Synopses & Reviews
The fate of a new nation rests in the hands of a reluctant warrior in this thrilling sixth volume in the acclaimed New York Times
bestselling Saxon Tales series.
As the ninth century wanes, Alfred the Great lies dying, his dream of a unified England in danger and his kingdom on the brink of chaos. While his son, Edward, has been named his successor, there are other Saxon claimants to the throne—as well as ambitious pagan Vikings to the north.
Uhtred, the Saxon-born, Viking-raised warrior, whose life seems to shadow the making of England itself, is torn between his vows to Alfred and his desire to reclaim his long-lost ancestral lands and castle in the north. As the kings warrior, he is duty-bound, but Alfreds reign is nearing its end, and Uhtred has sworn no oath to the crown prince. Despite his long years of service, Uhtred is still loath to commit to the old kings Saxon cause of a united and Christian England. Now he must make a momentous decision, one that will forever transform his life . . . and the course of history: take up arms—and Alfreds mantle—or lay down his sword and allow the dream of a unified kingdom to fall into oblivion.
A harrowing story of the power of tribal commitment and the dilemma of divided loyalties, Death of Kings is the latest chapter in the epic saga of the making of England, magnificently brought to life by “the reigning king of historical fiction” (USA Today).
"The sixth installment of Cornwell's Saxon series (after The Burning Land) returns to the days before there was an England or an English sense of fair play when Saxons, Danes, and Vikings, Christians and pagans alike, fought relentlessly and ruthlessly for control of Wessex. It's 898: ailing King Alfred, hoping to unify English-speaking Christians under one crown, asks loyal if stubbornly pagan Uhtred to make one last stab at peace. Armed with his trusty sword, Serpent-Breath, Uhtred bushwhacks, bedevils, and beats the living daylights out of scheming plotters, while Edward, 'not quite the perfect heir,' risks all for the love of a bishop's daughter. Ã†thelflaed, Edward's beloved sister and Uhtred's former lover, unwilling to be ruled by her husband, brother, or anyone, joins Uhtred in battle brought to bloody life by Cornwell, whose historian's understanding of military strategy blends well with a novelist's ability to envision weapons of the past and the ways in which they're wielded. Ninth-century combat lacks the grandeur of large armies, but Uhtred's cunning, courage, and a few acts of calculated cruelty make for a compelling read. Unfortunately for Edward, no skirmish proves decisive enough to unify England. Fortunately for Cornwell fans, that means more 'tales of warriors and swords and shields and axes' to come. Agent: Toby Eady Associates." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
The fate of a young nation rests in the hands of a reluctant warrior in the thrilling sixth volume of the New York Times bestselling Saxon Tales series. Following the intrigue and action of The Burning Land and Sword Song, this latest chapter in Bernard Cornwells epic saga of England is a gripping tale of divided loyalties and mounting chaos. At a crucial moment in time, as Alfred the Great lays dying, the fate of all—Angles, Saxons, and Vikings alike—hangs desperately in the balance. For all fans of classic Cornwell adventures, such as Agincourt and Stonehenge, and for readers of William Dietrichs Hadrians Wall or Robert E. Howards Bran Mak Morn, the stunning Death of Kings will prove once again why the Wall Street Journal calls Bernard Cornwell “the most prolific and successful historical novelist in the world today.”
About the Author
Bernard Cornwell is the author of the acclaimed New York Times bestsellers 1356 and Agincourt; the bestselling Saxon Tales, which include The Last Kingdom, The Pale Horseman, Lords of the North, Sword Song, The Burning Land, and most recently Death of Kings; and the Richard Sharpe novels, among many others. He lives with his wife on Cape Cod and in Charleston, South Carolina.