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Sword of Kings

(The Saxon Stories #12)

4.48  ·  Rating details ·  732 ratings  ·  55 reviews
His blood is Saxon

His heart is Viking

His battleground is England

It is a time of political turmoil once more as the fading King Edward begins to lose control over his successors and their supporters. There are two potential heirs—possibly more—and doubt over whether the once separate states of Wessex and Mercia will hold together . Despite attempts at pulling him into the po/>His/>His
Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Expected publication: November 26th 2019 by Harper
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Average rating 4.48  · 
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 ·  732 ratings  ·  55 reviews

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Oct 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical
Not many authors are able to write 12 books series and still keep it engaging and thrilling read. Bernard Cornwell can.

The Saxon Stories is the best historical fiction series I have ever read and my fascination with main character Uhtred grows with every instalment. If you are new to this series, do yourself a favor and give it a chance as soon as possible. (You may read my spoiler-free review of previous books here.) If you are familiar with our pagan warlord extraordinaire, do not hesitate to pick
Sep 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
I’m a little depressed after finishing this. I just realized I have to wait at least another year for a new Uhtred book. Also – I think the tone of these books is getting darker.

In Sword of Kings, Uhtred is called upon for help from Edward’s queen, Eadigfu. She believes Aethelhem and her step-son Aelfweard are plotting against her and her children. She sends for Uhtred, seeking his protection against their mutual enemies. And Uhtred, feeling restless, and also suspicious of a plot ag
Jun 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
October 3

Uhtred is back baby. Oaths to honour, damsels in distress and a bloody, stinky, shield wall. I'm fairly certain I could read another 10 of these, keep 'em coming Mr Cornwell.
Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~
Oct 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Well here I am I’m finally caught up with the saga of Uhtred of Bebbanburg! This installment was actually really enjoyable & the whole series has become a bit of a comfort read for me over the last two years. I’m sad there isn’t more waiting for me but I’ll do my best to be patient while Mr. Cornwell writes more about my dude & his crazy adventures!
Bill Lynas
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bernard Cornwell's legendary creation Uhtred of Bebbanburg returns for the 12th novel in The Last Kingdom series.
Cornwell brings us the usual mixture of historical fact & fiction, wonderful characters (old & new) & superb action. After only a few pages I already felt totally immersed in Uhtred's world. As Uhtred gets older he finds it harder to fight, but with his trusty weapons (Serpent Breath & Wasp Sting) he is still a force to be reckoned with on the battlefield.
Susan Johnson
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh my goodness. Uhtred is back and in one of the best books of the series. It reminded me why I fell in love with him. It is action packed and Uhtred is at his most cunning. When he leads 180 men against 2000 in Lundene (London), I held my breath the entire time. The story is full of battles and skirmishes and even a humiliating episode for Uhtred. It has everything.

I have to admit that I didn't know much about English history except for the Tudors before reading this series. Alfre
Nov 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is #12 in the Saxon Stories series. Oh, how I have enjoyed these books. What fun! They have all been 4-5 stars for me. I love Uhtred, his story, and his mission. I like that even though he is guided by some inner moral code, he still manages to do the unexpected. Every time I read the next one, I often wonder where the next one will go....I feel the same with this one. But the author, Bernard Cornwell, is a master at dropping bread crumbs throughout the entire story, which in turn are ...more
Nov 03, 2019 marked it as review-copies-to-read

Many thanks to Harper for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review

i will be completely honest... this looks like a book i would never in a million years read... so... this is awkward...

sorry, HarperCollins...

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Oct 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved getting back into the world of Uhtred of Bebbanburg. Another brilliant story with skirmishes and battles and Uhtred ultimately having to save the day. The only negative being it’s a quick read so another long wait for the next book!
augusto buchweitz
Oct 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 01, 2019 rated it liked it
I found this book a bit of a non-event, I'm afraid. Nothing happened that hadn't already happened in all the previous books, and nothing really moved forward in the history of the developing English kingdom. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed reading it, but it felt more like a place-holder.

