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Customer Review

78 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent novel which reaffirms my allegiance to the series, 6 Oct. 2009
This review is from: The Burning Land (The Last Kingdom Series, Book 5) (Alfred the Great 5) (Hardcover)
What a fabulous novel which breathes energy, new life and excitement back into a series which was beginning to feel a tad tired at the end of the last book.

At the end of book four, I felt as if the Uhtred saga was being drawn out too far and whilst I enjoyed the book I hoped Mr Cornwell would divert his skills to developing a new and original story. I was a little hesitant when beginning this book, I really wanted to like it as Bernard Cornwell is my favourite author and I didn't want to give any negative criticism to his latest work.

The Burning Land is truly excellent and the book allows Uhtred to taste some of the independence away from King Alfred which he has been craving for so long. This freedom has allowed the author to experiment and throw Uhtred into new plots and adventures. The pace is relentless and Uhtred is swiftly covering most of the Isle in search of a purpose, allegiance and identity. However, it is not long before old oaths and promises are called upon and the Norns which have always governed Uhtred's life laugh in his face when he establishes his independent purpose in life.

My only criticism against this book and it is truly out of pure selfishness, is the length. With Mr Cornwell biding his time before releasing a new book, we have an agonising wait before his newest novel is published. With only 336 pages, I soon devoured the book and was lamenting the impending finish which sadly, came too quickly!

Bernard Cornwell fans will definitely not be disappointed with this fifth book of the series. It is a `must read' and certainly sets up sound foundations for the next book of the series. Buy it, enjoy it but be prepared for the torturous wait for the sixth book!
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 7 Oct 2009 22:55:14 BDT
Crikey J. I think we must have been seperated at birth or somthing! Just looked at your back catalogue I think every book you've read, I've either read, have got waiting to read or have toyed with buying!
Loved all the Hornblowers and re-read them all again a few years ago wonderful stuff. Have you tried any of Patrick O'Brian's books, Master and Commander etc. A bit more sentimental and detailed but once you get into the two main charactors and their friendship its great stuff.

This was a definate step up in performance from Sword Song wasn't it.
I'll check out your reading matter again for more tips.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Oct 2009 15:58:37 BDT
J. Cooper says:
Hi Mr. Harrison, thanks for your comment.

Would you believe it but I am reading Master and Commander right at this moment and am half way through! There is certainly much more detail and sentimentality in comparison to Hornblower but it looks to be a very promising series all the same.

Have just checked your reviews too and have spotted a load of books I am going to add to my wish list! I will definitely keep popping back to see what other gems you have uncovered.

As you can probably guess by my reviews, I love a good historical adventure and Bernard Cornwell is my favourite author in the genre. I have to agree with you over the Sword Song issue, I felt a little disappointed when I finished it but The Burning Land is a superb return to form, let's hope book 6 maintains this standard.


In reply to an earlier post on 24 Jan 2010 22:59:39 GMT
Tony Parsons says:
Hello J, just read your review, having finished the book in just two days - with strict rationing required.. Having read a number of other similar genre authors, have to agree that BC is the best out there. Shall check out Master and Commander now though, having seen the above. Thanks. T

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Jan 2010 15:00:57 GMT
Last edited by the author on 27 Jan 2010 15:01:49 GMT
J. Cooper says:
Hello there A. E. Parsons,

Certainly agree with the rationing element, but you just can't help yourself can you?!
Bernard Cornwell has been my favorite author for many years now and I remember that the first Bernard Cornwell book which I purchased was `Vagabond'. I recall turning to the page that lists the author's `other works' and was amazed by the number of other books on offer! Many years have passed and I have devoured the lot!

Master and Commander is a very good book, it has a slightly antiquated writing style, but not to the point where it feels `Dickensian'. You will have to be patient for the action and the book flows in a series of events as opposed to the usual regimented plot. But with 21 books in the series, there is plenty of time for the action to develop!
I really enjoyed M+C and recommend it to you if you have an interest in the Navy at the time of the Napoleonic Wars.

Kind Regards


Posted on 17 Mar 2011 20:29:29 GMT
E. Cooper says:
Give Sigurd's Saga a go, it's thoroughly engrossing!

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Mar 2011 10:03:49 GMT
J. Cooper says:
Thanks for the recommendation E. Cooper!

I certainly will do.

Posted on 21 Jun 2011 20:06:07 BDT
E. Cooper says:
For a ripping Viking story, try Sigurd's Saga!
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