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The Last Kingdom #3

Lords of the North

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The third instalment in Bernard Cornwell's King Alfred series, following on from the outstanding previous novels The Last Kingdom and The Pale Horseman, both of which were top ten bestsellers. The year is 878 and Wessex is free from the Vikings. Uhtred, the dispossessed son of a Northumbrian lord, helped Alfred win that victory, but now he is disgusted by Alfred's lack of generosity and repelled by the king's insistent piety. He flees Wessex, going back north to seek revenge for the killing of his foster father and to rescue his stepsister, captured in the same raid. He needs to find his old enemy, Kjartan, a renegade Danish lord who lurks in the formidable stronghold of Dunholm. Uhtred arrives in the north to discover rebellion, chaos and fear. His only ally is Hild, a West Saxon nun fleeing her calling, and his best hope is his sword, with which he has made a formidable reputation as a warrior. He will need the assistance of other warriors if he is to attack Dunholm and he finds Guthred, a slave who believes he is a king. He takes him across the Pennines to where a desperate alliance of fanatical Christians and beleaguered Danes form a new army to confront the terrible Viking lords who rule Northumbria. 'The Lords of the North' is a powerful story of betrayal, romance and struggle, set in an England of turmoil, upheaval and glory. Uhtred, a Northumbrian raised as a Viking, a man without lands, a warrior without a country, has become a splendid heroic figure.

317 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 2007

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About the author

Bernard Cornwell

557 books16.7k 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 name, Cornwell.

Cornwell was sent away to Monkton Combe School, attended the University of London, and after graduating, worked as a teacher. He attempted to enlist in the British armed services at least three times but was rejected on the grounds of myopia.

He then joined BBC's Nationwide and was promoted to become head of current affairs at BBC Northern Ireland. He then joined Thames Television as editor of Thames News. He relocated to the United States in 1980 after marrying an American. Unable to get a green card, he started writing novels, as this did not require a work permit.

As a child, Cornwell loved the novels of C.S. Forester, chronicling the adventures of fictional British naval officer Horatio Hornblower during the Napoleonic Wars, and was surprised to find there were no such novels following Lord Wellington's campaign on land. Motivated by the need to support himself in the U.S. through writing, Cornwell decided to write such a series. He named his chief protagonist Richard Sharpe, a rifleman involved in most major battles of the Peninsular War.

Cornwell wanted to start the series with the Siege of Badajoz but decided instead to start with a couple of "warm-up" novels. These were Sharpe's Eagle and Sharpe's Gold, both published in 1981. Sharpe's Eagle was picked up by a publisher, and Cornwell got a three-book deal. He went on to tell the story of Badajoz in his third Sharpe novel, Sharpe's Company, published in 1982.

Cornwell and wife Judy co-wrote a series of novels, published under the pseudonym "Susannah Kells". These were A Crowning Mercy, published in 1983, Fallen Angels in 1984, and Coat of Arms (aka The Aristocrats) in 1986. (Cornwell's strict Protestant upbringing informed the background of A Crowning Mercy, which took place during the English Civil War.) In 1987, he also published Redcoat, an American Revolutionary War novel set in Philadelphia during its 1777 occupation by the British.

After publishing eight books in his ongoing Sharpe series, Cornwell was approached by a production company interested in adapting them for television. The producers asked him to write a prequel to give them a starting point to the series. They also requested that the story feature a large role for Spanish characters to secure co-funding from Spain. The result was Sharpe’s Rifles, published in 1987, and a series of Sharpe television films staring Sean Bean.

A series of contemporary thrillers with sailing as a background and common themes followed: Wildtrack published in 1988, Sea Lord (aka Killer's Wake) in 1989, Crackdown in 1990, Stormchild in 1991, and Scoundrel, a political thriller, in 1992.

In June 2006, Cornwell was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the Queen's 80th Birthday Honours List.

Cornwell's latest work, Azincourt, was released in the UK in October 2008. The protagonist is an archer who participates in the Battle of Agincourt, another devastating defeat suffered by the French in the Hundred Years War. However, Cornwell has stated that it will not be about Thomas of Hookton from The Grail Quest or any of his relatives.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,603 reviews
Profile Image for Petrik.
687 reviews46k followers
February 8, 2021
I have a Booktube channel now! Subscribe here: https://www.youtube.com/petrikleo

3.5/5 stars

This was a good but slightly weaker volume compared to its predecessors. It’s so good to finally meet Sihtric and Finan for the first time, though.