I was struck by a thought, though. Uhtred took part in Alfred's decisive battle of Edington in 878 AD (in The Pale Horseman). This books takes place in the year that Alfred's son Edward died, 924 AD, w
Oct 27, 2019 rated it liked it
The latest (at the time of writing) in Bernard Cornwell's series of books about the making of England, and we're now a lifetime on from Alfred (the Great's) death, with Alfred himself being a key player in those earlier books.

However, Uhtred is still tied to Alfred's family by various oaths he has made over the years, with one such oath causing him to leave his (reclaimed) homeland of Northumbria, and in particular Bebbanburg, and travel south in an attempt to fulfil that oath.

Unseen Library
In this week’s Waiting on Wednesday I check out the latest books from one of my favourite authors, the master of English historical fiction novels, Bernard Cornwell. Cornwell is one of the leading authors of historical fiction in the world today, with over 55 novels to his name, including his massive Richard Sharpe series and his compelling Grail Quest novels. I have been a massive fan of Cornwell for years, having a huge number of his books, and he is an author whose works I will automatically ...more
Adam Ranger
Oct 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Maybe 4.5 stars if I could give half ratings.
I have followed this series of books for many years now since the first one was published. I love te characters and the time period it is set in. A time of change, Saxons VIkings, Kingdoms vs Kingdoms as lords via for power during the creation of what we now call England.

Some of the past few books have left me feeling a bit short changed and did not seem to have a story. But this 12 instalment is back to his good form. Uhtred is a gr
Oct 31, 2019 rated it liked it
As an avid series reader, I thought this episode, #12, was OK, but far from my favorite. (I don’t think a new reader would appreciate it.) Cornwell seems to be striving for ‘new’ observations of the time. He provides more information about shipping, ship-to-ship battles, the life of female slaves and, as always, the living conditions, customs, etc. All-in-all, violence ruled.

With all of the politics involved, i.e. ‘who’s the king now?’ (which at this juncture in the series is almost mandatory),
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A man of his word, Uhtred of Bebbanburg has made an oath to 'King in waiting' Aethelstan, and with King Edward now dying, the time has come to fulfil that oath.
Bernard Cornwell is a master storyteller so these books still feel fresh - this is book 12 in The Last Kingdom series - and I'm sure I stopped breathing on more than one occasion.
Oct 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bernard-cornwell
Maybe 4.5 stars, if that was an option. Its still great, still love Cornwall and Uhtred but maybe it’s a book I’ll need to revisit after reading the other books together. It just wasn’t a knock it out of the park book 🤷🏻♂ ...more
Oct 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical, reviewed
Sword of Kings

by Bernard Cornwell

This is an historical adventure on a grand scale, its The Game of Thrones, but set in10th century England.

Uhtred, is a fierce strategist and mighty warrior who has served his king dutifully, even though he didn't particularly approve of him or his actions.

He believes in the old gods and distrust the pious ways of church who manipulate the king, his beliefs allow him to live the life of a warrior warlord.

Oct 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
I have a little confession to make. Even though I have got several of Bernard’s books on my ‘to be read’ mountain, I haven’t actually read one yet………….until now that is. This Ginger Book Geek is a bit of a history nerd but admittedly I usually read historical fiction that is a bit more modern and recent than that featured in Bernard’s books. That said my late father was a huge fan of Bernard’s work and we had a similar taste in books so I had an inkling that I would enjoy reading ‘Sword Of Kings ...more
Oct 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I sometimes feel that this series of books has long since run its course, but Sword of Kings, Book 12, had me intrigued just from reading the blurb.
Lord Uhtred has firmly moved into a time period I know, study and write about, and while sometimes it's hard to read the way another person treats 'your' characters, I thoroughly enjoyed the starkly different interpretation of events surrounding King Edward's death, because, quite simply, there is no 'right or wrong' when writing about this per
Emma Cox
Oct 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Uhtred is a man who’s life has been bound by oaths. King Edward is dying, and he vowed an oath that on his death he will kill two men. Uhtred would rather stay in Bebbanburg, his ancestral home he fought hard to win back. He knows he is leading his men on a fool’s errand. However, the only thing you can take with you in death is reputation, and Uhtred of Bebbanburg will not be remembered as an oath breaker. But fate is inexorable...

