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The Burning Land (The Warrior Chronicles, Book 5) (Alfred the Great 5) [Hardcover]

Bernard Cornwell
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (196 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Oct 2009 Alfred the Great 5 (Book 5)

The latest in the bestselling Alfred series from number one historical novelist, Bernard Cornwell.

In the last years of the ninth century, King Alfred of Wessex is in failing health, and his heir is an untested youth. The Danes, who have failed so many times to conquer Wessex, smell opportunity…

First comes Harald Bloodhair, a savage warrior leading a Viking horde, who is encouraged to cruelty by his woman, Skade. But Alfred still has the services of Uhtred, his unwilling warlord, who leads Harald into a trap and, at Farnham in Surrey, inflicts one of the greatest defeats the Vikings were ever to suffer.

This novel, the fifth in the magnificent series of England's history tells of the final assaults on Alfred's Wessex, that Wessex survived to become England is because men like Uhtred defeated an enemy feared throughout Christendom.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1st edition (1 Oct 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007219741
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007219742
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (196 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 148,285 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Bernard Cornwell was born in London, raised in Essex, and now lives mainly in the USA with his wife. In addition to the hugely successful Sharpe novels, Bernard Cornwell is the author of the Starbuck Chronicles, the Warlord trilogy, the Grail Quest series and the Alfred series.

Product Description


Praise for The Burning Land:

‘Cornwell draws a fascinating picture of England as it might have been before anything like England existed’
The Times

Praise for AZINCOURT:

'This is a magnificent and gory work' Daily Mail

'The historical blockbuster of the year' Evening Standard

‘If Bernard Cornwell was born to write one book, this is it. No other historical novelist has acquired such a mastery of the minutiae of warfare in centuries past.’ Daily Telegraph

‘A runaway success’ Observer

Praise for Bernard Cornwell:

‘The characterisation, as ever, is excellent…And one can only admire the little touches that bring the period to life. He can also claim to be a true poet of both the horror and the glory of war.’ Sunday Telegraph

This is typical Cornwell, meticulously researched, massive in scope, brilliant in execution’. News of the World

‘He’s called a master story-teller. Really he’s cleverer than that.’ Telegraph

About the Author

Bernard Cornwell was born in London, raised in Essex, and now lives mainly in the USA with his wife. In addition to the hugely successful Sharpe novels, Bernard Cornwell is the author of the Starbuck Chronicles, the Warlord trilogy, the Grail Quest series and the Alfred series.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
73 of 79 people found the following review helpful
What a fabulous novel which breathes energy, new life and excitement back into a series which was beginning to feel a tad tired at the end of the last book.

At the end of book four, I felt as if the Uhtred saga was being drawn out too far and whilst I enjoyed the book I hoped Mr Cornwell would divert his skills to developing a new and original story. I was a little hesitant when beginning this book, I really wanted to like it as Bernard Cornwell is my favourite author and I didn't want to give any negative criticism to his latest work.

The Burning Land is truly excellent and the book allows Uhtred to taste some of the independence away from King Alfred which he has been craving for so long. This freedom has allowed the author to experiment and throw Uhtred into new plots and adventures. The pace is relentless and Uhtred is swiftly covering most of the Isle in search of a purpose, allegiance and identity. However, it is not long before old oaths and promises are called upon and the Norns which have always governed Uhtred's life laugh in his face when he establishes his independent purpose in life.

My only criticism against this book and it is truly out of pure selfishness, is the length. With Mr Cornwell biding his time before releasing a new book, we have an agonising wait before his newest novel is published. With only 336 pages, I soon devoured the book and was lamenting the impending finish which sadly, came too quickly!

Bernard Cornwell fans will definitely not be disappointed with this fifth book of the series. It is a `must read' and certainly sets up sound foundations for the next book of the series. Buy it, enjoy it but be prepared for the torturous wait for the sixth book!
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54 of 62 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A return to form (of sorts...) 2 Oct 2009
By Magic Lemur VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Men in the modern world are weak and puny compared to their ancient counterparts. Of course, there are exceptions but generally the lack of famine, war, pestilence & death make many men into weak molly-coddled metrosexuals without rough edges or depth of character.

