties I was listening to this on Audiobook brilliantly read by Stephen Perring but it took me about 5 of the 8 CD s to work out which Aethelflaed was married to which Aethelred who was a cousin or was that brother or maybe arch enemy to Aethelwold who was somehow related to Aethelstan and Aethelrich was in love withoh well i think you get my pointif only they had had surnamesHaving said all that I loved this It was exciting it was brilliantly atmospheric and the stench and sounds and hardness of the 9th Century were as far as i can imagine powerfully captured It is the story told in the first person of Uhtred a great warrior who is also the clash of cultures incarnate He is a Dane living in the service of the Saxons he is a worshipper of the Norse Gods fighting in and for the nascent Christian State of Wessex he is a man of action seeing war as the only way of bringing a lasting peace crashing his head against men who see the policy of alliance and treaty as the best way forwardoh yes and his mistress is the King s daughter who is married to his cousinThe book begins with the dying Alfred and continues on with the cut and thrust the treachery and courage and confusion and turmoil that accompanies his young heir Edward s ascent to the throne It is a cleverly written account of an incredibly violent period in british history known as the Dark Ages when the safety and security of the Roman ascendancy had long passed and the harsh moulding of the Norman Conuest or the glory of the Plantagenets was a still a long way in the futureThe Saxons are shown living side by side with the history of the long gone Romans Characters live in their long abandoned villas statues from their temples are seen being bastardized for use in Churches and convents and the ruins are razed to the ground when stone is needed The Saxons are not great preservers of national history then but i supose that is the point when this story runs there was no national anything At one point Uhtred wondered whether if the Romans had not invaded these islands would we ever have crossed a river The sturdy stone pillars laid across the rivers long ago were still the foundations being used by Dane Saxon and Mercian to cross to carry out their slaughter or defence or harrying or whatever they chose to call itThe story strides back and forth and up and down the length and breadth of what is now England and there is an enormous canvas upon which Cornwell paints but it is when Uhtred is chasing one of his enemies and he comes to him at his enemies court at Wimborne or then clatters on his horse after him across the roman roads through a little village called Blandford Forum that my heart gave a little leap I cycle and drive through these places i have gone butterfly spotting on Badbury Rings I have a had a lovely couple of gentle kayak trips around Christchurch and you are suddenly struck by the depth of history and blood and adventure that lie deep in these unassuming placesThe battles rollicked back and forth and their bloody descriptions were gory and violent and frightening Heads caved and hacked and cleaved arms and necks and thighs were sliced and shattered and groinsoh good griefthe things they did to groins in 9th Century Britain can never have been a good thing I was driving on a number of occasions when Uhtred or some other bloodthirsty warrior opted for the swift end to a fight with a groin lunge and i can tell you it is really difficult to drive with your legs crossed in sympathy This brings me to a couple of downers in the story Firstly it is told in the first person from the distance of years As a result of this the battles and the times when Uhtred seems down and out and finished through his being captured or surrounded or doing something desperately dangerous were a bit flat not the writing which was excellent but just the fact of his being the breathless relator of his own will i won t i survive storyyep Uhtred i think you must have doneAnd secondly verbal anachronisms Cornwell has his heroes and heroines and villains speak in olde worlde speak Speeches are littered with wonderfully beleivable curses about pig shit and whelps and bloodthirsty blah blah blah ing Uhtred s weaponry is oddly yet perfectly believably personalized His dagger is wasp s sting though as that often does the aforementioned groin thing I think that might be a bit of an understatement and his Sword is the wondrous Serpent breath but did Saxons really say things like they only come here when they get their arse kicked in Frankia or other such modern day stuff It might seem petty but he is at pains to attempt to create the Dark Ages in sights and sound and the societal construct but then throws in these jarring notes when Uhtred or one of his men suddenly speaks like a rapper or a surf dude or the ever fragrant Aethelflaed my list of new cat names grows apace struts around like Sigourney Weaver in Aliens and spouts off like Germaine Greer Roseanne Barr and Ellen deGeneres all rolled into oneThese seem only small whinges and in some ways they are but they do jar and as a result sometimes work against what is otherwise a wonderfully imagined world I did get thoroughly caught up in the battle for the kingdom of Wessex s survival and Uhtred verbal glitches aside is a very believable character He is by his lights a man of integrity and loyalty he recognizes his faults though doesn t seem to want to do anything to address them which somehow makes him attractively honestand he has the great fortune to gather around himself some very uick witted and funny comrades Cornwell creates a hero definitely but one who does not always get the best lines This too makes him to me seem normal human real

