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Lords of the North (The Saxon Stories #3)

4.30  ·  Rating Details  ·  19,118 Ratings  ·  609 Reviews
From Bernard Cornwell, the undisputed master of historical fiction, hailed as "the direct heir to Patrick O'Brien,"* comes the third volume in the exhilarating Saxon Chronicles: the story of the birth of England as the Saxons struggle to repel the Danish invaders.

The year is 878, and as Lords of the North begins, the Saxons of Wessex, under King Alfred, have defeated the D
Hardcover, 317 pages
Published January 23rd 2007 by HarperTorch (first published January 1st 2006)
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Best Historical Fiction
186th out of 5,623 books — 21,781 voters
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Viking Historical Fiction
3rd out of 87 books — 160 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Bookworm Sean
Feb 22, 2016 Bookworm Sean rated it really liked it
I love a good tale of revenge. I always find that they have some of the most intense plots; they always seem to rush past before my eyes. And it was good to finally see Uhtred set out on his own, with his own goal, with his own men, with his own quest for bloody revenge.

He dreams of it; he longs for it. His oldest enemy, Kjartan the Cruel, is within his reach. The two have a blood feud that must be satisfied with cold, sharp, steel. Kjartan murdered Uhtred’s adopted farther and stole his sister
Jason Koivu
May 03, 2014 Jason Koivu rated it liked it
It's Danes versus Saxons in a fight for the right to rule over a cold, wet island soon to be known as England, as depicted by these toys in this unrealistic setting...


Our hero Uhtred is still at it, trying to regain what is rightfully his, the impregnable fortress Bebbanburg. But as usual, a bunch of assholes stand in his way.

Sorry for cussing just then. However, if you've read any of Bernard Cornwell's books before, you're probably not too shocked by it. The only thing that might've surprised y
Athena Shardbearer

Because fate cannot be cheated, it governs us, and we are all its slaves.

I don't know how much more I can love this series. I don't know how much more I can say that I haven't already said. I don't know how much more I can tell the world that I need a Viking, that I want to be a Dane and fight next to them. I think my bloodlust has intensified and all I want to do is be a warrior.

This book, by far, is the best in the series. Book one was heartbreaking and full of discovery. I cried a lot in
Executive Summary: Another excellent entry in this series, and probably my favorite one yet. This is likely in part due to finally being past the part of the series that was adapted for television.

Full Review
If nothing else, I think this book solidifies my opinion that reading the book before watching a movie or TV show based on it is always the way to go. Not that I needed any convincing on that front really.

It was nice to get past the point where I knew what was coming though. The first book
Mar 25, 2010 Terri rated it it was amazing
Uhtred makes me laugh. I like him and I get him.

Okay, if you have read my review of the first two books in this series, The Last Kingdom and The Pale Horseman, - and it would be most arrogant of me to assume that you have - then you will understand why I have started this review with those few simple words.
For those who have not read those reviews, let me explain.

I love this Saxon series of Cornwell's, I love the main character, Uhtred, I love the way Cornwell writes, I love this world he has br
rating: 4.5/5

This is the third in the Warrior Chronicles/Saxon Stories series and am still loving it! Uhtred is a blood-lusting arrogant ass with a cruel streak but also a redeeming goodness (which seems contradictory but you just gotta read for it to make sense).

This book picks up soon after the battle in the second book, The Pale Horseman, ends. Alfred gives Uhtred "five hides" as reward for his actions (the bastard) so Uhtred buries his fortune and, with Hild in tow, makes it for Northumbria
Vagner Stefanello
Oct 26, 2015 Vagner Stefanello rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: physical
Review in Portuguese from Desbravando Livros:

Os dinamarqueses foram expulsos de Wessex após perderem a Batalha de Ethandun para os homens de Alfredo. Uma vitória magnífica dos saxões que acreditam que foi Deus quem ganhou a batalha, mas todos sabem que Uhtred e seus companheiros fizeram a maior parte do trabalho.

