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Death of Kings (The Saxon Stories #6)

4.27  ·  Rating Details ·  12,885 Ratings  ·  674 Reviews

The fate of a new nation rests in the hands of a reluctant warrior in this thrilling sixth volume in the acclaimed New York Times bestselling Saxon Tales series.

As the ninth century wanes, Alfred the Great lies dying, his dream of a unified England in danger and his kingdom on the brink of chaos. While his son, Edward, has been named his successor, there are other Saxo

Hardcover, 321 pages
Published January 17th 2012 by Harper (first published September 29th 2011)
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Community Reviews

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Bookdragon Sean
This series gets better with age. Over the years Uhtred has fought in countless battles and he has slain a countless number of people. He has led warriors, and even armies, all in the name of Alfred the Great, and now Alfred is dying; he is old, sick and full of bitter regret. On his death bed he tries one more time to unify England under the banner of Wessex, and, as ever, Uthred must lead this final unrewarding attempt.

But, is it too late?

Indeed, despite this last ditch attempt, Alfred’s en
Jason Koivu
These books make me wanna go !!!

In an England ravaged by Danes, as marvelously and meticulously laid out by Bernard Cornwell in his The Last Kingdom series, an English lord with Danish roots finds himself often at odds with which side to side with.

Here in book six Death of Kings, the English king who's ruled since the beginning of the series finally kicks the bucket and now the new kid gets to sit in the big boy chair...and the new kid is shitting his br
May 14, 2012 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone keen on blood and gore but able to cross their legs
Recommended to Mark by: W H Smith
A few days ago I was sent the following joke.

'A girl, no better than she should be, goes to the local council to gain some help. She has ten sons and when asked their names she says
"Nathan, Nathan, Nathan, Nathan etc ". The official asks her 'Isn't that a bit confusing ?'. 'No', she says 'It makes my life so much easier. I just go out into the street and say 'Nathan, time for bed' or 'Nathan, time for supper' and in they come. Simple as that'.

'But what happens if you want to speak to one individ
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I thought I had run out of steam with Uthred and King Alfred and their wars against the Danes in 9th century England. But the BBC America mini-series production of “The Last Kingdom” was so tasty and fabulous, I got hungry for Cornwell’s writing again. So glad I did. This one was so satisfying, up there with the thrills of the first one of the series.

Uhtred, who was born into Saxon nobility in Northumberland but kidnapped and raised a Dane, continues to serve the Christian king of Wessex. He ha
Apr 03, 2015 Algernon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015

Bernard Cornwell is a prolific author, and usually reliable to deliver a solid historical novel with clearly sketched battle scenes and heroic deeds of valor, yet not all things are created equal and I have come to appreciate some of his stuff more than others. The Saxon Chronicles are at the top of my preference list, together with his Arthurian epic (The Warlord Saga). And Death of Kings may be the best of the Saxon books published yet.

Alfred the Great is on his death bed, his long illness
Executive Summary: Another solid entry in this series. Uthred's adventures continue to entertain.

Full Review
I find myself quickly catching up on this series. These books always seem to go by so quickly. They aren't exactly short, but they tend to be far shorter than many of the doorstopper fantasy books I favor. I will say that much like The Last Kingdom, this did feel like part of a book.

That isn't to say this book comes to an abrupt ending, but much is left unresolved, and I suspect The Paga
Paula Lofting
Feb 17, 2012 Paula Lofting rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

The blurb: The 6th book in the Uhtred series. As usual, Uhtred is at odds with most of his fellow countrymen, hunted by the Danes that he admires and banished to an impoverished estate in Mercia. His only ally is his lover Aethelflaed, Lady of the Mercians and King Alfred's daughter. When the King dies, Uhtred is compelled as usual to swear another oath and this time he pledges to serve his old King's son, Edward, the new king and ensure that Edward's cousin, Aethelwold, his cousin, does not get
Another super instalment in the Saxon Series. Probably lacking a little of the twinkle and sparkle that I want from this series, especially since I had read The Burning Land right before Death of Kings and it served up all the twinkle and sparkle that a girl like me could need.
Rockin' ending though.

Mar 18, 2012 Joe rated it really liked it
Ah, another historical action novels from one of my guilty pleasures, Bernard Cornwell. I know, it's not literature but it sure is fun. I've heard him called the greatest living historical novelist. That might be true if we insist on the "living" qualification. While his books are always grand action-adventures of male fantasy, he's not quite Patrick O'Brian.

