Synopses & Reviews
Uhtred is a Saxon, cheated of his inheritance and adrift in a world of fire, sword, and treachery. He has to make a choice: whether to fight for the Vikings, who raised him, or for King Alfred the Great of Wessex, who dislikes him.
In the late ninth century, Wessex is the last English kingdom. The rest have fallen to the Danish Vikings, a story told in The Last Kingdom, the New York Times bestselling novel in which Uhtred's tale began. Now the Vikings want to finish England. They assemble the Great Army, whose one ambition is to conquer Wessex. A dispossessed young nobleman, married to a woman who hails from Wessex, Uhtred has little love for either, though for King Alfred he has none at all. Yet fate, as Uhtred learns, has its own imperatives, and when the Vikings attack out of a wintry darkness to shatter the last English kingdom, Uhtred finds himself at Alfred's side.
Bernard Cornwell's The Pale Horseman, like The Last Kingdom, is rooted in the real history of Anglo-Saxon England. It tells the astonishing and true story of how Alfred, forced to become a fugitive in a few square miles of swampland, fights his enemies against overwhelming odds. The king is a pious Christian, while Uhtred is a pagan. Alfred is a sickly scholar, while Uhtred is an arrogant warrior. Yet the two forge an uneasy alliance that will lead them out of the marshes to the stark hilltop where the last remaining Saxon army will fight for the very existence of England.
Enthralling as both a historical and personal story, The Pale Horseman is a novel of divided loyalties and desperate heroism, featuring a cast of fully realized characters, from a king in despair to a beguiling British sorceress. And always, beyond the spearmen and the swordsmen are the folk who suffer as the tides of war sweep over their farmlands. From Bernard Cornwell, the New York Times bestselling author whom the Washington Post calls "perhaps the greatest writer of historical adventure novels today," The Pale Horseman is yet another masterpiece of historical and battle fiction that gives life to one of the most important and exciting epochs in the history of the English people and culture.
“A suavely rendered tale … [brings] turbulent times to vivid life.” Philadelphia Inquirer
” [A] big-bellied, bushy-bearded tale ... [Cornwell] endows the book with an unexpectedly complex, thoughtful soul.” Time Magazine
“Superior entertainment that is both engaging and enlightening ... Cornwells battle scenes ... are superb ... smart and vigorous.” Washington Post
“Filled with bawdy humor, bloodlust, treachery and valor, this stirring tale will leave readers eager for the next volume .” Publishers Weekly
“Entertaining” Arizona Republic
“A crackerjack adventure tale from a master of the craft.” Booklist
“Great stuff, as always, from the master.” Kirkus Reviews
The second installment of Bernard Cornwell's bestselling series chronicling the epic saga of the making of England, "like Game of Thrones, but real" (The Observer, London)--the basis for The Last Kingdom, the hit BBC America television series.
This is the exciting--yet little known--story of the making of England in the 9th and 10th centuries, the years in which King Alfred the Great, his son and grandson defeated the Danish Vikings who had invaded and occupied three of England's four kingdoms.
At the end of The Last Kingdom, The Danes had been defeated at Cynuit, but the triumph of the English is not fated to last long. The Danish Vikings quickly invade and occupy three of England's four kingdoms--and all that remains of the once proud country is a small piece of marshland, where Alfred and his family live with a few soldiers and retainers, including Uhtred, the dispossessed English nobleman who was raised by the Danes. Uhtred has always been a Dane at heart, and has always believed that given the chance, he would fight for the men who raised him and taught him the Viking ways. But when Iseult, a powerful sorceress, enters Uhtred's life, he is forced to consider feelings he's never confronted before--and Uhtred discovers, in his moment of greatest peril, a new-found loyalty and love for his native country and ruler.
The sequel to the "New York Times" bestseller "The Last Kingdom" continues the exhilarating adventures of Uhtred and King Alfred the Great. Uhtred discovers--in his moment of greatest peril--a newfound loyalty and love for his native country and ruler.
About the Author
Bernard Cornwell is the author of the acclaimed New York Times bestsellers Agincourt and The Fort; 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.