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The Burning Land (The Saxon Stories #5)

4.28  ·  Rating Details  ·  15,623 Ratings  ·  574 Reviews
In a clash of heroes, the kingdom is born.

At the end of the ninth century, King Alfred of Wessex is in ill health; his heir, an untested youth. His enemy, the Danes, having failed to conquer Wessex, now see their chance for victory. Led by the sword of savage warrior Harald Bloodhair, the Viking hordes attack. But Uhtred, Alfred's reluctant warlord, proves his worth, outwi
ebook, 368 pages
Published March 2nd 2010 by HarperCollins e-books (first published January 2009)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Bookworm Sean
There is nothing I’d like to see more than Uhtred completely re-joining the Danes. I’d like to see him join forces with Ragnar Ragnarson. I’d like to see the two stood side by side in the shield wall. I’d like to see them smash Alfred’s forces and Uhtred plunge Serpents Breath into the heart of Wessex. But, alas, Alfred has Uhtred’s oath of loyalty and obedience. He may leave his side for a time, but it would never, and could never, be permanent.

A strong test of loyalty


However, when he accident
Jeffrey Keeten
Jan 09, 2015 Jeffrey Keeten rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
”“The gods are capricious, and I was about to amuse them. And Alfred was right. I was a fool.”

 photo Thor_by_Abrar_Ajmal_zpsd4d4a443.jpg
The Mighty Thor

Uhtred, Lord of Bebbanburg, is an enigma. He is a man without a country, not only because England doesn’t yet exist in the 9th century, but he is also a man without a home. His uncle took his position as rightful heir to Bebbanburg when Uhtred’s father died. He does still call himself Lord of Bebbanburg, but it is from exile in the South. Uhtred is a Saxon, but he was raised by Vikings.
Jason Koivu
If reading this series doesn't make you wanna scream like this... ...then I just don't know what will!

The Burning Land continues Bernard Cornwell's bloodthirsty, battle-heavy and viciously violent viking saga.

England is still broken up into pieces. The Danes are threatening to overrun the land. Saxon King Alfred (later known as Alfred the Great) was holding on to Wessex and holding out hope of one day uniting the entire country under his banner. But need
Athena Shardbearer

"We are Danes, and we are Saxon, and we are warriors who love to fight. In our halls at night we chant the tales of men we have killed, of the women we have widowed, and of the children we have orphaned. So make your choice! Either give me a new song to sing or else lay down your weapons."

Oh Uhtred, chaos and mayhem follows you where ever you go. This far in the series and I'm starting to question the decisions that Uhtred makes and the people he makes promises to. Will he ever be happy, ever
5 stars. It has to be. 5 stars for Uhtred of Bebbanburg, and 5 stars for his creator, Bernard Cornwell.
It has been far too long between books in this Saxon series for me. I have had an Uhtred drought. So I hungered for this read when I came to it. And I am pleased to admit that it gave me everything I wanted and missed.
If there are flaws in The Burning Land then I do not see them. That's not saying that there are none, but if there were, I failed to notice. I'll leave the flaws for others to p
Executive Summary: Another enjoyable read in this series. These books are always quick reads that seem so packed with story.

Full Review
It feels a bit contradictory to say this book had a slow start, while still being a quick enjoyable read. I'd be hard pressed to say exactly what happened for most of the first part of this book of importance, but the rest of the book more than made up for that. Not to mention he does it in a way where it never feels rushed.

Mr. Cornwell just seems to be an expe
Vagner Stefanello
Oct 26, 2015 Vagner Stefanello rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: physical
Review in Portuguese from Desbravando Livros:

Contém spoilers dos livros anteriores!

Depois de livrar Londres do domínio dinamarquês utilizando uma estratégia muito arriscada e tendo que fazer um novo juramento, dessa vez à Aethelflaed, filha do rei Alfredo (cada vez mais doente e próximo da morte), nosso herói precisa novamente defender Wessex, pois os vikings estão reunindo uma horda gigantesca, liderada desta vez por Harald Cabelo de Sangue, guerreiro poderoso que mata um cavalo a cada vez que
Kate Quinn
Feb 28, 2010 Kate Quinn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Alfred the Great, in Bernard Cornwell's Saxon Stories, has a love for order, peace, and Christianity. He has always been dismayed by his reliance on Uhtred, a pagan warrior who represents everything Alfred hates, but a reluctant bond of need held them loyal to each other. That bond snaps in "The Burning Land," when Alfred's punishing zeal is finally too much and Uhtred abandons his cause. Grieving for the death of his beloved wife, he flees north with thoughts of re-taking the fortress of his bi ...more
Nov 12, 2015 Karéz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3,5 Stars!
rating: 4/5

Uhtred is a little older, a little wiser, a little less degrading to priests, and a little less prone to violence.

Okay, I lied.

"I'll hang him with his son's intestines," I said, "and piss on his corpse."

Ah, that's better!

He's just as bloody, foul-mouthed, and quick to temper while routinely shutting his brain down and acting before thinking (but he is a little older). Yup, exactly what I have come to expect from the series.