This latest addition to the chronical of Uhtred, the Saxon warlord is a delightful departure from the usual Cornwell style. The grand, spla
Sep 07, 2013 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 Stars for Death of Kings. Uhtred is back in form after the last 2 books on the series where I thought he just meandered aimlessly. Uhtred is the man with a plan in this chapter. Alfred finally kicks the bucket--after so many episodes on the "death bed". Seriously, Alfred was like a parody of a Shakespeare play, he's he's well...he's he's alive... Edward becomes king but can he keep the crown? Some great new characters show up here and Cornwell's treatment of Christians and ...more
Lee Broderick
Uhtred is back. Without giving away plot spoilers though, the book occupies awkward territory. We know it's the penultimate book in the series and the entire novel reads like a build up to that climax. Which it is; a cruel trick to play on us readers and I can only hope that the final volume arrives a little more quickly than this episode did.

Uhtred has some fun along the way, but is mostly chasing shadows through the book, and it's always a little disappointing to figure things out before the h
Sep 20, 2012 Nate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-ages, owned
So yeah, these are still good. I've pretty much run out of ways to say "these books are still good" in the beginning of these reviews without actually saying it so I figured I'd just actually say it. This one was a bit different in vibe from the others, though. It's hard to pin down exactly what made it stand out from the other so much. It seemed darker, mostly due to the whole Alfred thing. Also the whole "cave witch" scene rivaled the talking corpse from Sword Song in terms of creepiest scenes ...more
Vagner Stefanello
Apr 19, 2014 Vagner Stefanello rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: physical
Review in Portuguese from Desbravando Livros:

Depois de derrotar o exército de Haesten em Beamflot, outro perigo se aproxima: a morte de Alfredo, o Grande. Com a saúde extremamente debilitada, a qualquer hora o rei pode morrer e os dinamarqueses só pensam em se aproveitar desse momento para finalmente conquistar Wessex, depois de várias tentativas frustradas.

Para mim, o 6º livro das Crônicas Saxônicas não manteve o bom ritmo dos livros anteriores. Não que isso seja ruim, mas eu estava tão acostum
Kate Quinn
Dec 14, 2011 Kate Quinn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The sixth installment in the adventures of Uhtred of Bebbanburg, impatiently awaited and worth the wait. This one has a more thoughtful tone than the others, since it hinges on everyone waiting to see when Alfred the Great will die, and whether they will be able to survive the attack that will surely come from the Danes afterward. Their best hope of keeping Alfred's fragile kingdom together is Uhtred, but will Alfred's young successor trust him? Uhtred snaps and snarls and swears at priests, del ...more
Nov 15, 2011 Rob rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Once again, Bernard Cornwell has provided me with a page turner that simply cannot be put down. Uhtred is probably one of my favourite anti-heroes, with his gruff demeanor, love of battle and hatred and disdain for the church, whats not to love?

As always, Bernards story resides within historical fact, with the death of King Alfred and the succession of his son King Edward the Elder eventually making battle with the Danes, with the backdrop of Aethelwolds revolt included. I love these books beca
The Norns carved out a drama-filled historical plot better than any author could. So Cornwell's brilliant writing is just a cherry on top of a fascinating and complex historical ice cream sunday. As with others in this series, it doesn't disappoint. Actually, it does the opposite and makes me squee in laughter and tense up from the drama in equal parts.

Alfred is dying... Or is he? There he goes... wait, sorry, still alive. For how long? And will this mean war, again? An end to the tentative and
I spent a lot of time being frustrated with the kings and hoping they all die. I thought this book was well crafted - various plotlines connected well, and it introduced yet another secondary character that I really like!
Jun 12, 2015 Michela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"TODO DIA É UM DIA COMUM — disse o padre Willibald — até o momento que não é mais."
Krista Baetiong Tungol
In 899, the great King Alfred of Wessex, who is well-regarded by his people for his fairness, keen intellect and commanding supremacy, scoffed at by foes for his religious zeal, and known as the architect of a systematic government that has allowed the advancement of their culture, law and organization, is dying, and everyone believes it is only a matter of time before the great army of Danes and some ambitious Saxons wanting to be kings step in and claim the kingdom for themselves.

With the war
I decided to give “Death of Kings” five stars, simply because I was just so happy to read about Uthred again. What can I say, I just love his character. I must admit though, this book isn’t as good as Pale Horseman by a long shot. But of course, that one was simply my fav. This book seemed to end somewhat abruptly, so I can see where some reviewers might have felt cheated.