The Lords of the North is the third book in The Last Kingdom series by Bernard Cornwell. Uthred is now 21 years old, and the story in this one mostly revolves around slavery, a clash of faith, and the battle against Kjartan. A few new characters were introduced in this new installment, and the most notable ones were Guthred, Sihtric, and Finan. I’ve mentioned that Sihtric and Finan were my two favorite side characters in the TV series, and it felt good to finally see them starting to appear in the story of the books. But more on these two on further volumes, right now, the plot in The Lords of the North requires the appearance of Ragnar, and I enjoyed reading the friendship between Uthred and Ragnar so much.

“If a man can’t remember the laws,” Ragnar said, “then he’s got too many of them.”

Admittedly, though, despite how well-written the book was, I did feel that having watched the TV show—meaning I knew what would happen already—backfired on my reading experience this time. I’ve mentioned in my review of the previous two books that the first season of the TV show was inferior compared to the books, but I think it’s the other way around for the first half of the second season and this book. The pacing was often sluggish, and the fact that Cornwell’s paragraphs and chapters were relatively longer than usual made me spent 5 days finishing this 400 pages book. Honestly speaking, this is an extremely slow reading pace for me, and I hope this won’t be the case for future books in the series.

“I was just twenty-one and my name was known wherever men sharpened swords. I was a warrior. A sword warrior, and I was proud of it.”

The Lords of the North was another good continuation of Uthred’s story. I planned to read two books in the series per month, which would mean I would be done with the series by July. However, after reading this book, I realized that the episodic and repetitive format of the story might require me to alter this reading plan to read one book in the series per month instead. I loved Cornwell’s writing and storytelling style, and I don’t want to feel burnout by this series from reading through to it too quickly. So yeah, that’s my plan for now. Looking forward to reading Sword Song in March.

You can order the book from: Book Depository (Free shipping)

You can find this and the rest of my reviews at Novel Notions

Special thanks to my Patrons on Patreon for giving me extra support towards my passion for reading and reviewing!

My Patrons: Alfred, Alya, Annabeth, Ben, Blaise, Devin, Diana, Edward, Hamad, Helen, Jimmy Nutts, Joie, Lufi, Melinda, Mike, Miracle, Nicholas, Saunders, Shaad, Summer, Zoe.
Profile Image for Sean Barrs .
1,119 reviews44.8k followers
April 1, 2017
The second season of the Last Kingdom has started off very strongly, and by the looks of things it’s going to be following the events of this book. So it will focus on the blood feud between Uhtred and Kjartan, which is all good. But if you’ve read the books you’ll know that this isn’t something that takes too long to resolve. I wonder what the show writers will have left because so far the rivalry is the most compelling part about the adaption. I think the characterisation of Uhtred’s uncle is rather weak in the show, and the competition between the two is not remotely intense.

There’s also the issue of aging. In just a few books time, Uhtred is already in his mid to late forties. I wonder how they will handle this on the screen with the actor being so young. He also looks a little bit too much like Jon Snow for my liking.

I’m interested to hear what other people who have read this series think about the television show. Do you think it's any good?

Original Review:

I love a good tale of revenge. I always find that they have some of the most intense plots; they always seem to rush past before my eyes. And it was good to finally see Uhtred set out on his own, with his own goal, with his own men, with his own quest for bloody revenge.

He dreams of it; he longs for it. His oldest enemy, Kjartan the Cruel, is within his reach. The two have a blood feud that must be satisfied with cold, sharp, steel. Kjartan murdered Uhtred’s adopted farther and stole his sister many years before. Uhtred has waited years for an opportunity to strike at his enemy. The warlord thinks himself safe behind the mighty walls of fort Dunholm; he thinks that no enemy would dare attack him there. But, his enemy is Uhtred son of Uhtred, the rightful lord of Bebbanburg. Kjartan’s is in for the fight of his life, but he also has bad blood with Uhtred. The old warlord will not go down easy; he, too, has a reason to hate his enemy.

Just look at the emotion in his eyes; it all stems back to the first book.


Uhtred doesn’t go alone; he goes with his brother, Ragnar the Younger, who has also sworn to avenge the death of his farther. Uhtred and Ragnar share a strong brotherly bond which has been formed by the need for Kjartan’s foul blood. To get it they need allies such as charming King Gurhtred who also wants Kjartan out of the way as he threatens his instable rule. He’s a weak king, bullied by monks and his subjects alike. They push him to do the “right thing” which means he is pushed to do the Christian thing. In the process he makes several weak moves that his enemies wish to benefit from. Only Uhtred and Ragnar cam strengthen the weakened kingdom and use it to kill their greatest foe.

