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85 of 87 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still a thundering good yarn
This is instalment seven of the Warrior Chronicles set in the time of King Alfred and his successors, with Uthred, the pagan warlord brought up by the Danes, still fighting on the side of the Saxons, although getting a bit long on the tooth. Unsurprisingly, a number of reviewers who (just like myself) have read through the whole series over the years may have a sense a...
Published 13 months ago by JPS

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The pagan Lord dark comedy.
If you have read the previous books , you must read this, it's a slight return to form . There needs to be some conclusion . Otherwise it's just money for old rope . Bernard should kill off uhtred and bring on son of uhtred and send him on great adventures,win back his dad's castle maybe. Don't get me wrong I still enjoy the books ,but there starting to sound all alike...
Published 12 months ago by V hunt


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85 of 87 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still a thundering good yarn, 6 Oct 2013
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JPS - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Pagan Lord (The Warrior Chronicles, Book 7) (Hardcover)
This is instalment seven of the Warrior Chronicles set in the time of King Alfred and his successors, with Uthred, the pagan warlord brought up by the Danes, still fighting on the side of the Saxons, although getting a bit long on the tooth. Unsurprisingly, a number of reviewers who (just like myself) have read through the whole series over the years may have a sense a "déjà vu", to the extent that some mayt be getting a bit tired with having similar scenes played over and over again. These include the hero getting himself into trouble by murdering and terrorising overbearing churchmen, throwing his weight around, rushing around the country waving his sword and saving the Saxons almost on his own. If the book was limited to this, then indeed I would share their feelings. But there is, at least for me, far more to it than that...

As mentioned in the title of this review, the book is a thundering good yarn, regardless of whether you have read the previous ones in the series. It was, at least for me, hugely entertaining. It is one of these books that you can't drop until you have reached the last page and I admit to spending most of Saturday reading it from cover to cover non-stop. Hence you get comments from some other reviewers about the book being shorter than others, perhaps, and shorter than they would have wished, quite certainly. This, in itself, makes the book well worth reading. It is a first class swashbuckler adventure story, fast-paced and with lots of "blood and thunder". In this respect, Bernard Cornwell is true to form.

Then there is the historical context, and the painting of what was shortly to become "England". Here also, the author has been true to form, meaning excellent. One of the strongpoints of this book is to show that while King Alfred is commonly credited for having "saved" England from the Danes, more accurately, he saved Wessex, and there was still a chance that the largest part of the island would one day be called "Daneland", rather than England.

Among other features, the author shows to what extent the Scandinavians (they were not all Danes, even if these were probably a majority) had taken control of Northumbria, East Anglia and the northern part of Mercia, where they had settled in whet seems to be large numbers. The book contains several glimpses of these Danish settlers and the author contends through his characters (and directly in his historical note) that the survival of "Anglo-Saxon England" was not at all a given after the death of King Alfred.

Having mentioned this, the author does seem to have taken a few liberties with the history records. For instance, Chester (Ceaster), the old Roman legionary fortress of Deva, seems to have been reconquered by the Saxons a few years before the battle of Tettenhall, and, as Cornwell mentions, the Danish warlords that he includes in his story are mostly fictional. This, however, does not detract from the story in any way and, because of the paucity of the sources, the novelist has quite a lot of room to weave his story in between the few known facts that they mention.

The characterisation is perhaps where some readers may have this sense of "déjà vu" that I was mentioning earlier. Uthred, in particular, seems to be his usual swashbuckling but cunning self, and most of the other characters also seem to be true to form. None of this should come as a surprise, to the extent that the characters are still the same as ever, even if a little bit older, and not necessarily any wiser or milder than in previous episodes. Even there, however, there are a couple of interesting and somewhat original features.

One is the indulgent and somewhat amused attitude that Uthred's companions start to have when he is at his most threatening and blustering, although they are careful not to show their amusement until the warlord's gambles have either paid off or failed. This points to a key feature of the society at the time or at least of the war-like nobility in the British Isles, and in Northern Europe more generally. A warrior's reputation was everything, however terrified he might actually be, for instance when in the shield wall. Indeed, Bernard Cornwell yet again shows rather vividly how horrible and traumatising such an experience might have been.