With one drawback. The middle was a bit dry on the action, a
Oct 28, 2011 Graham rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great entry in the Saxon Stories by Bernard Cornwell. This is the fifth book and a return to the quality of the initial three after the slightly sub-standard SWORD SONG. This one's so great because it sees Uhtred finally breaking away from Alfred (hurrah!) and setting up power on his own.

Once again, the story is dominated with powerful descriptions of England's lands and peoples. Cornwell has great fun with a fictional villain - Harald Bloodhair, a man who lives up to his name before each batt
Aug 22, 2012 Nate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-ages, owned
5 books into this series and I'm still not feeling any burnout, which is somewhat rare for me with a (relatively) long series like this one. All the stuff that I assume that Cornwell fans like is still here in spades; thorough research, vivid painting of the British landscape, memorable characters, and insane battle sequences. Seriously, I can't believe those poor people had to live through such brutal fighting. I've never been in any kind of combat situation, but I have to imagine that fighting ...more
I am sad to report I can only give this one 3 Stars...I really had high hopes for my return to the world of Uhtred of Bebbanburg and England of the late 9th Century.

The good points: 1) no one does a better battle scene than Cornwell and the battles here are pretty good; 2) Cornwell really paints a grim picture of life and it always seems accurate; 3) Cornwell skewers treacherous royalty and Christian priests with such skill (yet also portrays some as brave and likeable).

The bad: 1) Uhtred is pi
Krista Baetiong Tungol
King Alfred of Wessex is gravely ill, Uhtred’s loyalty wavers yet again and goes where his fate leads him, the Danes are ever planning to thwart Alfred’s vision of England, Ætheling Edward is gradually proving himself to be a worthy successor, and the king’s daughter Æthelflæd, whose life is suddenly in peril, has found a formidable champion in Uhtred. Meanwhile, lands get burned, towns are sacked and its populace cut down or mutilated, battlefields are awash in gore, and Father Pyrlig, my favor ...more
Jan 25, 2016 Férial rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, a slightly different pattern (see my review for Sword Song ) but not different enough for a 5 stars rating. Plus, I found that Uhtred choices in women were not very wise and this annoyed me a bit (view spoiler) ...more
Jul 09, 2016 Kat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've probably enjoyed this book the most in the series so far.

Mainly because some of the things that happen have been so long in the making that when they finally did happen I got this feeling of satisfaction. Yes, finally this or that comes to pass!

At the same time, it's full of new beginnings, new alliances, and new conflicts.

So while the big great quest of getting Bebbanburg back still goes on, it is - as usual - put on hold. This is not a spoiler, by the way, because you know this particula
May 17, 2011 Algernon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
Bernard Cornwell at the top of his game. The Warlord and the Saxon Chronicles are my favorites. Uhthred of Bebbanbburg shares a lot of character traits with the Arthurian warlord.
The story can only be described by a word that has been overused lately : "epic" . a gripping saga or edda of a brutal epoch, the birth of a nation on the ruins of a monumental Roman civilisation, the tide of Christianity pushing out the Norse and Celtic mythology. Uhthred is a badass character, by necessity and by incl
Mar 19, 2015 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Five books into a series, for the most part, you know what you are going to get. The Saxon Stories is not a complicated series of books by any means. There is Uhtred of Bebbanburg, his conflict between his inner Dane-ness and his continuing ties to the fledgling Saxon kingdom of Wessex that King Alfred dreams of being the center of a unified England.

Uhtred will go between these two worlds, killing the people who are opposed to him at that moment, succeeding against the odds, resenting Christian
Dec 12, 2010 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Vikings are nobody's idea of "the good guys." Therefore it's interesting to read something from the Norsemen's point of view, such as the great Icelandic sagas of the 13th century (especially Njals Saga, Grettir's Saga, and Egils Saga), Cecelia Holland's Two Ravens, and the splendid Saxon Tales of Bernard Cornwell, of which The Burning Land is -- at least at this time -- the latest addition.

Uhtred of Bebbanburg is an Anglo-Saxon lord who had been captured and raised by Viking raiders. As a r
Ana Paula
I never have complaints about Cornwell. To me his books are a synonym of quality. Whenver good or bad things happen in his stories, it's well done.
Some remarks on the book:

*Uhtred finally got away from Lundene. Too bad Giselle had to die for that to happen. By the way, the "blind saint" scene was great.
*I liked Edward more than I thought I would. He could be a promissing character.
*Ragnar, who I liked so much, became a boring character. Like he grew too old for it.
*Uhtred walking on the rows in
N. Sasson
Jul 03, 2010 N. Sasson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bernard Cornwell delivers another action-packed treasure in The Burning Land, fifth installment in his paragon Saxon Tales, set in 9th century Britain. Once again, Uhtred of Bebbanburg rises to his reputation as King Alfred’s formidable warlord and snatches another great victory from the Danes, this time at Farnham. While his family grows and Gisela provides comforting familiarity, two other women – Aethelflaed,the fair daughter of Alfred, and raven-haired Skade, a cruel and enchanting Danish so ...more
Sep 19, 2012 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the best books in the Alfred/Saxon series (IMO), two others being The Last Kingdom and Sword Song. Lord Uhtred, raised a pagan warrior amongst the Viking Danes from the age of nine, has not had a boring life. In fact, although a mixture of what may be good and bad fates, he probably has never had a boring day!