The brothers have a mighty task on their hands, but their will for vengeance pushes them forward. Uhtred’s ever going identity crisis continues: he is a Saxon with the heart of a warrior Dane. He is slightly older with a little more experience, but he still retains his fiery attitude to life. His enemies have a lot to fear when he enters the shield wall or rides onto the battle field. This crisis is hampered more by his renewed friendship with his brother. He, too, longs for the possibility of fighting beside his brother, but Uhtred’s destiny lies elsewhere. He knows that when the blood has been spilt, he must return to Alfred the Great’s court despite how tempted he is to remain with his brother.

“I dreamed of this,” he told me as we rode eastwards, “I dreamed of riding to war. All that time I was a hostage I wanted to be riding to war. There’s nothing in life like it, Uhtred, nothing!”


The retrospective tone of the novel adds a touch more humour to the character, as I can see how the aged Uhtred looks back on his youth with a smile. You can hear it in the narration. You can hear how he misses his days of war. I always know what I’m getting when I pick up another instalment in this series. The plots are structured in a very similar way, and adhere to a similar pattern. But, surprisingly, this isn’t a bad thing. In this case, it’s more of a good thing. I find it creates a sense of familiarity with Uhtred’s story. It would be too weird if one of the books didn’t fit this structure and style. I’ve seen a massive development within Uhtred in this book, like all of his books, he has become wiser in the ways of the world; he really is a fantastic protagonist. He is cocky, violent, ruthless and at times even stupid, but he is also compelling and I can’t help but want to see him finally takeback what was his. He will be the Lord of Bebbanburg one day. Well, hopefully.

"Wyrd bith ful araed. Fate is inexorable."

Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,535 reviews9,951 followers
September 27, 2021
I wanted darkness. There was a half-moon that summer night and it kept sliding from behind the clouds to make me nervous. I wanted darkness.

I remember I didn’t like this season or part of the season when Uhtred was a slave but still mine my people. I love Ragnar and Hild too.

And I love Hild saved Uhtred and Ragnar went to get him too.

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
Profile Image for Em Lost In Books.
903 reviews1,816 followers
March 27, 2019
Danes and Saxons fighting over a piece of land that is soon to be known as England. This was quite a rough story in terms of trust, faith, and betrayal.
Profile Image for William Gwynne.
376 reviews1,706 followers
June 28, 2022
I now have a YouTube channel that I run with my brother, called 'The Brothers Gwynne'. Check it out - The Brothers Gwynne

“I had a taste for this kind of madness. In madness lies change, in change is opportunity and in opportunity are riches”

Finished The Lords of the North, the third instalment of The Saxon Stories, otherwise called The Last Kingdom due to the TV adaptation. This book forms the first half of what Season 2 is compiled from, so makes up the first five episodes. Very different to the first two instalments of this series, The Lords of the North explored new settings and political situations, exploring the situation of Northumbria in contrast to Wessex where the majority of The Last Kingdom and The Pale Horseman take place, despite still strongly linking to each other and the wider through line of the series. This was a refreshing change but one that overall I feel had greater potential.

We have some favourite characters cropping up, with Ragnar playing more of a central role in The Lords of the North, which I enjoyed. But, there were also some really strong and entertaining new additions to this Saxon story.

“Wyrd bið ful aræd”

I really enjoyed the new characters who were introduced in this story. Guthred the charming, out of his depth, aspiring king of Northumbria, who endeavours to be slightly like Alfred, but does not have the confidence or intelligence of the king of Wessex. Then of course to any who have read or watched this, Finan, the Irish warrior and friend of Uhtred's. He is a really great and unique character I look forward to seeing more in the future instalments.

To avoid spoilers I will not mention how Uhtred meets Finan, but I will still say that other than meeting a great character, that phase of the story felt completely wasted. It could have been used to explore character growth so, so well, and take Uhtred in a new direction, expanding more on the traumas of his past. But it was ended quickly, with little to no characterisation present, which seemed like such a huge waste.

But, despite that, there are still sections that explore character really well, and with Bernard Cornwell’s masterfully economic prose that crafts a scene and tone effortlessly, The Lords of the North still had many enjoyable moments.

“If a man can’t remember the laws,” Ragnar said, “then he’s got too many of them.”

The only other scene that fell short for me was what was meant to be the actual climax of the story, This has been something that has built since early on in the first instalment of the series, and with that much tension, it was anti-climactic. Uhtred started summarising what happened as a narrator rather than immersing us in this what should have been cathartic and satisfying moment. It was another shame in The Lords of the North.

