The Battle for London
By Bernard Cornwell
HarperLuxe Large Print: 2008
Distributed by Thorndike Press
ISBN 10: 0-060-88866-0
ISBN 13: 978-0-060-88866-4
Genre: Historical Fiction
Reviewed by Herbert White - April 21, 2008
Bernard Cornwell has achieved another stunning success with his newest book in the Saxon Tales series. Sword Song:
The Battle for London is the fourth book in this series, and it is as rousing and entertaining, if not more so, than the previous books in the series. The focus of this series is the life of Uhtred of Bebbangurg, a consummate warrior and disposed Northumbrian aristocrat. Although English born, Uhtred was raised by Vikings, and has divided loyalties, feeling neither fully Saxon nor fully Dane. Lords of the North, the third book in this series, ended with a bit of cliff-hanger. In this new volume, Cornwell picks the story up where the third book left off, and takes you on a swashbuckling, thrilling ride through 9th century Saxon England.
This installment of the story is set in 885. Uhtred is still siding with King Alfred of Wessex, despite the ill reward he received for saving Alfred's kingdom. Uhtred is once again a family man, tending to his land, and his family, and guarding the frontier area around the Thames for Alfred, against the Danish kingdom in north. For a short while, Uhtred leads a quite life, but not for long. Alfred thinks that now is his chance to destroy the Danish stronghold, and he wants Uhtred to lead the battle to expel a group of Danish (Viking) raiders who have taken London. This is easier said than done for Uhtred, who his tied by both loyalty and blood to the 'raiders' who have control of the city, as two of them are his brothers! The choices that Uhtred will make will impact not only his life and those of his family, but also hundreds if not thousands of people on both sides of the battle line.
Historically accurate, full of gripping details, this is a full-fledge adventure tale complete with numerous battles, love interests, intrigue, an unforgettable hero in the form of Uhtred, and a compelling story line that will leave you wanting to learn more about Uhtred and the world he lived in.
The Battle for London is an enthralling read that will delight not only fans of the series, but anyone who enjoys historical fiction or adventure tales. 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. And, as I've said before, I hope that Cornwell does not keep us waiting long for the next book in the Uhtred of Bebbangurg series!
Lords of the North, by Bernard Cornwell.
In this, the third installment in the Uhtred of Bebbangurg series, we find that Uhtred has grown disillusioned with King Alfred and has headed northward in search of his stepsister, who has been taken prisoner by Kjartan the Cruel. Little does he know the adventures, and dangers, which await him... (Large Print)
The Pale Horseman, by Bernard Cornwell.
Set in the ninth-century, this rousing, battle filled story is the sequel to The Last Kingdom. Once again Uhtred is beset by divided loyalties. In order to regain his ancestral estates in Northumbria, should he align himself with the Saxon King Alfred, or with the Danish Vikings with whom he was raised. (Large Print)