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Death of Kings

The master of historical fiction presents the iconic story of King Alfred and the making of a nation As the ninth century wanes England appears about to be plunged into chaos once For the Viking raised but Saxon born warrior Uhtred whose life seems to shadow the making of England this presents him with difficult choices King Alfred is dying and his passing threatens the island of Britai. This series gets better with age Over the years Uhtred has fought in countless battles and he has slain a countless number of people He has led warriors and even armies all in the name of Alfred the Great and now Alfred is dying he is old sick and full of bitter regret On his death bed he tries one time to unify England under the banner of Wessex and as ever Uthred must lead this final unrewarding attempt But is it too late Indeed despite this last ditch attempt Alfred s enemies smell blood they can see his weakness and sense the fragility of his reign they are ready to pounce they are ready to cut the throat of Wessex The schemers know that without Alfred the kingdom will ultimately fall So they are waiting for his long prolonged demise It is close on the horizon leaving Uhtred in a difficult situation He is hated by most if not all of Wessex so he must gain Edward s trust He must prize Alfred s son away from the churchmen or the kingdom will most certainly fall and with it Uhtred If not Edward like his farther would take the advice in matters of war which most certainly fall out of the men of the cloth s expertise victory does not come to men who listen to their fears Edward needs to learn that the churchmen belong in the pulpit and not in councils of war The warrior doesn t dictate matters of faith after all so the bishops should not control the armies That should be left to men like Uhtred because only he can lead King s armies to victory only he can save the kingdom of Wessex And maybe just maybe in the process the young Edward may learn a little about warfare in the process from the master himself Maybe he will learn how to lead men on to the battlefield as a King should Has age finally caught up with him Uhtred as ever is characterised superbly he is no longer a young man as the first sign of old age are beginning to harry his steps Younger warriors see him as a means to an end If they could only sleigh him then they would be showered with renown Uhtred has become one of the legends he once looked up to and has become a source of fear and inspiration within the ranks of Saxon and Dane He is still as tough as ever but cautious Experience has taught him when to strike and when to defend he knows how to survive war and the schemers that will always try to drag him down into the mud My banner was behind me and that banner would attract ambitious men They wanted my skull as a drinking cup my name as a trophy They watched me as I watched them and they saw a man covered in mud but a warlord with a wolf crested helmet and arm rings of gold and with close linked mail and a cloak of darkest blue hemmed with golden threads and a sword that was famous throughout BritainI feel like in this novel Uhtred is starting to enter a new phase of his life he is beginning to age It will be interesting to see how far this affects his life in later books He is still the shield of Wessex but the young Edward must learn that he will not always have the towering might of Uhtred at his back one day he will grow too old to draw Serpent s Breath for Wessex and one day Wessex will have to fend for itself Needless to say at this point I love this series Nobody does this uite as well as Cornwell Hopefully by the time the next book is released I ll have caught up with the rest of the books The Saxon Stories 1 The Last Kingdom A fine five stars2 The Pale Horsman A brilliant five stars3 Lords of the North A vengeful four stars4 Sword Song A familiar four stars5 The Burning Land A loyal five stars6 Death of Kings A mighty five stars