It speaks volumes however that despite the shortcomings I have mentioned, The Lords of the North was still an enjoyable and entertaining tale that I look forward to including with the fourth instalment of this series. Uhtred is an awesome character, this is an awesome story, and Bernard Cornwell is one of the best writers out there, so a ‘bad’ book by him is still good in any other circumstances.

Profile Image for Jason Koivu.
Author 7 books1,257 followers
May 3, 2014
It's Danes versus Saxons in a fight for the right to rule over a cold, wet island soon to be known as England, as depicted by these toys in this unrealistic setting...


Our hero Uhtred is still at it, trying to regain what is rightfully his, the impregnable fortress Bebbanburg. But as usual, a bunch of assholes stand in his way.

Sorry for cussing just then. However, if you've read any of Bernard Cornwell's books before, you're probably not too shocked by it. The only thing that might've surprised you is that I didn't say "bastard" instead. It was a favored slur during just about any time-period the author has written in and he's put it to good use.

Cornwell is a master of historical fiction and excels at adding in appropriate details. Slavery goes back a long time in the British Isles and the author uses it with good effect in his Lords of the North plot, excellently describing one form of enforced servitude for the benefit of his readers who dig history. Through out this series, I've enjoyed the layer of Christianity vs paganism he's laid over the background. And his descriptions of fortifications and warfare add a nice touch to these battle-heavy books. However, he really laid it on thick with the shield-wall this time around. The shield-wall was a very important battle strategy for the time and Cornwell has his characters utilize the shield-wall quite often, which is fine, but did he have to constantly mention "shield-wall" every fricking time a shield-wall came into play in this shield-wally story?.....SHIELD-WALL!

My read of Lords... took off and flew for the first three fourths, but sputtered and came to a temporary halt just before the end. I left it untouched for days at a time, dragging out the last couple chapters over the course of three weeks. Why? There were too many climactic scenes. After Uhtred and Co. succeed I kind of blew my load. I just wasn't in the mood anymore. But the story goes on and ties up everything nicely that could need tying up, except of course Uhtred's Bebbanburg issue, which - let's be realistic - won't be cleared up until Cornwell decides he's ready to write the final book in this series.

To wrap up, this is another fine edition in the Bernard Cornwell library of highly enjoyable, action-adventure based, historical fiction. I'll go 3.49 stars on this one. It was a 4-star good time until the end.


Profile Image for Dave Edmunds.
283 reviews80 followers
August 30, 2023

"It was fate that drove me. It was the year 878, I was twenty-one years old and believed my sword could win me the whole world."

4.75 🌟's

Initial Thoughts

Back once again with my boy, Uthred son of Uthred AKA Uthred of Bebbanburg, AKA Uthred Ragnarsson, with the third book in the Saxon Chronicles...Lords of the North. If you enjoy historical fiction then these books are absolute fire and I can't say enough good things about them. Give me one of these and a bag of salted cashew nuts and I'm a happy man.

Seriously, these books make learning about history as fun as it gets. If only I had them in school I'd have paid a lot more attention. But can Mr Cornwell keep the standard up? With his track record in historical fiction I'm not going to bet against him.

Yes, Uthred's story has been building nicely over the course of the first two books as we've seen him develop from an orphaned boy into a battle hardened warrior capable of holding his place in the shield wall. It's a complicated time in British history as King Alfred the Great mounts a valiant stand against the Danish horde and unite England into one Kingdom. The Pale Horseman (book two) finished with the Battle of Ethandun and this story picks up right where it left off.

The Story

So now that Uthred has helped to save Wessex...again...he's up to his old tricks and headed back north to his homeland with revenge firmly on his mind. His old enemy Kjartan 'the Cruel' is holding up in the stronghold of Dunholm castle and the time is right to settle the blood-feud for murdering his adopted father, Ragnar, and rescue his step sister who is being held captive. But things never go easily for Uthred.

Fate has other things in store and on his journey he meets Guthred, the self-proclaimed King of Northumbria, a new ally who promises to help win back his home of Bebbanburgh. It's exactly what Uthred needs. But this is a story full of heartache, betrayal and destiny that, try as he might, he cannot escape. Uthred is going to need all his will and determination to make it thorough this one alive and that's enough for now as I might just spoil what is an epic journey.

