Customer Review

3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A series that has outstayed its welcome, 25 Mar 2009
This review is from: Sword Song (The Alfred Series, Book 4) (Alfred the Great 4) (Paperback)
Having read the previous three instalments in Mr Cornwell's Anglo-Saxon England series, I felt that this time around it was basically more of the same. The main problem is that the plot does not play to Mr Cornwell's strengths, that is, rousing descriptions of battle, weapons, and ships. (They do occur, and they're good as usual.) That the book has only half a plot and climaxes in the middle does not help. It moves along pleasantly enough, and I certainly was entertained, but it does not inspire or enthrall.

Apart from the descriptions of battle, the same old familiar stuff keeps being used, and it's getting old. Too much crudity, too many cardboard characters but, most of all, the same old bashing of Christianity that, if it were not so already, would definitely have assumed pathological proportions by now. In Mr Cornwell's world, Christians are all superstitious, joyless fools; paganism equals heroism. (Mr Cornwell's narrative cannot, of course, account for the readiness with which the Scandinavians in England embraced Christianity.) The research is generally fine, although one cannot help noticing the author's complete ignorance of both Old English and Old Norse.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 1 Sep 2009 11:35:05 BDT
Last edited by the author on 1 Sep 2009 11:35:28 BDT
Do you know why Cornwell has a pathological hatred of Christianity? He was fostred as a kid by a group of christians belonging to a weird christian sect called 'the peculiar people'. I get the impression his childhood was pretty brutal and miserable.

That apart I generally agree with your review... most of the Cornwells are very similar and do get a bit 'samey'. Not sure what your point about ignorance of old English & Norse refers too though. I don't speak a word of either so having the Vikings speak in Norse wouldn't be much of a page turner for me!

Posted on 15 Oct 2009 19:53:34 BDT
Last edited by the author on 15 Oct 2009 19:55:08 BDT
Mr. B. Grief says:
The readiness in which the Scandinavians in England embraced christianity, there were you?
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Location: Oldenburg, Niedersachsen

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