Sword Song: Book summary and reviews of Sword Song by Bernard Cornwell

Sword Song

The Battle for London

by Bernard Cornwell

Sword Song by Bernard Cornwell
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2008
    336 pages
    Genre: Historical Fiction

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Book Summary

The year is 885, and England is at peace, divided between the Danish kingdom to the north and the Saxon kingdom of Wessex in the south. Uhtred, the dispossessed son of a Northumbrian lord—warrior by instinct, Viking by nature—has finally settled down. He has land, a wife, and two children, and a duty given to him by King Alfred to hold the frontier on the Thames. But then trouble stirs: a dead man has risen, and new Vikings have arrived to occupy the decayed Roman city of London. Their dream is to conquer Wessex, and to do it they need Uhtred's help.

Alfred has other ideas. He wants Uhtred to expel the Viking raiders from London. Uhtred must weigh his oath to the king against the dangerous turning tide of shifting allegiances and deadly power struggles. And other storm clouds are gathering: Ætheleflæd—Alfred's daughter—is newly married, but by a cruel twist of fate, her very existence now threatens Alfred's kingdom. It is Uhtred—half Saxon, half Dane—whose uncertain loyalties must now decide England's future.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Filled with bloodletting, battles, political schemes, and just a little romance, Cornell's latest tale offers excellent history and great adventure, and best yet, there will be more Saxon Tales to eagerly anticipate." - Library Journal.

"All in all, this satisfying tale leaves you hungry for more of Uhtred's adventures." - USA Today.

"A deft mix of historical details and customs authenticates the saga. And Cornwell drops in a slick twist precipitating the climatic battle to wrest control of London for the Saxons, paving the way for the story to continue." - Publishers Weekly.

"Cornwell tells Alfred's story with wit, intelligence and absolute narrative authority ... Cornwell remains in full control of this colorful, violent material, and his steadily deepening portrait of Alfred's nascent England continues to enthrall." - The Washington Post.

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Author Information

Bernard Cornwell Author Biography

Bernard Cornwell began as a researcher on the Nationwide programme and ended as Head of Current Affairs Television for the BBC in Northern Ireland. It was while working in Belfast that he met Judy, a visiting American, and fell in love. Judy was unable to move to Britain for family reasons so Bernard went to the States where he was refused a Green Card. He decided to earn a living by writing, a job that did not need a permit from the US government – and for some years he had been wanting to write the adventures of a British soldier in the Napoleonic wars – and so the Sharpe series was born. Bernard and Judy married in 1980, are still married, still live in the States and Bernard is still writing Sharpe.

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