E agora, o que fazer? Uhtred tem uma rixa de sangue com Kjartan, o homem que assassinou Ragnar e sequestrou a sua irmã de criação, e também precisa recuperar Bebbanburg, que está sob com
Aug 08, 2012 Nate rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-ages, owned
I've heard a lot of people gripe about the fact that Cornwell sticks to a somewhat formulaic pattern with his books; a lot of people don't like it, but I do. I do enjoy when authors have a lot of dynamics and changing styles, ideas, plots etc. from book to book, but I also sometimes just want to read something where I know what I'm gonna get and I don't have to adapt or really face any challenge with new facets of an author's work. That's not to say that it's boring or stale, though; he's great ...more
Kate Quinn
Feb 28, 2010 Kate Quinn rated it it was amazing
Uhtred does considerable growing up in the third installment of the Saxon Stories, growing from a brash and over-confident boy to a man hardened and tempered by suffering. He is now a warrior of considerable reputation, but Alfred has dispensed with his services now that peace has come to Britain. Spitting with rage over his demotion, Uhtred goes north to meet old enemies and make some new ones. Betrayal leaves him enslaved and chained to an oar but unbroken, and when he gains his freedom Uhtred ...more
Darkpool (protesting GR censorship)
I enjoyed this very much, although I wonder just how wise it is to drive suburban streets while listening to graphic descriptions of people hitting each other with sharp swords. Having listened to the previous book in this series, it was very interesting to hear differences in the styles of the two readers - having become used to Tom Sellwood's more restrained style for The Pale Horseman, it took me a little time to get used to Richard Armitage's more vigorous narration for this book (ah, but he ...more
Nov 06, 2015 Karéz rated it it was amazing
Shelves: series
4,5 stars!
Apr 21, 2016 Suzanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Uhtred's adventures continue! I think in most books, his shifting alliances and arrogance would drive me crazy, and yet this is so well-written that those things don't bother me at all. I also like the humor inserted in the book - it isn't obvious, but shows up throughout.

Feb 11, 2010 Graham rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In LORDS OF THE NORTH, the third in Bernard Cornwell's Saxon Stories concerning the lives of Uhtred and Alfred the Great in the late 9th century, the author takes us away from the familiar trappings of Wessex into a whole new territory: the wild Northumbrian north. I think it was a good call, because it breathes new life into the series.

At first, though, I thought this was the weakest of the series so far. The first third seems very...irrelevant. We're introduced to a whole new cast of character
Krista Baetiong Tungol
Wyrd bi. Fate is fate.

Uhtred may not like what the three spinners have in store for him, but he knows too that fate is inexorable; his own has long been sealed since the day his Saxon father died and a Dane father fostered him.

It is fate that has led him to the north, where his beloved Bebbanburg lies, after realizing that winning King Alfred’s war has not gained him any fitting recompense. It is fate that has determined his encounter with a Dane slave prophesied by a Christian monk to be Northu
Jul 04, 2012 Billy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
NOOOO!!!!! 6 months wait for the next book. This was GREAT!,

Book three in the Saxon Chronicles is the best book by Bernard Cornwell that I have read. I had read his "Grail Quest Trilogy" before coming to this series, which I thought was a trilogy, but now know could go on much longer (it will be at least 4 books and I certainly hope for more).

"Lords of the North" continues the fantastic, emotional tale of Uhtred, the fictional Saxon-born, Dane-adopted and raised warrior, that is fated to fight f
Teri Heyer
Feb 20, 2013 Teri Heyer rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves great historical fiction.
This is an awesome third book in the Saxon series. King Alfred, King Guthred, Lord Uhtred, Lord Ragnar and all the others come alive. Definitely a book you won't want to put down. Bernard Cornwell has become one of my favorite historical fiction authors.
Maria Grazia
Jan 18, 2016 Maria Grazia rated it really liked it
The Lords of the North is a page-turner, with good descriptive pages and hilarious dialogue exchanges. The story is followed by Uhtred’s point of view and narrated by the protagonist in first person and in retrospective. He is a very old man looking back at his adventurous long life. This makes the reader deeply aware of his incredible irony and smartness, as well as his flaws, impulsiveness and extreme loyalty. Loyalty, a defect, you wonder? It can be a limit and it is a great one to Uhtred: on ...more
May 30, 2015 Michela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Porque o destino não pode ser enganado, ele nos governa, e todos somos seus escravos.
May 24, 2016 Kat rated it really liked it
This instalment of Uhtred's story picked up the pace quite a bit from The Pale Horseman.