Free read Death of Kings

Ut the challenge to him as the king's warrior is that he knows that he will either be the means of making Alfred's dream of a united and Christian England come to pass or be responsible for condemning it to oblivion This novel is a dramatic story of the power of tribal commitment and the terrible difficulties of divided loyalties This is the making of England magnificently brought to li. Uhtred is back in the sixth installment of the Saxon series King Alfred later known as Alfred the Great to us is dying and is dead partway through the story leaving the kingdom open to attack from different opponents especially the Danes But they don t attack right away and this puzzles Uhtred so he goes off exploring into Dane territory as well as seeking the input from a witch Of course is happening than Uhtred realizes and don t worry because there will be fighting with Danes That said there isn t as much as in the previous books which was a bit disappointing to me This novel focused a great deal on the politics and may have been a setup for the next novel I suspect As usual we get the gore dirt and tense shield walls of the period Cornwell is arguably the best author for military historical fiction so if this period is of any interest to you he s the one to read Because the battles were a bit on the low side I gave this novel a notch down from the previous ones Some of my favorite lines below the grade Note that this is in first person narrative for those skipping the previous five novels Bad idea by the waySTORYPLOTTING B CHARACTERSDIALOGUE B plus to A minus PERIODACTION SCENES B plus OVERALL GRADE B plus WHEN READ January 2012 revised review January 2013 p 15 That made sense but why would Eohric want the alliance Eohric of East Anglia had been perched on the fence between Christians and pagans Danes and Saxons for as long as I could remember yet ow he want to proclaim his allegiance to the Christian Saxons Because of Cnut Ranulfson one of the twins explained when I asked the uestion Alfred was dying and his death would surely bring the pagan swords and hearth fire to Mercia and Wessex And the true faith will be scourged from Britain unless we defend it the older of the two West Saxon priests said Which is why we beg you to forge the alliance Willibald said At the Christmas feast one of the twins addedchokengtitiktitikchokeng 46 He half smiled showing yellowed teeth I would kill you Uhtred he said mildly and so rid the world of a worthless piece of rat shit but that pleasure must wait He pulled up his right sleeve to show a splint on his forearm The splint was two slivers of wood bound tight with linen bands I also saw a curious scar on his palm a pair of slashes that formed a cross Sigured was no coward but nor was he fool enough to fight me while the broken bone of his sword arm was mending You were fighting women again I asked nodding at the strange scar He stared at me I thought my insult had gone deep but he was evidently thinkingchokengtitiktitikchokeng 50 Some had hurled spears first Those spears thumped into our shields making them unwieldy but it hardly mattered The leading Danes tripped on the hidden timbers and the men behind pushed the falling men forward I kicked one in the face feeling my iron reinforced boot crush bone Danes were sprawling at our feet while others tried to get past their fallen comrades to reach our line and we were killing Two men succeeded in reaching us despite the smoking barricade and one of those two fell to Wasp Sting coming up from beneath his shield rim He had been swinging an ax that the man behind me caught on his shield and the Dane was still holding the war ax s shaft as I saw his eyes widen saw the snarl of his mouth turn to agony as I saw his eyes widen saw the snarl of his mouth turn to agony as I twisted the blade ripping it upward and as Cerdic beside me chopped his own ax down The man with the crushed face was holding my ankle and I stabbed at him as the blood spray from Cerdic s ax blinded me The whimpering man at my feet tried to crawl away but Finan stabbed his sword into his thigh then stabbed again A Dane had hooked up his ax over the top rim of my shield and hauled it down to expose my body to a spear thrust but the ax rolled off the circular shield and the spear was deflected upward and I slammed Wasp Sting forward again felt her bite twisted her and Finan was keening his mad Irish song as he added his own blade to the slaughter Keep the shields touching I shouted at my menp 52 Cerdic s ax sliced down through linen wool iron bone and brainchokengtitiktitikchokeng58 His voice faded He was still embarrassed by the previous night s argument in his hall He had watched one of my own men insult me and he had prevented me from giving punishment and the incident lay between us like a burning coal Yet both of us pretended it had not happenedchokengtitiktitikchokeng 93 The noise of the fire was a roar punctured by the cracks of splitting timberschokengtitiktitikchokeng 122 I frowned at him Was your mother straining at the stool when you were born p 286 They re dying I shouted Now kill all the bastards Cnut was not dead but his men were dragging him away and in his place came Sigurd Sigurdson the puppy who had promised to kill me and he screamed wild eyed as he charged up the ditch feet flailing for purchase and I swung my damaged shield outward to give him a target and like a fool he took it lunging his sword Fire Dragon hard at my belly but the shield came back fast deflecting Fire Dragon between my body and Rollo and I half turned as I drove Wasp Sting up at this neck He had forgotten his lessons forgotten to protect himself with his shield and the short blade went under his chin up through his mouth breaking teeth piercing his skull so hard that I lifted him off the earth for a moment as his blood poured down my hand and inside my mail sleeve and then I shook him off the blade and swept it backhanded at a Dane who recoiled fell and I let another man kill him because Oscytel was coming shouting that I was an old man and the battle joy was in me The joy That madness The gods must feel this way every moment of every day It as if the world slows You see the attacker you see him shouting though you hear nothing and you know what he will do and all his movements are so slow and yours are so uick and in that moment you can do no wrong and you will live forever and your name will be blazoned across the heavens in a glory of white fire because you are the god of battle