Another feature, related to the first, is the rather dare-do, mischievous and sympathetic character of the very young Athelstan (the future king) who was indeed brought up at the court of Mercia alongside his aunt (the sister of Edward the Elder, and daughter of King Alfred). He could accordingly very well be part of this book. He shares at least some of Uthredd's adventures alongside "the Lady of Mercia."

I could go on, and on, but there is no need. Given all this, I simply cannot find any reason for rating the book less than five stars. For me at least, it was a superb read. I just hope it will work at least as well for you...
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Triumph!, 13 Dec 2013
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This review is from: The Pagan Lord (The Warrior Chronicles, Book 7) (Hardcover)
The perfect gift for all history enthusiasts is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker
Once again Bernard Cornwell turns out a splendid page turner, he really is a consummate writer /story teller. In this sequel The Pagan Lord we find Uhtred on the wrong side of the new King and up against the heaviest opposition so far. The narrative is fast paced so much so that I found I was up until 2 in the morning as I had to find out what happened next. A thoroughly excellent read. For those who would like further information on this epoch, I highly recommend the OSPREY Campaign, Warrior, and men at arms booklets, with great overviews, excellent illustrations, and highly detailed maps.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The pagan Lord dark comedy., 5 Nov 2013
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If you have read the previous books , you must read this, it's a slight return to form . There needs to be some conclusion . Otherwise it's just money for old rope . Bernard should kill off uhtred and bring on son of uhtred and send him on great adventures,win back his dad's castle maybe. Don't get me wrong I still enjoy the books ,but there starting to sound all alike. And in some cases funny when they shouldn't be. Please Bernard stop thinking of your pocket and think of your fans
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Uhtred'ing, 15 Aug 2014
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As always a good read, but story wise it's more of the same - was hoping for something a little more exciting...! Enemies making the same mistakes, Uhtred doing the same sort of stuff...maybe it's because I re-read the previous 6 directly prior to this, but it feels similar to a lot of the other books. Worth reading for fans of the series - we learn some new cool stuff about their era and more depth is added to a few characters.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great book, 26 Mar 2014
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This review is from: The Pagan Lord (The Warrior Chronicles, Book 7) (Hardcover)
Awesome new Novell by the someone you know will always deliver!!! Really anticipated addition to the series good beginning enjoyable middle brilliant end.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, 29 Mar 2014
This review is from: The Pagan Lord (The Warrior Chronicles, Book 7) (Hardcover)
Read in one day while I was ill, couldn't put it down. Love this series but this is the best yet, can't wait till next one comes out in October!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars more! Mr Cornwell please continue with this series!, 16 May 2014
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This series has gone from strength to strength, I have never felt so close to understanding what the Saxon warrior world must have been like.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent series of historical novels, 11 Nov 2014
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Amazonian "Badger" (Yorkshire, England) - See all my reviews
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I'm not giving a synopsis of this particular book as you can get that from the product blurb or other reviews, but rather an opinion of their merit. My wife loves history, especially Tudor history, and she enjoys historical novels because they can make history come alive in a way that most factual history books do not (her very favourite historical novels are those by Hilary Mantel). She loves this series of books precisely because they bring to life a period of English history which she knew little about.
Well researched and well written they are an excellent series of historical novels set in the time of king Alfred and featuring a young lad called Uhtred. Are they formulaic? Of course they are, as are any series of novels by a given author - the question is "do you like the formula"? Are they repetitive? A little. But that doesn't detract from the enjoyment. My wife has just finished book eight and I have bought her books 1 to 4 and book 7 so she can read them again from the beginning (we can only find books 5 and 6 in the house).
If you like historical novels give them a try.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Pagan Lord, 13 May 2014
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This review is from: The Pagan Lord (The Warrior Chronicles, Book 7) (Hardcover)
Bernard Cornwell never disappoints as far as I'm concerned. I've read all the Uhtred series and have waited eagerly for the next.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story, 21 May 2014
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Mr C continues his story in a fascinating period of history - great characters continue to develop, good action love it.
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The Pagan Lord (The Warrior Chronicles, Book 7)
The Pagan Lord (The Warrior Chronicles, Book 7) by Bernard Cornwell (Hardcover - 26 Sep 2013)
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