It was also a book full of surprising turns that I did not see coming until they happened. It was really hard to put down after the first section, and I ended up reading most of it in a nail-biting rush during a single evening.

I liked Hild and her story. There was a real Hild in history, and I like to think that this is the same one we meet here with Uhtred. Throughout these 3 books, Uhtred has treated his wo
Georgina Ortiz
Jan 09, 2015 Georgina Ortiz rated it it was amazing
In "Lords of the North," we see a powerful warrior (Uhtred of Bebbanburg who killed—correct me if I'm wrong—not one, but two descendants of the legendary Ragnar Lothbrok) brought to his knees. The first part of the book, excellent as always, chronicles Uhtred's downfall from rising star of the Saxons to...well, just read the book.

And just when you think that everything's going very very bad for our hero, the author pulls off a deus ex machina (I'm always skeptical of this plot device, but it se
Newton Nitro
Apr 12, 2015 Newton Nitro rated it really liked it
Mais um livro das Crônicas Saxônicas do Bernard Cornwell. Depois de mais uma aventura de Uhtred, recomendo, para quem for encarar as crônicas, ler os livros na sequência, sem dar pausa. O que tinha me incomodado nos primeiros livros, em relação ao arco e a profundidade de alguns personagens (como o Rei Alfred, por exemplo), se resolve ao ler os livros em sequência. Cornwell extende os arcos dos personagens coadjuvantes ao longo dos livros, que agora considero como capítulos da crônica. Acredito ...more
Oct 26, 2010 Jim rated it it was amazing
Lords of the North is the middle novel of Bernard Cornwell's excellent Saxon Tales series of five novels set in the 9th century. Alfred is King of Wessex, but the series' point of view character is Uhtred of Bebbanburg (Bamburg), a Saxon of noble birth who is brought up by Vikings. The central point of the whole series is the tug between a newly confident Christianity and the old gods of Asatru. As Uhtred says at one point:
I remember blind Ravn, Ragnar's grandfather, telling me that the gods lik
Bill Krieger
Oct 06, 2012 Bill Krieger rated it liked it
Women and war!

This is the third in Cromwell's Viking series. It's (again) really good, light guy reading. There's tons of Viking gore and manly shenanigans. The whole series was definitely worth reading.

Cromwell seemed to enjoy coming up with a lot of creative Viking insults in this book. For example:

+ "He will die like a snake under a hoe!"

+ "I watched a goat vomit yesterday, and what it threw up reminded me of you."

+ "When you're dead, I shall have your skin tanned and made into a saddle so
Jul 05, 2012 Kevin rated it liked it
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
Joyce Lagow
Apr 20, 2010 Joyce Lagow rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Third in the Saxon Tales series.[return][return]In 878, Uhtred the dispossessed heir of Bebbbanberg, has been rewarded by Alfred, King of Wessex, for Uhtred s critical role in winning the battle of Ethandun against a Danish army--with a miserable little holding that was barely able to support the three slave families that worked it. Alfred is by nature a miser and his dislike of Uhtred, who refuses to become a Christian, only adds to the insult.[return][return]Uhtred has had enough of Alfred who ...more
Oct 01, 2007 Shane rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Cornwell fans
Cornwell does it again. I keep thinking after reading so many of his books of the same genre I should be feeling guilty like I'm reading Star Trek or romance novels or something... but they're just so damn good.

