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The Pale Horseman (The Last Kingdom #2)

4.24 of 5 stars 4.24  ·  rating details  ·  17,276 ratings  ·  651 reviews
Uhtred is a Saxon, cheated of his inheritance and adrift in a world of fire, sword, and treachery. He has to make a choice: whether to fight for the Vikings, who raised him, or for King Alfred the Great of Wessex, who dislikes him.

In the late ninth century, Wessex is the last English kingdom. The rest have fallen to the Danish Vikings, a story told in The Last Kingdom, the
ebook, 384 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published October 3rd 2005)
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João Alberto Ferreira de Oliveira Hi Beverlee!! I'm Brazilian. We speak brazilian portuguese. O Cavaleiro da Morte is a brazilian portuguese translation of Bernanrd Cornwell's Pale…moreHi Beverlee!! I'm Brazilian. We speak brazilian portuguese. O Cavaleiro da Morte is a brazilian portuguese translation of Bernanrd Cornwell's Pale Rider. I'm sure you can easily find it in USA.

Best Regards.(less)
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Community Reviews

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"For here starts war, carrion birds sing, and grey wolves howl."

A fragile peace still holds in the realms of Britain. After the forces of Wessex prevailed at Cynuit, the Danes have pulled back. King Alfred thinks himself safe, but in truth the last kingdom of the Saxons is in grave peril...

Writing a sequel to an amazing novel can sometimes be amazingly hard. Bernard Cornwell fulfilled that task with style, and in the process created my personal favourite Uhtred novel and proved himself a master
Bookworm Sean
The Pale Horseman, the second instalment in the Saxon stories, is every bit as good as the first. This, again, feels like another chapter of a man’s life. Uhtred has grown up a little and is more resolute in his ambitions since we last saw him. He has fought in his first shield wall and has completed the transformation from boy to man: he is now a proven warrior and, more importantly, he now has a growing reputation but, not necessarily a good one.

His glory has been stolen by the coward Odda th
Athena Shardbearer

Lord Book Pusher made me do it....

I can't even......


"And I looked," Pyrlig said to me, "and I saw a pale horse, and the rider's name was death,"

Well damn, this book was amazing! I took so long reading it because I didn't want it to end. But then I remembered there are a few others out AND a new one to be released in AUGUST!!!!!! *Goes and cancels all important meetings/days/birthday so I can read ALL the Saxon Stories book
THE PALE HORSEMEN is the second book in the Cornwell series focusing on England before it was England. Unlike the first book, there's less fighting and more political maneuvering and focus on relationships.

HISTORY: at this time England was something of a bunch of Saxon Kingdoms. Seven, if memory serves. The Saxons had actually taken most of the Kingdom from the Britons & Welsh and had held a good chunk for several hundred years. Now, it's the late 800s and the Danes are seriously beating th
Jason Koivu
"REINVIGORATE, MAN!" I shouted, then calmly began my review.

Cornwell always does a decent job of adding in just enough historical detail, both physical and immediate, to the story as well as historic and atmospheric for the background. Then he layers on his stock, misunderstood hero regardless of time or place and serves up another entertaining action/adventure story. Hard to argue with a winning recipe, other than the argument that the palette desires something new sooner or later, and that th
Oh Bernard, how do you do what you do?
If I could write like this man, well, I'd be one very happy chick. And I do not want to write like this to make money, or make fans, or make myself famous, I just want to have this skill for myself, to know that I can do it, to know that I can create magic on paper, although, Bernard Cornwell, in this series at least, is more than merely skilled, he is an absolute master.
Would it be presumptuous of me to say that I think that he is a writer's writer? or mo
Vagner Stefanello
Review in Portuguese from Desbravando Livros:

Narrado em 1ª pessoa, O Cavaleiro da Morte possui uma narrativa ainda mais intensa que a do livro anterior. Após vencer a batalha em Cynuit e matar Ubba Lothbrokson, nosso protagonista volta para sua casa no interior de Wessex e tenta retomar a sua vida, agora casado com Mildrith e pai de um garoto. Mal sabe ele que o destino está sendo tecido e a guerra o espera novamente...

Após uma nova investida dos vikings, o reino de Alfredo ficou reduzido apenas
This was a brutal read. I love historical fiction when it gets real like this. The characters were vivid and realistic. The author understands the era and how to bring us into it.
All of the basic themes are present, betrayal, revenge, cruelty, heroism etc. The story never really slows down- it's pace is consistent with a building sensation towards the end. This was a good, brutal read. So far this series is a go-to consistently good read that I will return to from time to time.
I have read all the books so far in Cornwell’s Saxon series, and this is my favorite book so far. Of course, since I loved “The Last Kingdom” so much, I almost couldn’t wait to get my hands on it, and then read it in two days.

