Bernard Cornwell has produced another of his books in the Saxon Stories cycle of tales set in England’s so-called Dark Ages. The ninth and tenth centuries were a time when rival Saxon kingdoms were coalescing in to a political unit that would emerge as England – a stormy time and Cornwell captures the excitement of the period.
Sometimes I read for knowledge or understanding, and sometimes I just read for pure fun. The sixth book in book in Bernard Cornwell’s Saxon Stories, Death of Kings, is just plain fun.
The series is set in ninth and early tenth century Britain, at a time when the Danes (Norsemen) have invaded and occupied the central part of the island. The Saxon king, Alfred (the Great), is attempting to unite the other feuding parts of Britain to fight off the invaders and preserve Saxon Britain. The stories are told in the first person by Uhtred of Bebbanberg. Uhtred is a Saxon who was orphaned as a boy and was raised by a Danish family. So he has sympathies in both camps.
Uhtred is quite a character and it is his personal version of events that makes the stories so interesting. Uhtred is a sly, smart and very talented…
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