Not every one is great, and none of them have lived up to the Warlord trilogy but this series is pretty spectacular and the narrator's voice is perfect for the story. Hearing it is like visiting an old friend. I thought that this would be the last book of Utred because in the middle somew
Apr 28, 2009 Erika rated it really liked it
It’s the late 9th Century and Uhtred Ragnarson of Bebbanburg is back and ready for more sword-waving, shield-bearing, and brute force honesty. Lords of the North opens with Uhtred and Hild immediately after the events of the third Saxon Chronicle book The Pale Horseman. Uhtred, the protagonist of the series, is our narrator again and brings a blunt, rough, and for lack of a better word, stereotypically male point of view to real historical events revolving around certain real historical figures ...more
Sep 24, 2010 Quinn rated it it was amazing
Simply put this is one of the best series of books that I have read. The battle sequences are crafted as delicately as a conductor of the New York symphony in a kick you in the mouth and knock out all of your teeth sort of way. If you like Braveheart you will love these novels.

"It was shield wall against shield wall. It was the horror of two shield walls fighting. It was the thunder of shields crashing together and the grunts of men stabbing with short swords or twisting spears into enemy bellie
Carol Storm
May 06, 2014 Carol Storm rated it it was amazing
I'm reading this series backwards, so I read SWORD SONG first, then read about half of the first book, THE LAST KINGDOM, and then I read this book.

I definitely think LORDS OF THE NORTH is the best of the Uhtred books so far. It has the most action, tons of battles, a sea chase, grueling action on a slave ship. Plus you get to see Uhtred and Gisela meet and fall in love for the first time. All of Uhtred's most important men, Finan, Sitric, Clapa, and Rypere, are all introduced in this book.

Ana Paula
This is my favorite. The characters I like are here, the things that happen are the best and things went right. I didn't get frustrated by anything, and although there are 2 books before this and 2 after for this to happen, I still enjoy the part of the story where things go the right way.

I really like Uhtred, Gisela, Ragnar, Finan, and even Hild and other minor characters. It was also funny to see that the priests are all corrupt, ugly and petulant, described in a humorous way.
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  • The White Raven (Oathsworn, #3)
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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 Saxon Stories (10 books)
  • The Last Kingdom (The Saxon Stories, #1)
  • The Pale Horseman (The Saxon Stories, #2)
  • 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)
  • Cornwell Untitled Uhtred Book 10 (Saxon Stories, #10)

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“I am no Christian. These days it does no good to confess that, for the bishops and abbots have too much influence and it is easier to pretend to a faith than to fight angry ideas. I was raised a Christian, but at ten years old, when I was taken into Ragnar’s family, I discovered the old Saxon gods who were also the gods of the Danes and of the Norsemen, and their worship has always made more sense to me than bowing down to a god who belongs to a country so far away that I have met no one who has ever been there. Thor and Odin walked our hills, slept in our valleys, loved our women and drank from our streams, and that makes them seem like neighbours. The other thing I like about our gods is that they are not obsessed with us. They have their own squabbles and love affairs and seem to ignore us much of the time, but the Christian god has nothing better to do than to make rules for us. He makes rules, more rules, prohibitions and commandments, and he needs hundreds of black-robed priests and monks to make sure we obey those laws. He strikes me as a very grumpy god, that one, even though his priests are forever claiming that he loves us. I have never been so stupid as to think that Thor or Odin or Hoder loved me, though I hope at times they have thought me worthy of them.” 31 likes
“Did you become a Christian in your nunnery?' I asked her.

'Of course not.' she said scornfully.

'They didn't mind?'

'I gave them silver.'

'Then they didn't mind.' I said.

'I don't think any Dane is a real Christian.' she told me.

'Not even your brother?'

'We have many gods,' she said, 'and the Christian god is just another one. I'm sure that's what Guthred thinks. What's the Christian god's name? A nun did tell me, but I've forgotten.'


There you are, then. Odin, Thor and Jehovah. Does he have a wife?'


'Poor Jehovah.' she said.”
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