Thursday, 26 December 2013

THE PAGAN LORD - Bernard Cornwell

Review by Mark Thistlethwaite.

Uhtred of Bebbanburg, the priest killer and Pagan, Saviour of Mercia and England’s only hope.

In this the seventh title in the Warrior Chronicles, Bernard Cornwell, probably the greatest ever living historical fiction writer returns to early England.  In the north, Cnut and his legendary sword, Ice-Spite, Ruler of a Pagan horde of Spear Danes are aching for the chance to earn riches and reputation in the Southern lands of Mercia. But in an England, as yet un-born in the truly unified sense, constant political manoeuvring by the Saxon kings keep the country divided. And where you find division, you always find Vikings; an entity that comes alive and grows into The Beast at the very smell of fear and weakness.  

In the South is the young King Edward, son of the great King Alfred, led by an army of Priests and protected by the Burgh’s of Wessex.  In the middle is Lord Aethelred, a weak vain man with illusions of grandeur.  The Lord of Mercia has only one weapon available to him, Uhtred of Bebbanburg; and then only through his estranged wife Aethelflaed, King Edwards sister and Uhtred’s lover. This like all the others in the series is skilfully written and well researched with clever sub plots entwined with intelligent political choreography and incredibly deep and colourful characters. 

I can honestly say that in Uhtred we have one of my favourite characters, funny, blunt and uncouth, but honest and loyal, a man of his word.  Yet again Bernard Cornwell delivers a rip roaring tale of the birth of a nation and with the Coup de Grace still to come, I am sat in knowledge that “Uhtredaewre” will return.  Five star!! 

Thanks for this great review Mark!
Mark Thistlethwaite reviews for HNS


  1. I must confess to never having read his work, but I have to say that this book sounds intriguing.

    1. Louise, you really must read this series - From. The. Beginning!

    2. Well I think I just might have to!

  2. Nice one, Mark! Sounds like Cornwell's latest is well up to his usual standard!

  3. I'm really looking forward to reading this next installment of Uhtred's adventures. He is one hard badass dude!

  4. Got this for Xmas, so excited, esp reading that review. Am not embarrassed to say I'm a little in love with Uhtred, fab series!

  5. I am a few books behind in the series but yes it is excellent. I never enjoyed Sharpe and some of his other novels have not engaged me at all, a matter of taste no doubt, but this series has. And I liked this review, succinct as reviews really should be of course, it would encourage me to pick up Pagan Lord and soon.