This is why I absolutely LOVE this series - Uhtred is such a remorselessly tough individual & the tales are so raw in their violence that you feel you have had the 'animal spirit' inside of you reawakened! Such is the vividness of the writing that you can easily imagine being a Viking/ Saxon bounding across the plains of Wessex ready to slaughter & rout your enemies!

The 1st three books were great (partly because they followed a well-trodden formula from the Grail quests etc but mostly because they were epic). Sword Song (Alfred the Great 4) was bad though, & I was concerned this book would be equally lacklustre.

Luckily it is powerfully written & Uhtred is no longer a tame, West-Saxon family man but is taken to the pits of despair in as many ways as the author can conjure. He also has a host of warriors, who are well fleshed-out characters & the wide scope of the story mean he has to take on a Witch (in the form of Skade), a den of Pirates in Holland, two Viking warlords and, inevitably, his Uncle (who we finally encounter outside Bebbanburg).

The story has enough twists & turns to keep the reader interested & has a rich variety of places & people that Uhtred meets that make this story interesting & add potential for future books.

Sadly (for those who have read his other books or the 'Sharpe' Novels) the formula of Cornwell novels creeps in a little too often.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not nearly as good as they should be 11 Aug 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Having read all five of the Alfred books, I can see where the flaws are in this series. The characters are not really characters, just types. The dialogue is pretty much all Bernard Cornwell- none of the characters has their own distinctive voice. The plots are also repetitive. I'm pretty sure I could write the next Utred saga myself- just change the names of the places where the action takes place, and introduce yet another dark mysterious woman who swoons for our hero.
Saying that, there are many aspects of these books which are well done. The half-Christian, half-pagan Britain of the ninth century. The life of the Hall, the sycophancy of the poets, the descriptions of the land and lifestyle are very largely accurate to the best of my knowledge. The anti-Christian ranting which goes on is quite annoying to us Christians, but not necessarily anachronistic.
Overall, these books are good fun, but formulaic.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Uhtred the Magnificent 6 Dec 2009
By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
OK, I'm going to hold my hands up here. I'm a huge fan of Bernard's writing and I've really fallen for this series set in the time of Alfred and told from the perspective of one of Bernard's ancestors. What you get is full tilt no hold barred combative fiction from the very get go. It's a cracking series and if I'm honest perhaps my favourite to date. How can I tell?

Well I put this title on the backburner for a while as a novel to cheer me up when I felt down. Not only did it pick me up but it was a tale that I really wished I'd rationed as I just devoured the novel looking up after putting it down to realise the ridiculous time and wondering how best to call in sick for work in a few hours time. Yeah, I know, that's bad but when a book gets you as much as Cornwell's writing draws me in, it's can be painful to put it down especially when you're right in the midst of battle.

As usual a great offering and one that continues to spread the fame of the warriors from the north. Beautifully told with neither side being portrayed as truly good or evil but the subtle shades of grey it's a story that will do as much for the Historical Fiction genre as David Gemmell did for fantasy.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great like all Cornwell's books,but not as good as Sharpe's series
Published 7 days ago by pier giorgio rossi
5.0 out of 5 stars This book was enthralling and brilliant. written by a master story...
This book was enthralling and brilliant. written by a master story teller transporting you back to a time of the Saxon wars against the Vikings. Read more
Published 13 days ago by John Harrison
5.0 out of 5 stars Viking goodness
Uhtred continues to provide battle and pillage aplenty, couldn't ask for more of either or for it to be executed in any other way.
Published 14 days ago by Rhys Cowdry-Howes
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
All brilliant
Published 14 days ago by hubert
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Stuff
Bernard Cornwell is, in my opinion [for whatever that is worth] the best historical author currently working in the world of narrative fiction; based upon real-life historical... Read more
Published 16 days ago by Donus
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 23 days ago by PEWIT
5.0 out of 5 stars Great service from amazon
Bernard Cornwall, class, no need to say anything else. Great service from amazon.
Published 24 days ago by C P Rider
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great series
Published 29 days ago by stepen mason
5.0 out of 5 stars Saxon Chronicles - really enjoying them
I got "into" the Saxon Tales when I found the first two in this series and so now I just buy them as they come on sale. Great series.
Published 29 days ago by Malcolm
4.0 out of 5 stars You either love historical fiction or you
Another rip roarer. Struggled to put it down even if it is a bit predictable. You either love historical fiction or you don't
Published 1 month ago by gary smith
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