‘The characterisation, as ever, is excellent…And one can only admire the little touches that bring the period to life: the bitter weather; the swollen rivers; the soliders gossiping about ale and women…he can also claim to be a true poet of both the horror and the glory of war, showing a feeling for the ways of fighting men which is too often lacking in the politicians who send them into battle.’
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.’
‘There are many authors who are now writing historical fiction, and some of them are almost as good as Cornwell, but so far there’s none better.’
Yorkshire Evening Post
‘Sword Song’s as sharply written as all of Cornwell’s historical adventures.’ Bournemouth Daily Echo
‘…this will not disappoint Cornwell’s legions of fans.’ Western Daily Press
‘…epic drama, rich language and a thoroughly satisfying journey through Saxon history.’ Eastern Daily Press
From the Inside Flap
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, appears to have settled down. He has land, a wife, two children and a duty given to him by Alfred to hold the frontier on the Thames. But trouble stirs, a dead man has risen and new Vikings have arrived to occupy 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. It is a dangerous time and Uhtred must decide how much his oath binds him to the king. Other storm clouds are gathering. Æthelflæd - Alfred's daughter - is now married, but a cruel twist of fate means that her very existence becomes a threat to Alfred's kingdom. It is Uhtred, half Saxon, half Dane, whose uncertain loyalties must now decide England's whole future.
Sword Song tells the story of the making of England and, like all Bernard Cornwell's previous novels, is based on true events. It is a gripping story of love, deceit, and violence, set in an England of tremendous turmoil and strife, yet one galvanised by a small flicker of hope that Alfred, the great king of Wessex, may prove a force that lasts. Uhtred, his greatest warrior, has become his sword, a man feared and respected the length and breadth of the land, his Lord of War.