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The Pagan Lord: A Novel (Saxon Tales) Hardcover – Deckle Edge, January 7, 2014
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The Amazon Book Review
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“Cornwell successfully brings an unjustly obscure era in British history to life….The conflict between Dane and Saxon is examined with sympathy and insight-without projecting 21st century values onto cultures now alien to us. In the course of this, he shows how historical novels should be written.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Cornwell, a master of historical fiction, has written another energetic and involving mix of history and storytelling that will please his many fans….A sweeping story.” (Library Journal)
“Cornwell does a masterful job of showing not only how Uhtred fights, but also in how he uses his wits to backstab, threaten, bluff, and maneuver his way into a position where he’s able to fight with the best possible odds.” (Bookreporter.com)
“Plunges the reader into the world of the past, with all of its cruelties, nonexistent plumbing and deplorable personal grooming....Cornwell is a master at writing these historical novels, and The Pagan Lord as usual, is no exception.” (The Oklahoman)
“Uhtred of Bebbanburg rides into battle once again in the seventh installment of Cornwell’s stellar Saxon Tales series….Cornwell excels at depicting gloriously gory battle scenes as well as the inherent religious, political, and martial conflicts upon which a great nation was born.” (Booklist)
Top Customer Reviews
As mentioned in the title of this review, the book is a thundering good yarn, regardless of whether you have read the previous ones in the series (although it is preferable to do so). It was, at least for me, hugely entertaining. It is one of these books that you can't drop until you have reached the last page and I admit to spending most of Saturday reading it from cover to cover non-stop. Hence you get comments from some other reviewers about the book being shorter than others, perhaps, and shorter than they would have wished, quite certainly. This, in itself, makes the book well worth reading. It is a first class swashbuckler adventure story, fast-paced and with lots of "blood and thunder". In this respect, Bernard Cornwell is true to form.
Then there is the historical context, and the painting of what was shortly to become "England". Here also, the author has been true to form, meaning excellent.Read more ›
Uhtred is a man of contrasts. Although he was born Saxon, he was raised by the invading Danes. A follower of Thor who fights for the Christian King, Alfred, who is now dead. His loyalty and lust has been given to Alred's daughter, Aethelflaed. Christianity is spreading rapidly throughout the kingdom and Uhtred, as a grouchy 50 year old, doesn't understand it. Personally, I don't either as Thor, as Uhtred envisions him, seems like a fun god. In Valhalla there is plenty of feasting and partying and good times.
Uhtred is still trying to get his birthright, Bebbanburg, returned to him. The Danes are trying to take over more territory and the Christian priests again try to exile Uhtred so there is plenty of fighting going on. I love the descriptions of the shield wall and the battle scenes are very realistic. I can almost imagine being there.
So even if Uhtred is getting long in tooth and has very few battles ahead of him, I still enjoy spending time with him. He is a man who knows who he is and is comfortable in his own skin. He lives and fights under his own rules and keeps a honorable standard of conduct. He doesn't believe in killing women and children. He dislikes most priests and wants to die with a sword in his hand. It's not often you meet a man who knows exactly what he wants. Uhtred is one and, I think, that's why I enjoy him so much.
This book is exactly what I would assume the author intended it to be, a continuation of the series, written in the same style, featuring the same uncompromising Uhtred, facing the same issues. Exactly what I wanted it to be.
For me the story grips as much as it always has. Excellent story, brilliantly paced. 5 stars.
If you love his books (as I do) You are almost certainly going to down-vote my review, I just ask you to hear me out before you do.
Look, I like these books. They are fun to read. This is a fine, rip-roaring page turner. Uthred is back with the usual suspects in fine style. Several new or minor characters are introduced or fleshed out. Uthred fights new battles....against insurmountable odds. He defeats his enemies through an unbelievable amount of guile, intelligence, personality, courage, military strategy, recklessness, psychology, and luck. He is often saved by luck. Often in the nick of time, luck comes to the rescue. Did I mention, Uthread's uncanny luck?
If you want a 5 star review from me you better provide more than a page turner. I want character development. I want philosophical dilemmas. I want action. I want a good story. I want characters I care about. In short, I want closer to what Bernard Cornwell gave us in his first several books in this series.
Uthread is a smart man with an abundance of understanding of both military strategy and psychology. Given the way he out-thinks both his enemies and his allies alike, Uthred must be the smartest man alive in Saxon England around the turn of the millennium.
In the early books in this series, Uthred was a complex character torn between his early Saxon roots, his Pagan, Danish upbringing, and the Saxon entanglements he found himself ensnared in as he tried to assert his destiny as lord of Bebbanburg. But as the series has progressed - dare I say aged - it has fallen into (or should I say back on??Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
read first six books of saxon tales put them aside for awhile picked up book seven and was immediately hooked again/Published 8 days ago by trudi vickery
Cornwell is an able writer. Cornwell is a good writer.
A writer who seeks clarity and interest is what I call a good writer.
I started the series and was hooked. They are very interesting but I hate that each one has been more expensive than the last. I feel like I've been pulled in by a money grab.Published 9 days ago by embarassed and
Great Read! I am waiting for the next one to go down in price so I can purchase it.Published 10 days ago by Jerry J. Townsend
I love books built around historical facts. This was my first time reading this author and it was the last book of this series. Read morePublished 13 days ago by Eddie K. Wright
You need to read the entire series from the beginning to have a hope of understanding these stories.Published 15 days ago by W. Pickard