What can I say; I just adore mean old Uhtred, despite his flaws and his sometimes unethical behavior. I do believe one of Cornwell's flaws is he doesn’t write the best female characters, but I find his male characters so interesting and fun, it doesn’t bother me much.

I th
Wow! That last 50 pages or so were awesome...That's just an estimate, since I listened to the audio and didn't have the page count right in front of me.

After several disappointing endings in books lately, this was refreshing. The finish actually brought my rating up, instead of the opposite as some have done recently.

I've long heard that Bernard Cornwell is the best at describing battles. If I wasn't convinced already, I am now.
"One more defeat and there would probably never have been a political entity called England. We might have had a Daneland instead, and this novel would probably have been written in Danish."

That was actually a quote from the authors "historical note" listed at the books end.

 photo 50AAFF22-BE26-4039-B522-A8972B00DC1F_zpsoxva9obw.jpg

I'm always nervous to read a second book in a series as I'm usually always disappointed. But, I loved book one so much and wanted to continue with Uthreds story. I happy to report that book 2 was all and more then I ever
The Pale Horseman gets a solid 4 stars. BC is a very good writer but I’m not feeling like he is stretching himself here. Not that his writing is flawed, no way. I could not put this book down and just raced through it. I thought his battle scenes were as bloody and chaotic and good as ever. His characters were likeable or despicable and you do care about them. But it seemed too much of a template to get 5 stars. His main character, Uhtred, is a young rebellious youth, much like the main protagon ...more
Lance Greenfield
Yet again, Cornwell has cracked it! This is exactly as historical fiction should be: bring that history to life.

One cannot help but be swept along as Uhtred recalls his adventures in Wessex and the south west of England. He questions King Alfred and the Christian ideology of the early Saxons, when one could only find favour with the King through demonstrating complete commitment to God. Consequently, his greatest enemies are the priests of Alfred's court. His enemies in battle, no matter what th
Joe Francis
This is the second Bernard Cornwell book I've read. I do like historical fiction and the book is quite a good read but I seem to detect a hint of anti-religiousness in his works. The main character is a pagan, so that may be the reason, but the priests and clergy that inhabit his stories tend to be mostly interested in silver, or they spout useless platitudes that draw scorn from the main character Uhtread. I tried to begin Cornwell's first Arthurian book but put it down for the same reason. I a ...more
"Se formos para a batalha sem raiva e ódio, estaremos mortos. Precisamos de todas as lâminas de raiva e do ódio que possamos reunir se quisermos sobreviver."
Snowed in (again) and still seeking free yet instant gratification from the library's e-reader app, I find the second book of The Saxon Stories - well, that worked out pretty good the last time so I went ahead and ran it again, which was a good decision. The Pale Horseman is not a complicated book, but it's a fun one.

We return to 9th century England, where Uhtred the Northumbrian exile is in the orbit of Wessexian king Alfred, whom history tells us is the one who fights off the Danish and sets i
Where I got the book: audiobook on Audible.

Uhtred son of Uhtred’s adventures continue, with the wily English (but a bit Viking) warrior becoming more deeply enmeshed with King Alfred, the Wessex king he despises but whose interests he always ends up serving. (view spoiler)
Benjamin Thomas
The second novel in this series has more of everything that made the first one such a great read. While I certainly enjoyed book 1, The Last Kingdom, this second book cements the series as one of the all-time great historical fiction series. Uhtred, still a young warrior at around 20 years of age, continues to walk a tightrope between his allegiances to the Saxons and King Alfred (later, Alfred the Great) as well as to the invading Danes. A lot happens in this volume and it covers arguably the m ...more
Georgina Ortiz
Winning lines from the book:

On Vikings (Danes) as "savage pagans":
"When folk speak of the Danes these days they have an idea that they were all savage pagans, unthinking in their terrible violence, but most were like Svein and feared losing men. That was always the great Danish fear, and the Danish weakness." (p.79)

On reputation:
"And that too was the truth, that a man cannot step back from a fight and stay a man. We make much in this life if we are able. We make children and wealth and amass lan
Beth Cato
This is the sequel to The Last Kingdom, which I reviewed a few days ago. I had problems with that book because the protagonist, Uhtred, was an unsympathetic jerk. The historical detail was great, but I'm not too keen on reading about drinking, whores, and swordplay, even if it does play to accuracy. However, I still pressed onward with the trilogy...[return][return].. and almost stopped a few chapters in. Uhtred, torn between being a Saxon by birth and a Dane in spirit, decided to masquerade as ...more
Alex Telander
THE PALE HORSEMAN BY BERNARD CORNWELL: In The Pale Horseman (sequel to The Last Kingdom), Bernard Cornwell surges on with his series on the life of Alfred the Great, but not simply with a furthering of the plot, but some clear development in both story, character, and the whole point Cornwell is trying to make with this series.