"We all have fear. It crawls inside you like a beast, claws at your gut, it weakens your muscles, it tries to loosen your bowels and it wants you to cringe and weep, but fear must be thrust away and craft must be loosed, and savagery will see you through, and though many men have tried to kill me and so earn the boast that they killed Uthred, so far that savagery has let me survive and now, I think, I am too old to die in battle and so will dribble away to nothingness instead. Wyrd bid ful araed, we say, and it is true. Fate is inexorable."

Final Thoughts

Seriously, if blood, guts and a good slice of history is your thing then Lords of the North is an absolute treat. In my opinion, the best book in the series so far, although they've all been top draw. Cornwell is an absolute master and he blends historical events into a captivating narrative that hurtles along without a dull moment.

In this installment your going to see Uthred at his absolute lowest. He finds himself in a hole that looks impossible to escape. But that is what makes this one standout. If you enjoyed the first two books then you're going to love this

The only downside was the absence of King Alfred, who was such a huge character in the first two books. Signing that peace treaty with the Danes means there's not much action for him in this one. But there's a host of fantastic side characters, like Guthred, Sihtric and Finan 'the agile,' who you're going to have a great time with. Honestly, this series couldn't get any better. And I've just started watching the TV show which is every bit as good as the books. Life is sweet.

Bring on the next installment...Sword Song. Hail King Cornwell the Great!

Thanks for reading and...cheers!
Profile Image for Zahra.
153 reviews56 followers
August 22, 2023
این کتاب ریتم خیلی تندی داره اونقدر تند که تو سی صفحه دو سال و نیم می‌گذره، دوتا نبرد بزرگ رخ میده و اتفاقات مهم دیگه فشرده و بهم چسبیدن. متاسفانه آلفرد خیلی تو این کتاب حضور نداره و به جاش کلی کشیش و راهب دیوانه و نفهم و دگم و متعصب داریم که به یه مشت جسد چروکیده و سر بریده شده و ریش قیچی شده‌ی قدیس‌های مردشون بیشتر اهمیت میدن تا زندگی رعیت زنده بدبخت و سرزمینی که داره از دست می‌ره!!!
خوبیش اینه که اوترد و خواننده‌های کتاب با دیدن این دیوانه‌ها بیشتر قدر آلفرد رو می‌دونن!
Profile Image for Lucia.
735 reviews815 followers
June 16, 2017
„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 admiration worthy character with brilliant military strategic mind. He is a true hero!

* Complex and fascinating side characters that you will love to come back to.

* Constant philosophical battle between paganism and Christianity that depicts given period precisely.

* Well thought-out storyline and twists.

* War and fight scenes are chillingly realistic. I really felt like I was there with Uhtred, fighting every new enemy or being part of countless shield wars.

All in all, The Warrior Chronicles/Saxon Stories series (all 10 available books) is spectacular story with spectacular writing. It is one of the best historical fiction stories I have ever read and it is the perfect example of how to write engaging historical fiction series that never get boring or predictable!

Moreover, I loved author’s note at the end of every book where author explained which parts were based on historical facts and which parts of his novel he made up.

Profile Image for Justo Martiañez.
403 reviews135 followers
November 27, 2020
3.5/5 estrellas

Tras la batalla de Edington, en el 878, el Rey Alfredo recupera milagrosamente la iniciativa en Wessex y los daneses se retiran, e incluso, algunos de sus líderes se convierten al cristianismo. Finalmente se llega a una especie de pacto, en el que se crea el Danelaw o zona de influencia danesa directa que queda reducida a una parte de Mercia, Anglia Oriental y Northumbria. Realmente el pacto es una tregua en la que ambas partes de lamen las heridas y se preparan para el próximo envite, en el que se decidirá la soberanía sobre la isla.

Ante esta situación, nuestro protagonista Uhtred, decide volver a su tierra, Northumbria y luchar por recuperar el señorío de Bamberg, usurpado por su tío a la muerte de su padre. Es precisamente en el antiguo reino de Northumbria, donde un oscuro rey, Guthred el esclavo, intenta establecer su hegemonía, adelantándose al futuro e intentando gobernar para daneses y sajones por igual, vislumbrando una nueva sociedad en la que el estrato danés será asimilado y unificado en el nuevo reino de Inglaterra. Evidentemente no lo tendrá nada fácil ya que caudillos de uno y otro bando siguen enfrentados y dominan importantes partes del territorio.
En este libro domina la ficción histórica sobre los hechos reales, ya que que lo sucedido en el norte de Gran Bretaña en estos años es prácticamente desconocido. Esto da carta blanca al autor para embarcar a nuestro protagonista en toda clase de aventuras y desventuras, siempre en el centro de todas las batallas, duelos épicos y decisiones críticas lo cual hace del libro una lectura muy disfrutable, ya que se mantiene siempre la tensión narrativa, pero que llega a hacerse un poco cansino, dada la ubicuidad del personaje.
Detecto una deriva cuartelera y chabacana en el lenguaje, a medida que avanza la serie, que puede acercar al lector a las escenas y situaciones narradas, pero que va en detrimento de la calidad del texto.
En cualquier caso libro muy recomendable para amantes del género. Seguiré con el siguiente.
Profile Image for Athena Shardbearer.
355 reviews208 followers
July 22, 2015