10 thoughts on “Death of Kings

  1. says:

    ”Alfred looked dead already Indeed I might have thought him a corpse if he had not pulled his hand away from Osferth who was in tears The king’s long face was pale as fleece with sunken eyes sunken cheeks and dark shadows His hair had thinned and gone white His gums had pulled back from his remaining teeth his unsha

  2. says:

    This series gets better with age Over the years Uhtred has fought in countless battles and he has slain a countless number of people H

  3. says:

    Check out my review for this fantastic book on Grimdark Magazine at Grimdark MagazineDeath of Kings the continuation of Uhtred of Bebbanburg’s tale is another roaring and shield wall frenzied addition to The Saxon Chronicles Writing that is as sharp as Wasp Sting dialogue that makes even the sternest of nun’s laugh Uhtred’s band will leave you itching to read “There are seasons of our lives when nothing seems

  4. says:

    These books make me wanna go In an England ravaged by Danes as marvelously and meticulously laid out by Bernard Cornwell in his The

  5. says:

    A few days ago I was sent the following joke'A girl no better than she should be goes to the local council to gain some help She has ten sons and when asked their names she saysNathan Nathan Nathan Nathan etc The official asks her 'Isn't that a bit confusing ?' 'No' she says 'It makes my life so much easier I just go out into the

  6. says:

    Man how do i love Uthred he is in an interesting age right now most of the famous warriorsif not all of them| are already dead at this period of time and he has become a legend feared and envied by all and a target for all the young warriors se

  7. says:

    Uhtred is back in the sixth installment of the Saxon series King Alfred later known as Alfred the Great to us i

  8. says:

    I thought I had run out of steam with Uthred and King Alfred and their wars against the Danes in 9th century England But the BBC America mini series production of “The Last Kingdom” was so tasty and fabulous I got hungry for Cornwell’s writing again So glad I did This one was so satisfying up there with the thrills of the fir

  9. says:

    Bernard Cornwell is a prolific author and usually reliable to deliver a solid historical novel with clearly sketched battle scenes and heroic deeds of valor yet not all things are created eual and I have come to appreciate

  10. says:

    As Alfred is dyingan Uhthred in his middle ages shows no dulling of his vigour and fierceness of a warrior The Danes on Alfred's death embark on another campaign to conuer England And my favourite was reading about Uthred's lover Alfred's warlike daughter AethelfladUthred visits an old sorceress who predicts the death of four kings and of all of Uthred's lovesA brilliant window into 10th century Saxon England

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