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Sword of Kings

(The Saxon Stories #12)

4.42  ·  Rating details ·  3,248 ratings  ·  283 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
Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published November 26th 2019 by Harper
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Alasandra Alawine I don't see any mention of an Egbert or Edgar on page 31. In fact page 31 consist of Egil (one of Uhtred's men) discussing what they should do with…moreI don't see any mention of an Egbert or Edgar on page 31. In fact page 31 consist of Egil (one of Uhtred's men) discussing what they should do with the prisoners and boats. I think you mean page 43. And yes it does look like a proof reader let this name change slip through. Although I suppose it could be put down to it being a fake name so the men might be confused about who is being called what. But I think most likely some spell check program didn't recognize the name Egbert and changed it to Edgar and the proof reader didn't catch it. (less)
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 ·  3,248 ratings  ·  283 reviews

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Feb 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 stars for another well written story in the Saxon Stories series. This book has Uhtred of Bebbanburg, going south from Bebbanburg to fulfill an oath to kill two men, one of whom is Aethelhelm the Younger and would be king of Wessex. He fights some fierce battles and almost dies but survives.
Bernard Cornwell writes the best battle scenes of any historical fiction writer currently writing books.
He describes in vivid detail the shield wall and weapons used in 10th century England.
This was a
Jun 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 more of these, keep 'em coming Mr Cornwell.
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
Dana Ilie
Jan 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I want the next one.... Please!!!!
Sep 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical
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 against him,
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.
Sword of
Jan 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This 12th offering in Cornwell’s Saxon historical fiction series encompasses the death of King Edward the Elder (871-924) to the crowning of Æthalstan as his successor. Cornwell’s fictional hero Uhtred of Bebbanburg has sworn an oath to support Edward’s son Æthalstan. Unfortunately, Edward decided to split his kingdom between his two sons—bequeathing Mercia to Æthalstan, and West Saxon and Wessex to Ælfweard.

Of course, Cornwell has the two brothers vying to rule all three areas as their father

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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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. Alfred and his
Nov 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
enjoyed this latest in the series and doesn't disappoint in the development of england birth and Alfred's dream
Dec 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
I can't believe I must wait another year for book #13.
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, which is 46
review to come
Laura Tenfingers
I wasn't sure if I'd be down with another Uhtred, even though this has been one of my favourite series, but how old is he now? And honestly, how many times does he have to explain a shield wall to us? Twelve times it seems... He does write so you can read it without having read the previous books, but it's a bit repetitive if you've gone the distance with Uhtred the Priest-killer.

However, despite my unease, it turned out to be an enjoyable read as always. It's definitely formulaic, but Cornwell
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
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is another successful battle-filled tale following one of my favorite characters, Uhtred, who manages some miraculous escapes from death as he is compelled to follow his oaths.
I am thrilled to learn there will be more Uhtred to look forward to as I love this series from one of my favorite authors.

Library Loan
Chris F
Another great story in this excellent series. A welcome return to form by this wonderful author when the previous one it the series seemed a little like he was just going through the motions.
Nov 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Uhtred of Bebbenburg is back, older but I don't think wiser, but still fighting for what he believes is right. Enjoyed this, book 12 of the series, wonder how many to come before he is too old to fight and has to retire!
Wai Zin
Nov 13, 2019 rated it liked it
I'm a really big fan of Bernard Cornwell. But this book, it's just an Ok book for me.

As usual battle scenes are very vivid. And I really enjoy sea battle.

But story line is nothing to be thrill about.

My opinion only, this series is stretching a bit too far.
augusto buchweitz
Oct 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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! Historical Fiction
The other day, one of my twin daughters informed my wife that her backpack was jinxed. When quizzed on why this was, she explained as follows. She had taken the backpack on three trips out of state. The first trip, she had come down with a strep infection. The second trip, we stumbled into what we initially thought was a mass shooting. It turned out to be a false alarm --- a practical joke by a few firecracker-wielding delinquents --- but we were all frightened as it happened. The third trip, I ...more
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.

With large
John Devlin
Jan 16, 2020 rated it liked it
Always a fun take and for twelve books they’ve avoided much of a downturn or tireless repetition.

If you want a dollop of history read these. If you want more sorcery read Howard’s Conan.
Either way you’ll be well served.
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
J.J. Rusz
Dec 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I thought the previous book in this series “War of the Wolf” was unnecessary after Uhtred’s satisfying return to Bebbanburg in Book 10, “The Flame Bearer.” The hero had come full circle.

But “Sword of Kings” more than justifies Bernard Cornwell’s decision to press ahead. His Uhtred the Pagan might be aging, but he's undiminished as a character.

One might argue that the elements of these Anglo-Saxon tales never vary much—fearsome enemies, impossible odds, untrustworthy monarchs, bloody shield
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 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.

Shield walls, Oaths of allegiance and battles all feature in
Juan Gallardo Ivanovic
Nov 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Troubles, bad decisions and fulfilled oaths

October/November normally marks the season of another Saxon Stories novel. This time Uhtred has to endure and struggle bad omens, wrong decisitions and primarily, an oath that are the nails on the coffin for Nothumbria's fate.

On the first chapters, our pagan Lord will learn that Wessex Earldorman and enemy, Aethelhem is plotting to kill him. Also, as King Edward is dying, Aethelhem is moving the pieces so his nephew Aelfwerd gains the crown, meaning
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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 ...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.”
“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 black waters will drown the homes of men, and the great beamed hall of Valhalla will burn to ashes. Everything ends.” 0 likes
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