But now Uhtred still serves the pious King Alfred, a sickly but sharp minded man, as Alfred's Lord of Battle. Though Alfred sees Uhtred as a dangerous, but useful, saxon who
Marko Vasić
Jun 16, 2016 Marko Vasić rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Za moj ukus, do sada najslabiji deo. Nije bilo ni mnogo veličanstvenih bitaka, ni mnogo krvavih sekira, na šta nas je Cornwell navikao. Veći deo romana je otišao na pregovore, taktiziranje i biroktratiju. Ali, daleko od toga da je bilo šta od toga mučno i dosadno. Budući da je ovaj deo medijana, i da ima još 4 dela u okviru sage, verujem da će se u narednim romanima još štošta zanimljivog dogoditi, jer je Uthred tek na polovini puta da uradi ono što je još davno zacrtao.
May 07, 2010 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The only words Bernard Cornwell has ever written that I don't like are "The End." Cornwell is the absolute master of historical fiction, and his Saxon Stories--of which this is the fifth installment--are the literary equivalent of crack cocaine. The Saxon Stories chronicle the beginning of what we today call England: it's the Saxons against the Danes against the Mercians against the Norse against get the idea. These are violent, bloody, fascinating stories which are incredible page tur ...more
In the latest (5th) installment of The Saxon Chronicles Uhtred (once again) finds himself torn between his love for the Danes, and his allegiance to King Alfred. He experiences a reversal of fortunes, and must decide where his duty lies, and how best to go about taking Bebbanburg (sp). His enemies and allies include some colorful characters. Some are historical, and some were plucked from Cornwell’s vivid imagination, among them Harald Bloodhair, whose battle ritual involves eviscerating a horse ...more
Feb 12, 2010 Mike rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Bernard Cornwell's stuff. This book did not disappoint. It's the fifth installment in Cornwell's "Saxon Stories," chronicling the struggles of the nascent kingdoms of what would eventually become England against the Danes in the 10th century. Cornwell, with his usual verve and keen eye for historical detail, paints a vivid picture of the political and religious skullduggery navigated by Alfred the Great in his struggle to repel the Viking invaders and create a functional civil state, to u ...more
Newton Nitro
Apr 12, 2015 Newton Nitro rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mais um capítulo banhado em sangue das aventuras do guerreiro saxão Uhtred de Bebbanburg. Bernard Cornwell manda muito bem, em mais um romance repleto de acção e que continua a saga da guerra pela supremacia na Grã-Bretanha.

Achei esse melhor do que o livro anterior (Sword Song - Canção da Espada) só por ser mais longo, pois a prosa e a manha que o Cornwell tem para contar histórias continua top.

The Burning Land - Terra em Chamas tem uma trama bem variada, com pirataria viking, em meio a mais um
May 22, 2012 Joe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As always, Cornwell captures you and draws you into a world that actually existed and that most of us are glad we had yet to be born. I find myself dropped right in the middle of the action every time I read this series. As I am holding the book, my hands feel heavy is if I am carrying broad sword and a shield. Uhtred is one of the great characters of English lore. He may be one of the most tortured souls in all of fiction, but his bravery, boldness and beliefs guide him through all of his trium ...more
Joyce Lagow
You just can't beat Cornwell in the historical fiction, blood-and-guts arena. This is the 5th book in The Saxon Tales, and it is every bit a good as the first ones if not better. By this time we know all about Uhtred of Babbenburg and what to expect; he does not fail us. The late 9th century England being what it was, there's plenty of conflict, treachery, and opportunity for battle. Arthur is dying, but he's not gone yet, and he still manipulates the pieces on the board.

There are two really fin
Bernie Charbonneau
WOW! I give the novel 4-41/2 stars but the "Saxon Series" is a solid 5 stars! This, the fifth book to be released by Mr. Cornwell in the epic tale of "England" is just as entertaining as the previous books. If you have any desire to read historical-fiction novels or a Bernard Cornwell series of books, then I strongly recommend spending a week or two hunkering down in your most comfortable place and crack open the first book and loss yourself in this early era of the forming of England. These nov ...more
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  • The White Raven (Oathsworn, #3)
  • Sons of Thunder (Raven #2)
  • When the Eagle Hunts (Eagle, #3)
  • King's Man (Viking, #3)
  • Bones of the Hills (Conqueror, #3)
  • King's Man (The Outlaw Chronicles, #3)
  • Hereward (Hereward #1)
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)
  • Lords of the North (The Saxon Stories, #3)
  • Sword Song (The Saxon Stories, #4)
  • 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)

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“Why do we fight?" he asked.

"Because we were born.”
“‎"He sang the song of the sword, keening as he fed his blade, and Rollo, standing thigh-deep in the creek, ax swinging in murderous blows, blocked the enemy's escape. The Frisians, transported from confidence to bowel-loosening fear, began to drop their weapons.” 7 likes
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