In Pale Horseman we now learn that our hero from the last book, Uhtred of Bebbanburg, while just as skilled in his knowledge of languages, way with words, as well as his a
review to follow

Excellent, Great narrative flow which only increases in intensity with each book. The battle scenes are depicted in a vivid and magnificent style . Keeping the reader fully engaged with each turn of the page.
Rebecka (is hilarious, shut up)
"And I looked," Pyrlig said to me, "and I saw a pale horse, and the rider's name was death,"

I'll be damned, but that was one awesome book.

I know I should probably wait a while until I've calmed down and can be more coherent but you know what? What the hell, I have no criticism what so ever anyway.

And goddamn. That was one awesome book.
I've seen great praise for Cornwell as a historical novelist, and so, when I saw this series surrounding the age of Alfred the Great, I was excited and ready to see something good. I found something mediocre. The protagonist is Uthred, a fictional dispossessed Saxon lord, raised by Danes, in the midst of their greatest effort to conquer England. It's a good premise, to give a perspective from both sides of the story. And the story-telling, done by an omniscient, older Uthred, commenting on his m ...more
I am a big fan of all Bernard Cornwell (Author) work and have read many of his books. I loved the first of this series The Last Kingdom and was looking forward to this but I didn't enjoy it as much as the first. I still admired the main character Uhtred and thought the story was an excellent one, the detail as intricate and well researched as ever, but I thought the plot lacked impetus, it didn't career along like the first book did. I will still read the third book in the series The Lords of th ...more
Kate Quinn
It might seem impossible to believe that the kingdom of England was once reduced to a few square miles of marsh, but that is the case. Alfred the Great went from king of a swamp and a handful of followers to king of England, and in "The Pale Horseman" he does it with the help of Uhtred, Cornwell's brash and irascible warrior. Tragedy finds Uhtred in this installment of the Saxon Stories - a failed marriage, the deaths of his son and his lover - but triumph finds him too as he helps Alfred claw o ...more
Dinah Küng
Ploughing on with this series, to try and understand what so entranced my two teen sons. Our protagonist Uhtred still can't make up his mind whether he likes anybody but the rather homoerotic Ragnar Older/Younger duo and the objective of getting his real estate in Northumbria back by any means. On a day to day basis, he is still mostly interested in mindless slaughter, (what he calls the dance of war or joy of death or glee of slaughter or miracle of massacre or some variation thereof.) By my ca ...more
This is the second in Cornwell’s Saxon series but you didn’t have to read The Last Kingdom (the first in the series) to enjoy this one.

Personally, I find it difficult not to enjoy a Cornwell novel. He has a gift of providing just enough history to satisfy the discerning while continuing the narrative at a nail-biting pace.

The Pale Horseman continues King Alfred’s struggle to preserve Wessex from invading Viking hordes. The story is told from the viewpoint of the fictional Uhtred of Bebbanburg, a
M.L. Falconer
Dec 08, 2010 M.L. Falconer rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to M.L. by: Library
Absolutely amazing! Cornwell blends true history with fiction so well that, unless your a history major, it's difficult to tell them apart. I fell in love with every character, even the most dastardly ones.

Uhtred is the ultimate bad boy, not exactly sure where his alignment lies; captured very young and raised by the Danes he grows to fight for king Alfred even though he is somewhat appalled by the over religious piety that drives Alfred. Though Uhtred loves the Danes his unwavering loyalty to A
Bernard Cornwell is a master of historical fiction, taking his reader and flinging them right into another time - in the case of The Pale Horseman, into the blood, gore and violence of Saxon England. This book is the second of Cornwell's Saxon Stories, and it's obvious the author has done his research. The detail, including what the characters eat, creates a time travel experience. His facts are accurate and his descriptive writing is excellent. I was on the battlefield with Uhtred, the main cha ...more
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Cornwell was born in London in 1944. His father was a Canadian airman, and his mother, who was English, a member of the Women's Auxiliary Air Force. He was adopted and brought up in Essex by the Wiggins family, who were members of the Peculiar People, a strict Protestant sect who banned frivolity of all kinds and even medicine. After he left them, he changed his name to his mother's maiden name, C ...more
More about Bernard Cornwell...

Other Books in the Series

The Last Kingdom (9 books)
  • The Last Kingdom (The Saxon Stories, #1)
  • Lords of the North (The Saxon Stories, #3)
  • Sword Song (The Saxon Stories, #4)
  • The Burning Land (The Saxon Stories, #5)
  • Death of Kings (The Saxon Stories, #6)
  • The Pagan Lord (The Saxon Stories, #7)
  • The Empty Throne (The Saxon Stories, #8)
  • Warriors of the Storm (The Warrior Chronicles/Saxon Stories #9)

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“Life is simple," I said. "Ale, women, sword, and reputation. Nothing else matters.” 15 likes
“Wyrd biõ ful ãræd,” I said. Fate is fate. It cannot be changed or cheated.” 9 likes
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