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Sword of Kings

(The Saxon Stories #12)

by
4.47  ·  Rating details ·  1,344 ratings  ·  116 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
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Hardcover, 352 pages
Published November 26th 2019 by Harper
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Average rating 4.47  · 
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 ·  1,344 ratings  ·  116 reviews


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Lucia
Oct 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Sarah
Sep 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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,
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Ace
Jun 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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~
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
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
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Tucker

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  ·  review of another edition
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
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Terri
review to come
Stephen
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
Donna
Nov 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Benj
Nov 01, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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augusto buchweitz
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tracey
Oct 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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!
Sherrie
Nov 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
David
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
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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
Wai Zin
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.
Jo
Oct 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, historical
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
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Bookreporter.com 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
Juan Gallardo Ivanovic
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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Rishi
Nov 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Uhtred is old, Uhtred is feared, Uthred is priest-killer, and Uthred is fool. Uhtred's father called him fool and Uhtred's friend Finan thinks Uthred of Bebbanburg is fool. Uthred has entangled himself in oath given to Aethelflaed, now long dead, to protect Athelstan and the oath he gave to Athelstan in killing his foe. Man's reputation lives long till eternity, long after they are dead. To keep his reputation intact as oath-keeper, Uthred leaves the confine and comfort of Bebbanburg to venture ...more
Adam Ranger
Oct 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 great character, he
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Larry
Oct 31, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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),
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Wes Brown
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Connie
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Tyler
Oct 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Krista
Nov 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cornwell seems to be getting a bit more crude as the series goes on. However, I just love these books and enjoyed this one just as much as the previous ones.
Jorge Williams
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Always good stuff.
Peter
Dec 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Sword of Kings (2019) is the twelfth in Bernard Cornwell's Saxon Tales series set in the tenth century before a united England. England is a seething mass of conflict as Danes invade, the Scots from the land of Alba raid, and Anglo-Saxons all fight with each other for power and land. The dream of Alfred the Great, King of Wessex, wa to create a united land called Englaland. Our key character, Uhtred Uhtredson, has been essential to forging that vision. But now Alfred is dead and his vision is ...more
Amanda
Oct 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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11,263 followers
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.”
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“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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