This is a typically absorbing 4th installment in the series by Cornwell apparently based on one of his distant relations; the hero, a fictional Uhtred de Bebbanburg, is a Saxon Lord at the time of Alfred The Great who's adventures take place against a background of the birth of England as a nation.
Nobody does historical 'faction' quite like Cornwell - all is based on an accurate historical macro with some fictional sub plots and characters to liven things up and personalise the action (like Sharpe) - a soap for grownups based on fact!
Once you get hooked you simply cannot put them down.
Superb stuff - great characterisation, pace, perspective and, of course, brilliant battle descriptions. Looking forward to the next one!