I’ve followed Uhtred since the first publication of
Jennifer (JC-S)
Nov 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: librarybooks
‘And if a man breaks an oath he has no honour.’

As the tenth century marches on, Uhtred is now an old man. He’s living at Bebbanburg, the home he fought so hard to win back. He’d rather stay at Bebbanburg, but he swore an oath. King Edward is dying, he’s losing control over those who might succeed him and their supporters. There are at least two potential heirs, and doubt about whether Wessex and Mercia will remain together. Uhtred swore an oath to King Alfred. He also swore an oath t
Geoff Boxell
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Well, this number 12 in the series is better than number 11, which seemed a mite forced.
Yes, it follows Cornwell's pattern of battles at beginning and end and a dual with a formidable opponent as part of the final conflict but, it moves and moves so well: this is a book you sit down at the beginning of the day and do nothing else that day till it is read.
I think all who know the period are interested and curious about how Edward the Elder's son Athelstan, who some claimed was a basta
Miss A
Oct 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the 12th in the series. Admittedly I haven't read the previous books but having watched The Last Kingdom I was drawn to this book and was definitely not disappointed.

For those unaware the series tells the story of times of Alfred the Great and the Viking raids across England or it's four kingdoms as it had at that time.

Uhtred is settled in Nortumbria until he is asked to help a queen, making him leave the safety of Bebbanburg. As one King Edward dies his two heirs
Jeff Jones
Oct 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What can I say that hasn't already been said by other reviewers? Not much I suspect. This is book 12 in the Last Kingdom series, which in itself is an amazing feat - to be able to keep the story moving forward and the characters so engaging after all this time is no easy thing, but Cornwell does it with ease. But then again there were a lot more Sharpe books in that series and I absolutely loved them, so maybe I shouldn't be surprised.

I found this one a little slow to get going but I
Nov 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
After listening to the author’s note at the end of the story, it seems that this may be the last installment of this series. If so, I want to thank the author for writing such historical fiction that has allowed me to travel back in time and experience the world of Uthred. Furthermore, Matt Bates is an excellent narrator.

Uthred has been bound of oaths after oaths. First, he has given an oath to Alfred. When Alfred has passed away, he has given his oath to Æthelflæd. His last oath is
John Mccormick
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My thanks to the Author publishers and NetGalley for providing a Kindle version of this book for me to read and honestly review.
This is the twelfth book in the epic 'Uhtred' series and the quality continues to thrill this reader. Well written and researched, gripping from first to last page authentic atmospheric compelling with a real feel and sense of time and place. The characters are brought to life and the action scenes descriptive and graphic. Uhtred is an ancient for these times but
Sandra King
Oct 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another great book. A really good listen when both of you are in the car. I really don't want this series to end. Uhtred is such an interesting character and he just seems to get more so with each book. By the way it ended I think there is at least one more maybe 2. Yay!! I am going to listen to Abbot's Tale by Conn Iggulden as it seems to pick up with King Alfred's grand son King Ethelstan trying to unite England into one country.
Jes Mainwaring
Oct 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderfully predictable...

...but, as always, not in the storyline but in the way you know by half way down page one you will have been grabbed, captured and forced to read on without putting the book down until you get to the final page. I can only assume the characters emerge fully and intricately formed from the shadows edging Bernard Cornwell's study and demand "Take me to your reader".
Wes Brown
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Bernard Cornwell is probably the finest writer of battles and fights that I have read. Uhtred of Bebbanberg is one of my favorite characters in all fiction and this series of books has never felt like they have dragged on or gone stale. Another brilliant episode in the story of the making of England and the ultimate pagan warlord caught up in it.... Excellent
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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

Other books in the series

The Saxon Stories (1 - 10 of 12 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)
  • 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 Saxon Stories, #9)
  • The Flame Bearer (The Saxon Stories, #10)
“Everything ends. Summer ends. Happiness ends. Days of joy are followed by days of sorrow. Even the gods will meet their end in the last battle of Ragnarok when all the evil of the world brings chaos and the sun will turn dark, the waters will drown the homes of men, and the great beamed hall of Valhalla will burn to ashes. Everything ends.
I drew Serpent Breath and walked towards the scouts.”
More quotes…