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The Flame Bearer (Saxon Tales) Hardcover – Deckle Edge, November 29, 2016
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"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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“Another rollicking Saxon tale.... No lit-fic pretensions here: historical fiction rendered, with little expansion, via battles and royal intrigue and portraits of day-to-day life circa 1000 B.C.E.” (Kirkus)
“Vivid, fast-paced.... Treachery and trickery mark the tenth volume in Cornwell’s always exciting Saxon Tales.” (Library Journal)
“Rousing...will not disappoint.” (Margaret Flanagan, Booklist)
“The final battle is one for the ages, bursting with gory detail and flush with savage death as the wolves of the shield wall smite his enemies.” (Lee Scott, Florida Times-Union)
“As with all his previous books Cornwell grabs your attention right off the bat. His masterful style pulls you right in.” (New York Journal of Books)
“Fascinating.... Blends historic fact with fiction seamlessly.” (Glen Seeber, The Oklahoman)
“The battle description might well be Cornwell’s best yet, which is saying something. Fans do not want to miss this episode.” (Bookloons.com)
“Bernard Cornwell ranks as the current alpha male of testosterone-enriched historical fiction…. Cornwell offers dramatic battle scenes with big swinging swords. There is also treachery, male bonding, plenty of historical nuggets and a skillful examination of the powerful role played by religion in the Dark Ages.” (USA Today)
“The most prolific and successful historical novelist in the world today.... Mr. Cornwell writes as if he has been to ninth-century Wessex and back. . . . Much has changed since the ninth century, but some things, and some feelings, are timeless.” (Wall Street Journal)
“Our hero is Uhtred, a good-hearted lout with a pleasantly sour disposition; he’s like a 9th century Han Solo.” (Time)
From the Back Cover
From the day it was stolen from me I had dreamed of recapturing Bebbanburg. It was massive, it was built on the great rock that was almost an island, it could only be approached on land by a single narrow track, and it was mine.
Britain is in a state of uneasy peace. Northumbria’s Viking ruler, Sigtryggr, and Mercia’s Saxon queen, Æthelflaed, have agreed on a truce. And so England’s greatest warrior, Uhtred of Bebbanburg, at last has the chance to take back the home his traitorous uncle stole from him so many years ago—and which his scheming cousin still occupies.
But fate is inexorable, and the enemies Uhtred has made and the oaths he has sworn conspire to distract him from his dream of recapturing Bebbanburg. New enemies enter into the fight for England’s kingdoms: the redoubtable Constantin of Scotland seizes an opportunity for conquest and leads his armies south. Britain’s precarious peace threatens to turn into a war of annihilation.
But Uhtred is determined that nothing, neither the new enemies nor the old foes who combine against him, will keep him from his birthright. He is the Lord of Bebbanburg, but he will need all the skills he has learned over a lifetime of war to make his dream come true.
The latest chapter in Bernard Cornwell’s “violent, absorbing historical saga,” The Flame Bearer confirms his title as “perhaps the greatest writer of historical adventure novels today” (Washington Post).
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Uhtred finally gets to reclaim Bebbanburg! Woot! What a fast paced novel. The ravaging battles, the masterful planning, and all the painful struggles finally come to a head. I have to say that Uhtred has got to be the most baddddassss warrior ever to exist. I’m excited for him and feeling bitter sweet because though I have enjoyed Uhtreds journey, I really didn’t want his journey to end. No, now that he has reclaimed his heritage, what will he do with it now. So many unanswered questions to be fulfilled.
Every novel in this series is just excellent and I believe the best part is the descriptive battle scenes and the fierceness of Uhtred in battle. In this installment, it far exceeds the previous books. I felt every emotion of each warrior as if it was my own heartbeat. The writer’s ability to capture a dramatic battle scene is amazing with each detail giving me a visionary experience as if I was literally there on the battle field or in the fortress itself. The humor of the warrior’s right before they go into battle always cracked me up too.
Uhtred just continues to amaze me. With enemy all around him, he continues to outsmart them. I loved how he used the Mad Bishop to his advantage. The set up couldn’t have been more perfect. The best part is that Uhtred played each enemy against each other. With his enemies surrounding the fortress - AEthelhelm (King Edwards father-in-law) and his army , Einar the hired muscle who the Scotts had bought off, The Scottish King Constantin and his army, and don’t forget inside was Uhtred’s cousin and his army – however, somehow Uhtred used their hatred and madness to take each other out in order to get to and through the sea gate first – they literally did their own killing instead of Uhtred and his wolf pack having to kill them. I mean the odds were against him, but with his wolf pack – Finan, Prince AEthelstan (King Edwards son), Cerdic, Berg, Gerbruht, Swithun, Ulfar, Edric, and the boy Rorik with the help of Odin or thor, they made it all happen. I really enjoyed their friendship and loyalty to each other.
You may wonder where the title/name of The Flame Bearer comes from and its relevance.
“A man call Ida had come to this shore almost four hundred years before. He had landed from the sea, leading ships full of cruel men, and he had taken the crude fortress built on this rock, he had slaughtered the defenders, used their wives for his pleasure, and made their children his slaves. I was Ida’s descendant. His enemies, who were now the Welsh, called him Flamdwyn, the Flamebearer.”
“whether the song of Ida tells true or not, one truth is certain, that Ida the Flamebearer came to this crag and had the confidence to make a new kingdom on an old island.”
Uhtred’s words: “Now I trod in the Flamebearer’s footsteps to drench the rock with blood again.”
This was such an amazing story, the whole series is just fan-freakn’-tastic. I’m thrilled for Uhtred and the author has written that Uhtred’s work is not done yet so we get to look forward to another installment in the future. I highly recommend to all Historian readers that love a little Viking and Saxon history