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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Keeps getting better
I read the 3 first books in this series (The Last Kingdom, Pale Horseman, and Lords of the North) quite some time ago, found them all three excellent historical novels, so started "Sword Song" with high expectations. Rest assured: it's near perfect.

In "Sword Song" the struggle between Saxons and Danes has reached a new phase, with Alfred consolidating the...
Published on 5 Oct. 2007 by Didier

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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More death and mayhem with Uhtred
In this, the fourth of the chronicles of Uhtred and the birth of the English nation under Alfred, the year is now 885 and the Danes appear to have been subdued. The treaty with Guthrum has the Danes settled in their own area of the Danelaw and the remainder of the Anglo Saxon kingdoms are apparently quiet; Alfred is now looking to consolidate his hold over the whole...
Published on 11 May 2011 by Keen Reader


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4.0 out of 5 stars Fine historical series, 23 Sept. 2011
By 
reader 451 - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sword Song (The Alfred Series, Book 4) (Alfred the Great 4) (Paperback)
Bernard Cornwell's Alfred the Great series really form one long novel, though they are self-contained stories that are also readable separately. These are well-written tales of derring-do, with plenty of battles and adventure interspersed with political and sexual intrigue. Cornwell also takes an interesting stab at capturing the religious politics of the time, and the deadly contest between Christianity, supported by the Saxons, and Norse paganism as championed by the Danes. Indeed, it was a great narrative idea to have Uhtred, the hero, a Saxon but a pagan.

The series was recommended to me by an Anglo-Saxonist, who said it was historically plausible. This friend, in particular, says Cornwell portrays Alfred realistically, with all his ambiguities and his scheming piety. Moreover, the author signals any conscious historical departure - such as the date or location of a battle when it is uncertain - in an appendix. I thought that the plot flags a little in Sword Song, but the scene is well set for the following instalment, The Burning Land, and this is still eminently readable and fun.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric and Enjoyable, 31 May 2011
By 
Mr. Ross Maynard (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sword Song (The Alfred Series, Book 4) (Alfred the Great 4) (Paperback)
Bernard Cornwell's adventures in Saxon England, featuring Uhtred of Bamburgh are nearly as good as his Sharpe novels. He evokes a realistic sense of the sights and smells of the age, and his battle scenes are unrivalled. I like these books nearly as much as the Sharpe ones, although writing about the Saxon age is, inevitably, more difficult than writing about the turn of the nineteenth century. The situations, scenarios and battle tactics open to Uhtred are decidedly less than those available for Sharpe with the result that the stories become a bit "samey" - in this book Uhtred has another fall-out with Alfred and launches into another bloody battle against a bunch of Danes - just like the others in the series. Nevertheless, I do like this series. Cornwell knows how to keep you hooked. This book may be less action packed than the others but he builds the tension well and the book is as well-paced and enjoyable as the rest in the series.
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4.0 out of 5 stars sword swinging goodness, 1 April 2010
By 
C. E. MCKEOWN (KENT) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sword Song (Hardcover)
This is a great series by Cornwell. He has woven a rich, authentic and vibrant story around Uhtred that grows with each novel. In this latest novel, we see Uhtred still sworn to Alfred (and hating it) whilst new adventures (kidnap of Alfred's daughter) and characters arise. The most pleasing aspect for me is the development of Uhtred. We are truly understanding him now. He is a warlord, in a hard world, surrounded by Christians whilst worshipping the 'old gods', protecting his family, upholding his oaths and trying to do the right thing! I really like Uhtred!

This story narrates the constant harrying by the Danes and we get our fist glimpse of Alfred's vision of a united island called 'England'...

