- Series: Saxon Tales (Book 10)
- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: Harper; First Edition edition (November 29, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0062250787
- ISBN-13: 978-0062250780
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 793 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,883 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Flame Bearer (Saxon Tales) Hardcover – Deckle Edge, November 29, 2016
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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 is a man possessed in this book, hell-bent on achieving the one thing he’s longed for ever since his wicked uncle stole Bebbanburg from him in Cornwall’s “The Last Kingdom.” Fortunately, before Uhtred gets too far along on his quest, Cornwell presents him (and us) with another mystery of the kind featured throughout the series. This time, the West Saxons are threatening Northumbria, in apparent breach of the truce reached at the end of “Warriors of the Storm.” And like most of the mysteries in this series, there’s more to this move than meets the eye.
Eventually, however, the tale turns back to Bebbanburg, and how Uhtred is going to pull off this improbable siege. Uhtred may be old, but he’s still the greatest warrior in England, and the last third of this novel offers one of the longest battle sequences in the series. Cornwell is a master of writing battles, with all of its violence, carnage, and shield walls, so fans of the series won’t be disappointed. By the end, every open storyline from the prior two novels appears to reach its conclusion. That is, every storyline but one. So, in what looked to be the final book in the series, Cornwell drops a hint there may be more to come.
Even if Cornwell never goes beyond book ten, “The Saxon Tales” have been one of the great works of medieval fiction. Set in an important era in English history, its stories are engaging, its characters are memorable, and its hero is unforgettable. Someday, we’re going to miss the narrations of Uhtred of Bebbanburg. But until then, enjoy the ride.