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SWORD SONG Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook, CD

4.6 out of 5 stars 426 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD: 5 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Abridged edition edition (2 Jun. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007221053
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007221059
  • Product Dimensions: 13.6 x 1.5 x 14.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (426 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 697,421 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


Praise for ‘The Lords of the North’:

‘Beautifully crafted story-telling, complete with splendid set-piece battles and relentless derring-do, so gripping that it rarely stops to catch a breath. It demonstrates once again Cornwell’s enormous skill as a historical narrator. He would have graced Alfred’s court entertaining the guests with his stories.’ Daily Mail

‘Cornwell takes the spectres of ninth century history and puts flesh back on their bones. Here is Alfred's world restored – impeccably researched and illuminated with the colour and passion of a master storyteller.’
Justin Pollard, author of ‘Alfred the Great’

Praise for Bernard Cornwell:

'Bernard Cornwell is a literary miracle. Year after year, hail, rain, snow, war and political upheavals fail to prevent him from producing the most entertaining and readable historical novels of his generation.' Daily Mail

'Cornwell's narration is quite masterly and supremely well-researched.' Observer

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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Well I'll get all the negative stuff out of the way first! Uhtred really is just a dark ages 'Sharpe' he even has an Irish side kick now and whilst Sharpe was loathed as a commoner amongst upper class twit fellow officers, Uhtred is loathed because he is a pagan amongst pious preachy christians!

That said for many years I loved Sharpe! and likewise I am loving Uhtred and the Saxons, a major part of our national history largely ignored till now! Romans and vikings by the score, Saxons, hardly any!.

Back to the book it's architypical Cornwell. Our hero is unloved by his masters, out numbered by his foe's but backed up by his savage comrades. Yes we've seen it a hundred times before from Cornwell but it is such a winning formula and he does it probably better than anyone. Also I like the stories being told from the first person perspective by Uhtred himself as you really feel like you are in the heart of the action.

This book starts with the re-taking of London from the Danes an actual event but then takes a sharp left down imagination lane to put Uhtred in a daring rescue bid. As with most Cornwell stories the action is compelling gritty and believable, the book is fast paced though perhaps a hundred pages short of what we normally expect of him.

We are promised more Uhtred action shortley by the author and I'll no doubt be there with my credit card though I hope he doesn't over do it as I felt he did with Sharpe as there are so many other great bits of history he can take us to but I have not quite had enough of Uhtred yet! So I'll be sharpening my battle axe for next time.
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Format: Hardcover
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 kingdom of Wessex and trying to get a grip on the (leaderless) Mercia. Uthred has become Alfred's most important warlord, but he feels equally drawn to the Viking-world in which he grew up, and just then an army of Vikings arrives and captures London...

I really can't do this book enough justice: the battle scenes are as good as ever (and there's plenty), but above all I love the way in which Uthred keeps developing as a character. The arrogant, young warrior has become a mature man (with a fearsome reputation, true enough), and a loving husband and father.

I for one am eagerly awaiting the next book in the series.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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 kingdom. This should be the high point for Alfred and all to look forward to from here; if he can keep his nephew Aethelwold from causing trouble, and hold off any more potential Dane incursions, hopefully he can bring Christianity to the whole country and start to rebuild under his own dynasty.

But for Uhtred things are not so straightforward, as the Norse under the Thurgilson brothers arrive in Lundene from Frankia. Alfred wants Uhtred's cousin Aethelred to be King of Mercia so tasks Uhtred with tidying up the problem in Lundene. While Uhtred is, as always, happy to fight and kill, he's not so happy to be involved in Alfred's schemes. All Uhtred really wants is to go home to Bebbanberg and reclaim his inheritance. But, he is a warrior and must do as a warrior does. I didn't count up the number of who died in this book, but I think it was a lot! Life sure was hard, short and brutal in those days.

Other reviewers of this book have complained that it lacks action, and that the story is stretched beyond its limits. I think that this story stands quite well in the series of five books about Uhtred, as in this one some years have passed since the last book, and relationships have settled. Uhtred finds himself content with his wife, Alfred's children are growing and demanding attention, the Danes are shifting their attention and their allegiances.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read book 1 - 8 of the Last Kingdom series back to back as if they were one omnibus through a wet and miserable January. I had seen the BBC 2 series which covered book 1 and book 2 and found The Last Kingdom and The Pale Horseman such good reads I was glad that I had not read them before seeing the series. I was impressed by the explanations of the internal struggle Uhtred has to establish his identity,, and the uniqueness into which he forges his experiences , philosophy and education into the warrior and man he grows into. I was also impressed by the historical integrity Conwell brought to the background of Uhtred's adventures. Definite page turners all the way through. Loved every minute spent reading 1-8.
Although one should not bring 21st century thinking, morals and mores to 10th century life, one could not help thinking that 'everything changes and nothing changes.' Cornwell does encourage the reader to stop and think beyond the swashbuckling thoughout.
I am not sure whether Uhtred's forewords are a good or bad thing - whether they telegraph the ultimate outcome of the scrapes and adventures or whether they enhance the enjoyment of the finer points of the tale...
I was disappointed at the Kindle price of book 9- Warriors of the Storm, which at the present time is more than the hardback edition. Although I am hooked enough to want to read it very badly, principle prevents me following on at this time.
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