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The Burning Land

(The Last Kingdom #5)

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  31,602 ratings  ·  1,061 reviews

At the end of the ninth century, with King Alfred of Wessex in ill health and his heir still an untested youth, it falls to Alfred’s reluctant warlord Uhtred to outwit and outbattle the invading enemy Danes, led by the sword of savage warrior Harald Bloodhair. But the sweetness of Uhtred’s victory is soured by tragedy, forcing him to break with the Saxon king. Joining the

Paperback, 336 pages
Published November 2nd 2009 by HarperCollins (first published October 1st 2009)
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LadyCalico I don't know if this is what you mean but there is a quote like that in The Last Kingdom. Unfortunately, I am reading the large print version where it…moreI don't know if this is what you mean but there is a quote like that in The Last Kingdom. Unfortunately, I am reading the large print version where it is on pages 470-471. I guess you would find that quote about 4/5ths of the way through the book where Uthred is called to meet with Alfred at Werham.(less)

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Average rating 4.28  · 
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May 01, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have a Booktube channel now! Subscribe here:

Uthred has often been called hot-headed but considering his circumstances, I think his patience is applaudable.

The Burning Land is the fifth installment in Bernard Cornwell’s Last Kingdom series; the battle and conflict with the Danes continue. In addition to this, there’s also a new villain: Skade. Skade is a woman with a dark power to rule over men’s hearts. I’m truly impressed by Cornwell’s capability to weave an
Sean Barrs
Jun 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
Em Lost In Books
May 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-star, 2019, 2010-19
This one really surprised me. I thought Uhtred was on his way to freedom but Norse Gods have something else set for him..
James Tivendale
Jul 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
In The Burning Land, the fifth entry in The Saxon Stories, we follow the escapades of a 35 or 36-year-old Uhtred of Bebbanburg. He's still Alfred's oathman and has been residing in Lundune. The Danish warrior, and Uhtred's ex-servant Haesten is an everpresent nuisance, but in this novel, we are introduced to the leader and lover of another force of Danes who are being problematic and threatening Alfred's peace. Harald Bloodhair and Skade. Haesten informs Uhtred that Skade is Bloodhair's woman, b ...more
Jeffrey Keeten
Jan 01, 2015 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 Vikin
Jason Koivu
Aug 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Dana Ilie
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Promise to review as soon as possible
Jan 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fast-paced and engaging, this series is still keeping its charm!

„Wyrd bið ful ãræd.“ – „Fate is inexorable.“

I had a super long review written for this series but I deleted the document accidentally so let me share with you at least some major points to explain my reasons for loving this series so much:

* Astonishing storytelling skills. Bernard Cornwell brought 9th century England alive for me.

* Unforgettable narrator. Uhtred of Bebbanburg is unapologetic and ruthless yet lovable and admirati
Feb 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
How satisfying it was for me when Uthred killed that phony priest and how disappointing that he didn't turn on Alfred and call the Danes to his banner: the success is almost guaranteed, but if there is a weakness in Uthred it's keeping his oaths even when the other parties break theirs .... ...more
Sep 07, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Jun 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is the fifth book in The Saxon Stories by Bernard Cornwell. I had listened to all of the previous books in the series in audiobook format. This is the first one that I read in print. I thought, before starting the book, that it would be dry because it was not being read by a narrator. But, I was wrong. The printed book is just as fun as the audiobooks. I am always amazed by the ingenuity that Bernard Cornwell inserts into the situations that befall the main character of the book, Uhtred. I ...more
Scott  Hitchcock
My favorite of the first five books. I did hope Uthred might finally free himself of Alfred for good but his children seem to be much more to his liking.
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, eve
Geo Kwnstantinou
Dec 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
""The gods are capricious, and I was about to amuse them. And  Alfred was right.I was a fool""

The 5th book was awesome, the battles and of course Uthred 💜💜💜
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 ex
Kate Quinn
Feb 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Wilja Wiedenhöft
May 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Why do we fight?" he asked.

"Because we were born."
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
Karen  ⚜Mess⚜
I was without a lord. I was outcast. I was free. I was going Viking.
*rubs hands together* Yes! Yes! Go Viking!

Uhtred didn't go Viking as much as promised, but he did run the oars!


I don't know how he manages it, but Uhtred sure does get himself into a muddle. Sick, King Alfred is mighty pissed at Uhtred. What's new?

The Last Kingdom - Page 9 - Other Genre Television - PRIMETIMER

I think the most important point in this story is that Æthelflæd is blossoming into Lady of the Mercians that history remembers. I really love her history and I love th

Krista Claudine Baetiong
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
Oct 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love this series. I'm not sure what else I can gush over that I haven't already gushed over. My main complaint is that these books are too short; I mourn a little when I'm finished.

I noticed the dialogue a little more in this one. I love the dialogue. Uhtred says things that if anyone else had said it, I'd have to roll my eyes, but because it's Uhtred, I find myself cheering.

The audios have a great narrator that brings all the characters to life. After listening to this one, I'm feeling like
Nov 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
3,5 Stars!
Jun 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The library open again and I finally borrow the book. Have had some minor issues with the audiobook and I wanted to try to read the series instead. This book is one of my favorites in the series such a good and compelling story. I can't wait to continuing with the series to see what going to happen next as things went very interesting in this! ...more
Mar 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is my favorite after Lords of the North. Bernard Cornwell is much more than a master of battles, this book showed me he's also an expert of characterization. Mix that up with amazing story telling ability and you've got a gem.

The main reason I love this series? Uhtred is Amazing. And book after book Cornwell keeps fleshing him out and adding layers of complexity to him. Every experience he has adds or takes something from him. And the author has applied this rule to the minor characters as
Aug 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, middle-ages
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
Mark Harrison
May 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Blood and gore aplenty in a great addition to the Uthred saga. There is nothing new here just first rate story telling, well drawn characters and lots of action. Loved it.
Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~
Actual Rating: 4.5 Stars

Slipped one more in before midnight & it was a great way to end the year!
Jun 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Why do we fight? Because we were born. To find a place we call home. A place where we don't need to fight any more.

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Fantasy Buddy Reads: The Burning Land [May 2019] 4 25 May 12, 2019 09:10AM  
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The Not a Book Cl...: TBL: Part One: The Warlord 10 10 Jun 08, 2016 01:39PM  
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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 Last Kingdom (1 - 10 of 13 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 (The Saxon Stories, #9)
  • The Flame Bearer (The Saxon Stories, #10)
  • War of the Wolf (The Saxon Stories, #11)

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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.” 9 likes
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