There are so many things I love about Bernard Cornwell’s writing. One is that he captures the time period so well. I feel li
Bernie Charbonneau
I am not sure how to honestly describe this book. Mr. Cornwell is probably my favorite historical Fiction writer and the Saxon Series, is for me, one of the best running series going. I have really enjoyed all the previous 5 novels but this latest one is a conundrum.
In this latest novel I felt it was a disconnection from the the previous novels. The excitement and flow of the adventure just wasn't apparent in this piece of the Anglo-Saxon history. This to me read like a recap of what has transpi
Jun 13, 2016 Ctgt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I walked out of the shadow. The helmet’s face-plates were closed, my mail and boots were blood-spattered, Serpent-Breath was reddened. “Who’s next?” I asked.

Another good entry in this series which I enjoyed a bit more than the last book. In the past several books Uhtred has been one step ahead of his/Alfred's enemies. He always seemed to be able to anticipate what his foes were thinking and planning. We finally come to the end of Alfred's reign and Uhtred is sure he knows what will happen after
Oct 17, 2016 Susana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, Uhtred is in trouble, Alfred's death and that only made things worse so far. Really fantastic series, wonderful plot an enjoyful series. But it looks like the 10th volume has just been release and not sure it is the last one...mmmmmm... will continue reading and thanking Cornwell for creating this adventures, very illustrative, enthralling and heart wrenching sometimes.
May 24, 2015 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My guilty pleasure reading of this series resumes after a couple months hiatus. Given that the title of the book is Death of Kings, I don't think that it's much of a spoiler to sum up the happenings as the aftermath of the death of Alfred, who has been a dominant force in the narrative for such a long time. Now it's not Alfred who is so important but the relationship that Uhtred has with each of Alfred's older children, namely Aethelflaed and Edward, who becomes king after Alfred.

When I was read
Susan Johnson
Nov 06, 2011 Susan Johnson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Uhtred fights again which is not surprising since his main goal in life is to die with a sword in his hand. Uhtred is a warrior through and through. He finds peace boring and trains his men every day so they can be the best warriors. He and his sword, Sepent-Breath, was the most famous Saxon warrior. In one battle he says. "Still more men came to kill me because my name was the name poets would give to their glory."
But Uhtred is more than a warrior. He may be the Saxon warrior leader but he was
Robin Carter
May 05, 2012 Robin Carter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have to say that recently with Bernard Cornwell my loyalty to his skill and many years in the business have kept me coming back more that the books, dont get me wrong they were a good read, but they were not books i "HAD" to read, you know, the type that jumps to the top of your reading pile.

Well Death of Kings puts that to bed, Bernard is really back to his best, for me at least. I always loved the sarcasm and explosive violence of Uthred, his utter disregard for the church in a time where ev
T.D. McKinnon
Jan 31, 2012 T.D. McKinnon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

‘Death of Kings’ is the sixth book in the ‘Saxon Chronicles’ series. The land that would one day be England, at the end of the 9th century AD, is more than fifty percent occupied by Danish speaking Norsemen. They initially raided as Vikings more than one hundred years before, and had now been invading and settling the land for nearly fifty years.

By this time most of the English speaking population had converted to Christianity and King Alfred (remembered now as Alfred the Great), King of Wessex
Mar 08, 2012 HBalikov rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am expecting that Cornwell is winding up his Saxon historical novels. Alfred, whose dreams of uniting England are the foundation of these books, is dying. Utred, feared but not trusted, is "exiled" to Mercia where he contemplates his future.

A slower start than the other novels has Utred seeking out a soothsayer in hopes of learning how the conflicts between Saxon and Dane will be resolved upon Alfred's death. After 100 pages we get to see how Utred's strategic efforts stand up against the tact
Jun 26, 2012 Graham rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The sixth book in Bernard Cornwell's Saxon Stories - following straight on from THE BURNING LAND - offers more of the same for those familiar with Uhtred's adventures. In essence, it's a time of fractured peace, with Danes lurking ever-present on the horizon and threatening to upset England's fragile state.

It's no great spoiler to reveal that Alfred the Great dies in this outing, which makes for some intriguing events, but elsewhere there's little to distinguish this book from the rest in the se
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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 birth mother's maiden n ...more
More about Bernard Cornwell...

Other Books in the Series

The Saxon Stories (10 books)
  • The Last Kingdom (The Saxon Stories, #1)
  • The Pale Horseman (The Saxon Stories, #2)
  • Lords of the North (The Saxon Stories, #3)
  • Sword Song (The Saxon Stories, #4)
  • The Burning Land (The Saxon Stories, #5)
  • The Pagan Lord (The Saxon Stories, #7)
  • The Empty Throne (The Saxon Stories, #8)
  • Warriors of the Storm (The Saxon Stories, #9)
  • The Flame Bearer (The Saxon Stories, #10)

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