The Pale HorsemanThe Last Kingdom Series Series
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Sarah Broadhurst's view...
Wow, he is good. This is the second in a trilogy starring a young warrior, Uhtred, who was born British, captured and brought up by Vikings and now back fighting for Alfred the Great. He is a fascinating character torn between two cultures. A bit of a ‘wide boy’ and very much a lad of the time with a ruthless streak which he uses to further his own means, he is loyal in his own way, clever and very much a fighter. This is terrific stuff which I really would recommend to both genders. He created Sharpe but his big historical trilogies are broader in appeal.
Similar this month: None but try Simon Scarrow.
Comparison: C C Humphreys, Steven Pressfield, Juliet Marillier.
The Pale Horseman by Bernard Cornwell
It is the lowest time for the Saxons. Defeated comprehensively by the Vikings who now occupy most of England, Alfred and his very small group of surviving followers retreat to the trackless marshlands of Somerset. There, forced to move restlessly to escape betrayal or detection, using the marsh mists for cover, they travel by small boats from one island refuge to another, hoping that they can regroup and find some more strength and support.
Only Uhtred remains resolute. Determined to discover the enemy's strategies, he draws once again on his Viking upbringing, and attempts to enter the Viking camps. His plan is to become accepted by their leaders, and to sit in their councils and uncover their plans. But once there, the attractions of his many friends among the Vikings coupled with his disillusion with the Saxons' leadership and anger at Alfred's criticism of his own conduct, draws him back again to his allegiance to the Vikings.
The Pale Horseman, an even more powerful and dramatic book than The Last Kingdom, brings both Uhtred and the Saxons' dilemmas vividly to life.
Bernard Cornwell is a literary miracle. Year after year, hail, rain, snow, war and political upheavals fail to prevent him from producing the most entertaining and readable historical novels of his generation.' Daily Mail
'Cornwell's narration is quite masterly and supremely well-researched.' Observer
It is stirring stuff, and few writers are better qualified than Cornwell to do justice to the excitement of the times...Ninth-century Britain and a master of storytelling -- it is a marriage made in heaven. Sunday Telegraph
About the Author
Publication date22nd May 2006
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