Synopses & Reviews
The year is 885, and England is at peace, divided between the Danish kingdom to the north and the Saxon kingdom of Wessex in the south. Uhtred, the dispossessed son of a Northumbrian lord warrior by instinct, Viking by nature has finally settled down. He has land, a wife, and two children, and a duty given to him by King Alfred to hold the frontier on the Thames. But then trouble stirs: a dead man has risen, and new Vikings have arrived to occupy the decayed Roman city of London. Their dream is to conquer Wessex, and to do it they need Uhtred's help.
Alfred has other ideas. He wants Uhtred to expel the Viking raiders from London. Uhtred must weigh his oath to the king against the dangerous turning tide of shifting allegiances and deadly power struggles. And other storm clouds are gathering: AEtheleflaed Alfred's daughter is newly married, but by a cruel twist of fate, her very existence now threatens Alfred's kingdom. It is Uhtred half Saxon, half Dane whose uncertain loyalties must now decide England's future.
A gripping story of love, deceit, and violence, Sword Song is set in an England of tremendous turmoil and strife yet one galvanized by the hope that Alfred may prove an enduring force. Uhtred, his lord of war and greatest warrior, has become his sword a man feared and respected the length and breadth of Britain.
"Cornwell's fourth entry in the popular Saxon Tales (following Lords of the North) is a rousing romp through the celebrated ninth-century reign of Alfred the Great. Uhtred of Bebbanburg, a 28-year-old pagan Saxon 'lord of war,' has pledged to serve Alfred by commanding the defensive frontier forts ('burhs'). Trouble arises when the Norse Viking brothers Sigefrid and Erik Thurgilson capture and occupy London, threatening Alfred's border and his control of the Thames River port. The Christian Alfred directs Uhtred to raise a Wessex army, expel the pagan Thurgilsons and resecure London. Commanding Uhtred is his vain, abusive cousin Ethelred, who is married to Alfred's eldest daughter, Ethelflaed. Plying his swords Serpent-Breath and Wasp-Sting, Uhtred is a stirring, larger-than-life action hero conflicted by ambition, fidelity and thirst for violence. All the major characters are well drawn, and the London battle scenes unfold quickly and vividly. A deft mix of historical details and customs authenticates the saga. And Cornwell drops in a slick twist precipitating the climatic battle to wrest control of London for the Saxons, paving the way for the story to continue." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Cornell's latest tale offers excellent history and great adventure, and best yet, there will be more Saxon Tales to eagerly anticipate. Highly recommended." Library Journal
"Even readers unfamiliar with the series will be able to catch on, but devoted fans will devour this volume while eagerly anticipating the next one." Booklist
The internationally bestselling author delivers the fourth novel in his rousing saga of early England, hailed by the Washington Post as superior entertainment.
About the Author
Bernard Cornwell is the author of the acclaimed and bestselling Saxon Tales, which include The Last Kingdom, The Pale Horseman, and Lords of the North, as well as the Richard Sharpe novels, the Grail Quest series, the Nathaniel Starbuck Chronicles, the Warlord Chronicles, and many other novels, including Stonehenge and Gallows Thief. He lives with his wife on Cape Cod.