Customer Reviews


 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


98 of 100 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 21 months ago by JPS

versus
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars losing momentum
A great series and great characters, but it feels like its running out of momentum. The story drags painfully in places, yet as ever the battles and other confrontations are superb. At points however, the insult trading sounds florid and contrived. Not the standard I'm used to from this master storyteller.
Published 21 months ago by Steady


‹ Previous | 1 288 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

98 of 100 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still a thundering good yarn, 6 Oct. 2013
By 
JPS - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Top Notch Historical Fiction, 13 Dec. 2013
By 
Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog "Falcata T... - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
I love spending time on the ancient roads with Bernard Cornwell's characters and one of the more recent, Uhtred of Bebbanburg has been one that I've loved to hang around, especially during the chaotic time surround Alfred the Great. What his stories do is bring a chaotic time to the reader and allow them to immerse themselves in the bloody fields of war whilst also giving them a cracking story throughout.

Whilst this book has felt an age off coming, one of the things that has kept striking me throughout the whole series is when are we going to get to the characters own personal goals rather than his manipulation by those surrounding them. Its taken a long time to come round and to be honest I'm not sure how many more books the character has in him.

All round I have thoroughly enjoyed the story but the key thing with any of these books is that we know that the key character is never in any real danger (as he tells his tale from the future as an old man.) That detracts from the danger for me, and as such I do feel a little cheated as you known that no matter what the odds are he'll walk away alive. That really does irk me. That said, it is a cracking addition to the series and one that many readers will not wait to get their hands on, especially as the dark nights close in, with the home fires banked. What more could you wish for?
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Triumph!, 13 Dec. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The perfect companion for all historical fiction 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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Unable to put down, 3 Nov. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have read a number of the reviews penned for this latest edition to the Warrior Chronicles both for and partly against but the overriding factor seems to be similar to me most people just could not put the book down.

I just feel that some of the criticism has arisen due to the sheer absolute quality of the earlier books. One other issue must be that this is the predominant series for this era currently in print.Unlike for example Napoleonic novels the genre is uncrowded and hence people are more critical of any straying from the historical orthodox.

It does have a number of the same themes and strains of earlier books but the book moves on in history and introduces you to and re-introduces characters you affiliate with it is not just Uhtred that makes the book and series as a whole it is the variety of characters and their versatility which engages the reader.

Like most people I was just disappointed I finished it but whether criticism arises due to similar themes playing out or not, any book you cannot put down; read to the exclusion of all else and leaves you impatient for the next in the series cannot be too bad by half.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling and enjoyable, 22 Oct. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Due to my surprise at the disappointment of the previous book (Book 6) for which I only gave a 1 star rating as a protest, I then felt pretty bad and after reading the book again I would have rated it 4 stars. Pagan Lord provides an enjoyable plot and although not as good as "Burning Land" - my favourite of the series, it rates very highly in my collection. And although the story is, in my view, winding down. I still think it is a great read and I am so much looking forward to the next part. I thought 300 pages is relatively short and perhaps the author could have enriched the plot with a 100 or so extra pages but who am I to comment on the Great Master's works. I do worry that our heroe is ageing and maybe the new younger characters will feature more in future Saxon Stories. However I do feel we are drawing towards the conclusion of the saga for which I have been so privilaged to have read. All Great series should not go on for too long as the quality diminishes with every addition - (as with Scarrow's Macro and Cato). No doubt historical events will determine as to how many more parts are to be written and published.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Pagan Lord, 13 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Bernard Cornwell never disappoints as far as I'm concerned. I've read all the Uhtred series and have waited eagerly for the next.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read, 12 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Better than the previous book but some story arc opportunities missed.

Plot: The story follows Uhtred and his mission to take back Bebbanburg. But his Uncle does not want to relinquish it and Uhtred may have met his match but not from whom he thought he would.

Positives:
Storyline kept moving and was fresh. The enemies are a lot more dangerous than the previous book and there are a lot of twists and turns in this entry that keeps you on your toes.

Negatives:
I can’t help but favour Uhtred’s relationship and dialogue with the Danes more than the Saxons so the biggest shame is Cornwell’s under use of his Dane brother; Ragnor. I was expecting Ragnor to play an intricate part of this plot to reclaim Bebbanburg but I was very let down by the books conclusion to this particular story arc.

Cornwell’s writing and story is captivating with plenty of interesting plot lines. I sense the end is near for this book series but what an adventure the series is, including this book.

Recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars it's Uhtred but it's not quite Cornwell, 7 Oct. 2013
Masterfully written, of course, but not as good as the previous novels in this saga. Uhtred has turned into a bit of a d**k to be honest... I loved his character in the earlier books as he was developing and growing his empire with his hopes and dreams expanding with his experiences on the battlefield and in his personal life but now it just feels rushed. And I could tell what was going to happen after the first chapter, something I've never been able to do in the past with Cornwell, which slightly disappointed me.

With that having been said, the battle scenes were fantastically written as always and it's worth a read if you've read the series thus-far but please DO NOT READ THIS ONE FIRST, read The Last Kingdom (The Last Kingdom (The Warrior Chronicles, Book 1)).

Regardless, I'm still a huge Cornwell fan and would recommend him to anyone and I hope this review does not put people off reading his work, as everyone should experience his enchantingly brilliant storytelling at some point.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story, 21 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Mr C continues his story in a fascinating period of history - great characters continue to develop, good action love it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Back on form!, 14 Oct. 2013
The " blurb" on the cover compares the book with George R R Martin's "Game of Thrones" series but Cornwell's work is much, much better. His writing is tight, compact and accessible and he does not waste time on unoriginal childish literary tricks. Each volume of the series is a complete story leading on to the next and leaves you wanting more - for which you do not have to wait years!
Uhtred is a complex character; nobleman and former slave, a Saxon with a Danish upbringing, a ruthless killer who protects the weak and a pagan who detests the Christian religion but keeps a priest in his household. He must have a fantastic sense of humour, a pity we are not allowed to share it, I would love to share a joke with Uhtred of Bebbanburg.

Cornwell's research takes you into the dark ages, you slip without effort into a world of mud and muck, leather, steel and mouldy thatch but I would contest the inclusion of silage in the agricultural economy of the ninth century
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 288 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Pagan Lord (The Warrior Chronicles, Book 7)
The Pagan Lord (The Warrior Chronicles, Book 7) by Bernard Cornwell (Audio CD - 26 Sept. 2013)
£15.99
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews