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At the onset of the tenth century, England is in turmoil. Alfred the Great is dead and Edward his son reigns as king. Wessex survives but peace cannot hold: the Danes in the north, led by Viking Cnut Longsword, stand ready to invade and will never rest until the emerald crown is theirs.
Uhtred, once Alfred’s great warrior but now out of favor with the new king, must lead a band of outcasts north to recapture his old family home, that great Northumbrian fortress, Bebbanburg.
In The Pagan Lord, loyalties will be divided and men will fall, as every Saxon kingdom is drawn into the bloodiest battle yet with the Danes; a war which will decide the fate of every king, and the entire English nation.
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By G.Monie on 01-10-14
Great Book, BUT, Not The End! Grrrr.. LOL
I love Bernard Cornwell's writing from the 'Sharpe' to 'Thomas of Hookton' to one of my favorite series, 'The Saxon Series' which 'The Pagan Lord' as I believed was to be the last of the chronicles of Uhtred & formation of the country we now know as England during the 900's. Without spoiling any significant parts of the book I'm also going to complain for a sentence or 2 regarding how & if this is truly the end of this particular series. I was expecting a relatively clear ending to this series with the start of the small nation that would slowly turn into a world power, play a pivotal role in creating the USA, & remain a world power to this day. But its safe to say that not all questions were answered & since I know nothing of English history there's no way to place when certain events occurred in the nations rise to prominence
Its safe to reveal without spoiling the book that in this book:
* Uhtred will find much of the vengeance he deserves & has been searching for throughout the series using serpent breath while also tasting bittersweet sadness in other area's
* Uhtreds character growth jumps significantly if you compare it to the last couple books in the series. It seemed that while reading the last couple books the battles & barriers facing our protagonist are hard to clearly delineate due to similarities. This is by no means negative talk about Cornwell because even Cornwells average battle scenes & plot twist are far better than other authors best written novels. Due to Uhtreds age (a bit over 50) has him realizing that if he wants to see his dreams coming to fruition it must happen soon. So the reader gets a look at a "new" Uhtred that is older, grumpier, but by no means any less dangerous
* The reader will also see character growth in all 3 sons he has, well, 2 sons & Alfreds bastard who he treats like a son. This dynamic & seeing his sons take an active role in this story may lead to believe that a continuation of this series to involve the carrying on of his wishes by his bloodline, BUT that is not clearly stated in either direction. The reader will see how each son reacts & evaluate their standing with their famous father
* Although there is predictability in the story there are also many plot twists to make it interested & listening... I finished this book in 2 days, easy... so even though its addictive it won't take 20 hours to finish the book
* There are many old faces of friends, enemies, or characters whose allegiances are never completely predictable
* Finally, you see his usual hatred for priests of Christianity intermixed with the love of his men & Aethelflaed on one side & his own possible personal gain on another, therefore making hard decisions with a mind that is matured but still burning for payback
The book is an easy listen but well worth the credit just to find out if he reaches his ultimate goals? I believe Cornwell will have another addition to add to this series & if so, no matter how annoyed I may be expecting a final outcome I will be pre-ordering the next installment as well. Say a prayer to Odin & hope the corpse-ripper drags his enemies down as he battles for love & hate .
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
By Caleb S. on 04-15-14
Old school medieval fiction (not so historical).
If you could sum up The Pagan Lord in three words, what would they be?
Blood. Brains. Badass.
What other book might you compare The Pagan Lord to and why?
The old school Conan novels.
Which character – as performed by Matt Bates – was your favorite?
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
This book will not evoke any strong emotion, unless you count the dozen times you will shout "holy sh*t!!" in a crowded coffee house.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful