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Lords of the North
By Bernard Cornwell

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Lords of the North

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Lords of the North
By Bernard Cornwell
HarperLuxe Large Print: 2007
Distributed by Thorndike Press
ISBN 10: 0-06-088863-6
ISBN 13: 978-0-06-088863-3
Genre: Historical Fiction

Reviewed by Herbert White - March 23, 2007

Lords of the North is the third installment in Bernard Cornwell's gripping historical series that follows the adventures of English born, but Viking raised, Uhtred of Bebbangurg. Set during the reign of King Alfred of Wessex (A.D. 871-899), the current year is 878 and Uhtred has helped Alfred to secure his kingdom. In the process his wife and his best friend were killed and Uhtred wounded. As a reward for all his sacrifices, Alfred gave him a poor holding, Fifhaden. It was poor payment for such valiant service, and it turned Uhtred from Alfred's supporter, into his enemy. Frustrated and despairing, Uhtred leaves his holding, and with a defiled nun at his side, he heads north in search of his stepsister.

A captive of Kjartan the Cruel, she is being held in the Danish stronghold of Dunholm. To rescue her, Uhtred will need to gather a small army, and he does. One of his new allies is Guthred, an ex-slave who believes that he is King of Northumbria. Cornwell is not an author to let his hero have an easy ride, and before long we find that Uhtred has been betrayed and sold into slavery. Returning years later, Uhtred joins forces with his Danish (Viking) foster-brother Ragnar, and goes into glorious battle against their mutual enemy, Kjartan the Cruel.

Lords of the North is a swashbuckling, action-packed story that easily transports you back to the time when the Saxons were struggling to push the Danes from England's soil. Like its predecessors, the characters in this book are finely wrought, the plot complex and engaging, and the story action-packed with numerous battle scenes. This is not likely to be the last book in the series, as Cornwell leaves the story open-ended. The first two volumes in this series are The Last Kingdom and The Pale Horseman. I highly recommend that you read these books in order, however if you can't get copies of the earlier volumes, you'll be able to follow the story without much difficulty. All I can say is that I hope that Cornwell does not keep us waiting long for the next book in the Uhtred of Bebbangurg series!


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