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Publisher's Summary

The new novel in Bernard Cornwell's number one best-selling series on the making of England and the fate of his great hero, Uhtred of Bebbanburg.
BBC2's major Autumn 2015 TV show The Last Kingdom is based on the first two books in the series.
A fragile peace is about to be broken…King Alfred's son Edward and formidable daughter, Æthelflaed, rule Wessex, Mercia and East Anglia. But all around the restless Northmen, eyeing the rich lands and wealthy churches, are mounting raids.
Uhtred of Bebbanburg, the kingdoms' greatest warrior, controls northern Mercia from the strongly fortified city of Chester. But forces are rising up against him. Northmen allied to the Irish, led by the fierce warrior Ragnall Ivarson, are soon joined by the Northumbrians, and their strength could prove overwhelming. Despite the gathering threat, both Edward and Æthelflaed are reluctant to move out of the safety of their fortifications.
But with Uhtred's own daughter married to Ivarson's brother, who can be trusted?
In the struggle between family and loyalty, between personal ambition and political commitment, there will be no easy path. But a man with a warrior's courage may be able to find it. Such a man is Uhtred,and this may be his finest hour.
©2015 Bernard Cornwell (P)2015 HarperCollins Publishers Limited
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Critic Reviews

"A tense, powerful and compulsive story." (The Times)
"Strong narrative, vigourous action and striking characterisation, Cornwell remains king of the territory he has staked out as his own." (Sunday Times)
"Blood, divided loyalties and thundering battles." (The Times)
"A violent, absorbing historical saga, deeply researched and thoroughly imagined." (Washington Post)
"The best battle scenes of any writer I've ever read, past or present. Cornwell really makes history come alive." (George R.R. Martin)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By C. Ian Keay on 01-25-17

Entertaining

I like Matt Bates' work. He's top-notch performing this series. Cornwell should continue this series using the protagonist's soon as a new hero. Very enjoyable.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By David O Connor on 04-04-16

average story.

the narrator has changed how he pronounces some of the characters names which is pretty annoying. The story was OK nothing really to intriguing unlike the earlier stories in this series.i think Bernard Cornwell is circling with this character. He needs to decide what he is doing with him soon.

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By The Wolf on 02-17-16

His usual high standard

I personally believe this series has gone on for too long. It should have been tied up, with Uhtred retaking Bebbanburg at least four books ago.
However, Cornwell is such a great writer that, although I feel the story overall isn't as powerful as it could have been in a shorter series, I still read or listen (as here) to each new book as soon as they come out!
The previous novel (Pagan Lord if I recall correctly) I felt was a bit meandering, and this one starts much the same, with not a lot happening - certainly no blood or thunder - for a while, and I was starting to worry. But it soon picks up and Uhtred heads off to Ireland and returns again, killing and mutilating lots of enemies and even setting up a new king along the way.
The supporting characters, like his daughter and her husband, are great - just as blood-thirsty as Uhtred himself, yet, like him, still likable!

It's good stuff and the end suggests Bebbanburg may, finally, be the focus next time around.
I hope so.
The narrator isn't as good as the guy that did Cornwell's King Arthur series. I don't know how old this fellow is, but his VOICE makes him sound like he's in his early-mid twenties. Since this story is told from Uhtred's point of view, and Uhtred is an older man, the whole thing just seems off. To his credit though, he reads well and has a good range of accents, even if some of them don't quite come off every time!

Overall, if you have enjoyed this series so far, you will like this one just as much, possibly even more than some of them.
Bernard Cornwell really is a master of his trade!

Recommended.

Steven A. McKay, author of "Wolf's Head".

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