A great story, a great novel in the series and a fantastic character in Uhtred. Recommended for those who love their historical novels to contain viking, swords and song!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 25 Jan. 2012
By 
Mr. Colin Rankin "Colin Rankin" (Braintree, essex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sword Song (The Alfred Series, Book 4) (Alfred the Great 4) (Paperback)
I have not been a Bernard Cornwell fan until this series of books.
I now must re-evaluate because I love this series from 'The Last Kingdom' right up to 'Death of Kings',with,hopefully,more to come.
Vivid,amusing,at times gory and always captivating and entertaining and including a somewhat overlooked heroine of real history.
The main character,Uthred,is a brutal but powerful and,at times,quite likeable character.His escapades on behalf of King Alfred,and others,are very well portrayed.
Historically it is well researched but leans more towards plotline than real accuracy,but to be fair historical records here are somewhat patchy.
I love the whole series and look forward to reading Mr. Cornwell's other books.....but not Sharpe.
All in all....great entertainment.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Exellent again., 24 April 2008
This review is from: Sword Song (Hardcover)
The sequal to 'The Last Kingdom' 'The Pale Horseman' and 'Lords of the North'. This may be the best book yet as there is a major fight as Uhtred and Steapa and others take London and you dont have to wait til the end of the book. New Vikings have arrived from Norway and it is up to Uhtred to save the Kingdom. King Alfreds daughter is now married to Uhtreds cousin and in a twist of fate her very existence becomes a threat to King Alfred and Uhtred must decide who's side he is really on as he decides the whole future of England. This book tells the story of the making of England and is based on real events. A gripping story of love, deceit and lots of violence told through the eyes of Uhtred, Alfreds 'Lord of War'.The next installement is due out on 5th Oct 2009.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sword Song, 28 July 2009
By 
William Harkin (Helensburgh Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sword Song (The Alfred Series, Book 4) (Alfred the Great 4) (Paperback)
Sword Song is the fourth book in the Alfred the Great series and as you would expect from Bernard Cornwell it is a story full of characters,
some of whom you already know and some you wouldn"t touch with your worst enemies barge poles.Uhtred is still trying to reach his northern home but
is being thwarted by Alfred at every turn.
As he is sworn to Alfred he must fight his battles to get rid of the Saxons and their allies.
He is also benighted by his cousin Aethelred and his toady who is as thick as two short planks and as spippery as a bag of eels.
Uhtred is still fighting in southern "England" and I for one cannot wait
to see if the fifth book will take him home to the north where has to
face his uncle and regain his rightful domain.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A great tale based on a time we know little about!, 30 Jun. 2011
This review is from: Sword Song (The Alfred Series, Book 4) (Alfred the Great 4) (Paperback)
Bernard Cornwell is one of the best story tellers there is. He uses real historic fact as a base for his fast moving tales of intrigue and heroism. The Sword song is a good example of this and is the 3rd in a series featuring the saxon hero Uhtred (Hero is being a little generous!. The era which is the base for the story is one which has a lot of social gaps in our knowledge, Cornwell adds a social/living dimension. This adds to the interest in the story, compared say to his Sharpe and civil war novels.
I like the pace, action and politic in the prose, I always read more than I had planned. His main characters have many flaws, which means it is hard to predict the course of action, but the main historic premis is maintained.
A good read
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quality action, 8 Jun. 2008
This review is from: Sword Song (The Alfred Series, Book 4) (Alfred the Great 4) (Paperback)
Cornwell does it again, if you've been following the Uthred series and like what you've read then this will not disappoint, written with Cornwells usual flare for historic fiction and battle scenes it is well worth picking up a copy.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The 4th Uhtred and Alfred novel... still going strong, 6 Nov. 2008
By 
chuckles "barnie884" (Netherlands) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sword Song (Paperback)
Our Hero Uhtred just as he thinks things are settling down, he gets some new enemies to fight.... well it wouldn't be a Cornwell without would it? He is stuck fighting for the Saxons and their King Alfred, of which he has no love, and against the Danes who he has an affinity to. Not suprisingly this gives him problems just about every where he turns. This first person narrative style is different to the other Cornwell series and is a nice change. This is not the strongest in the series, but still excellent. well researched, gripping historical fiction from the master Bernard Cornwell! Only problem is I dont know when the next book is due.......
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sword Song., 2 Mar. 2011
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This review is from: Sword Song (The Alfred Series, Book 4) (Alfred the Great 4) (Paperback)
This being the 71st review of the book, i would envisage most of what i could add has been added already. Needless to say, i just wanted to add my 4* for another belter in this series.
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Sword Song (The Alfred Series, Book 4) (Alfred the Great 4)
Sword Song (The Alfred Series, Book 4) (Alfred the Great 4) by Bernard Cornwell (Paperback - 27 May 2010)
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