Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Pale Horseman (The Saxon Stories, #2)” as Want to Read:
The Pale Horseman (The Saxon Stories, #2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Pale Horseman (The Saxon Stories #2)

4.25  ·  Rating Details  ·  21,529 Ratings  ·  837 Reviews
In a clash of heroes, the kingdom is born.

As the last unvanquished piece of England, Wessex is eyed hungrily by the fearsome Viking conquerors. Uhtred, a dispossessed young nobleman, is tied to the imperiled land by birth and marriage but was raised by the Danish invaders—and he questions where his allegiance must lie. But blood is his destiny, and when the overwhelming Vi
...more
Paperback, 415 pages
Published 2006 by HarperCollins (first published October 3rd 2005)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Pale Horseman, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

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)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Bookworm Sean
The Pale Horseman is every bit as good as the first book. 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 the Younger. He has claimed the victory at
...more
Markus
"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
...more
StoryTellerShannon
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
...more
Athena Shardbearer



I can't even......

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

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


You like Viking?
You like badasses like my boyfriends, Uhtred??
You want a GOOD STORY????? THEN READ THIS BOOK!!!!!!

Also, I think its safe to say that buying all the books in the series before finishing the first one was a wise choice...





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
...more
Terri
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
...more
Rob
Executive Summary: Another enjoyable Historical Fiction book that I probably would have liked a bit better if I hadn't already known what was coming from watching the TV show. I'm really looking forward to book three now.

Full Review
In retrospect I wish I had read this book before watching The Last Kingdom. I had no idea that a 10 episode season would cover two books. That's partly because they glossed over half of the first book, and partly because they cut a lot of detail out.

I had been hopin
...more
Vagner Stefanello
Dec 29, 2015 Vagner Stefanello rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: physical
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
...more
Valerie Penny
Apr 15, 2016 Valerie Penny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bernard Cornwell's book, The Pale Horseman, is one of those books I always felt I should have read. My husband has had it sitting in his book shelves for as long as I can remember so, at last, I have taken the chance to read it. The title comes from The Bible: The Book of Revelations 6:8 - I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him.

However, The Pale Horseman is the second historical novel in the Saxon Stories by Bernard Cor
...more
Gary
Jun 18, 2014 Gary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Willow
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
...more
Rosanna
Jul 21, 2014 Rosanna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, fiction
"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
...more
Mike
Feb 13, 2012 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Tosh
Jul 10, 2016 Tosh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-read
**RTC

This isn't just a war over land, it's a war about God. And Alfred...is Christ's servant...



The shield wall is a terrible place. It is where a warrior makes his reputation, and reputation is dear to us.



Denise
Apr 25, 2016 Denise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As always for me me Bernard Cornwell writes another cannot put down series. This is the 2nd book of the Saxon Kingdom series & a page turner. I just loved before each battle how King Alfred would compare it to a battle from the Bible.
Chris
Feb 29, 2012 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
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.
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
Mark
Feb 22, 2015 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Lance Greenfield
May 29, 2012 Lance Greenfield rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
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
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
Leninha
Oct 11, 2015 Leninha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"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."
Jane
Feb 01, 2015 Jane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, audiobook
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)
...more
Georgina Ortiz
Jan 01, 2015 Georgina Ortiz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
L'arnacouer
Ne diyeceğimi bilemiyorum. Bekleyin, önce göz yaşlarımı silmeliyim!

Tarihi kurgu seven bi' takım non-turkish arkadaşımın dilinden düşürmediği Bernard Cornwell ve muazzam kalemiyle sonunda tanıştım, lakin üzülerek söylüyorum; geç bile kalmışım.

The Last Kingdom serisinin 9 kitaptan oluştuğunu ve Cornwell'ın yazmaya hala devam ettiğini öğrendiğimde ki şoku üzerimde uzun süre taşımıştım, kitabın ilk bölümlerinde olduğum için pek etkilenmemiştim aynı nedenlerle aklımda sürekli "9 kitapta ne anlatabil
...more
Krista Baetiong Tungol
“For a few months in early 878 the idea of England, its culture and language, were reduced to a few square miles of swamp. One more defeat and there would probably never have been a political entity called England,” wrote Bernard Cornwell in his afterword (Historical Note).

Alfred’s reign as King of Wessex is in peril. The Danes already have Mercia, Northumbria and East Anglia under their clutches, and Wessex, the last kingdom of England, remains a strong opposition. In January of 878, the Danes
...more
Paul Burnette
Nov 27, 2015 Paul Burnette rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This second novel in the Saxon Stories does not disappoint the reader in any way. In fact, Uhtred’s rather reluctant service to Alfred provides even more interesting situations and relationships than the first novel in the series, The Last Kingdom. Uhtred is a father deprived of a home life by the turbulence of the times, and then even deprived of his wife’s support and his son’s life by the unending war, the recurring battles between Saxons and invading Danes in 9th Century Wessex, Alfred’s kin ...more
Jamie Collins
In A.D. 878 the Danes occupied much of northern England, but their attempts to conquer Wessex were opposed by King Alfred, later named The Great.

Our protagonist Uhtred, who was raised by Danes, is still having trouble making up his mind whether he wants to be a viking or wants to claim his birthright as a Saxon. While he’s deciding, Alfred makes good use of him as a spy.

Despite pressure from his wife and from the extremely pious Alfred, Uhtred is still scorning Christianity. He’s pretty sure tha
...more
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.
Geo Kwnstantinou
For I am Uhtred and destiny is everything.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • The Prow Beast (Oathsworn, #4)
  • When the Eagle Hunts (Eagle, #3)
  • The Death of Kings (Emperor, #2)
  • Sworn Brother (Viking, #2)
  • Sons of Thunder (Raven #2)
12542
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 Saxon Stories (10 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 (Saxon Stories, #9)
  • The Flame Bearer (Saxon Stories, #10)

Share This Book



“Life is simple," I said. "Ale, women, sword, and reputation. Nothing else matters.” 17 likes
“Wyrd biõ ful ãræd,” I said. Fate is fate. It cannot be changed or cheated.” 10 likes
More quotes…