Because fate cannot be cheated, it governs us, and we are all its slaves.

I don't know how much more I can love this series. I don't know how much more I can say that I haven't already said. I don't know how much more I can tell the world that I need a Viking, that I want to be a Dane and fight next to them. I think my bloodlust has intensified and all I want to do is be a warrior.

This book, by far, is the best in the series. Book one was heartbreaking and full of discovery. I cried a lot in that book. Book two was all about finding your place and figuring out where you need and want to be. Book three is all about BETRAYAL, REVENGE and CONQUERING.

"Father!" he shouted, "Father!"

Oh gah! That scene...my heart...the revenge.

I'm really at a lost for words. I could tell you about what happens but I went blindly into this, not expecting anything and got so much more than I could imagine.

PLEASE....PLEASE read this series.

Profile Image for Metodi Markov.
1,342 reviews317 followers
February 10, 2023
Взимаме две равни мерки глупост и наивност, добавяме храброст и безрасъдство на корем, щипка късмет, супена лъжица амбиции и самохвалство на вкус, разбъркваме добре и се получава герой - наш Утред!

Тази трета част е добро продължение на първите две, кралете из Англия никнат като гъби след дъжд, Утред вършее по цяла Нортумбрия, попада в робство и превзема непревземаем замък, а крал Алфред продължава да е все същия неприятен гъз, ма не се става лесно велик де.

Мъжки чиклит, но си го прочетох с кеф, макар че все по-често да ме е яд на решенията, които взима Утред. И за капак, пак сюрия неотразими хубавици, да му се ненадяваш. ;)

P.S. Ако от Сиела продължават да се мотаят така безобразно, ще дочета серията на английски.

21.07.2021 - тези дни от "Сиела" ми заявиха, че оставят тази чудесна и популярна по целия свят поредица недоиздадена на български...

Profile Image for Theo Logos.
703 reviews113 followers
December 17, 2022
Lords of the North continues the story of Uhtred of Bebbanburg, our heroic narrator of the events of late ninth century Saxon England. This third novel of The Last Kingdom series delivers much of the same explosive action as the earlier books, but is considerably lighter on the historical aspects. That’s because King Alfred is largely absent from this book.

Uhtred travels north to the Kingdom of Northumbria, where his story intersects with that of Guthred, who becomes king there. The historical record is far darker in ninth century Northumbria than it is in Wessex, and it only reveals two interesting facts about King Guthred — that he was once a slave, and that, though a Dane, he ruled as a Christian king. That left Cornwell great latitude to weave Uhtred’s story around Guthred. And, while both interesting and pivotal to Uhtred’s development, if you are here primarily for the historicity of the story, this book just doesn’t pack the same heft as the first two novels.
Profile Image for Terri.
529 reviews256 followers
March 26, 2010
Uhtred makes me laugh. I like him and I get him.

Okay, if you have read my review of the first two books in this series, The Last Kingdom and The Pale Horseman, - and it would be most arrogant of me to assume that you have - then you will understand why I have started this review with those few simple words.
For those who have not read those reviews, let me explain.

I love this Saxon series of Cornwell's, I love the main character, Uhtred, I love the way Cornwell writes, I love this world he has brought to life for me and I love the whole blood letting, gorified (please excuse the fake word), lustful storyline.
Need I say more?
Hmm, yes, I think I will, but only a little more because I have said it all already in my reviews of the former books.

This book is so me. It really epitomises everything I like and want in an historical fiction. I wish there were scores more like it so that I would never be let down again by poorly written historical fiction books. That IS one of life's little pains in the arse. Bad historical fiction. Cringe.
Cornwell could not have written a book more suited to my likes and dislikes if he had tried. It is so close to my exact taste that I could nearly imagine that it was written for me, but, of course, it wasn't. Oh, and I don't mean that literally. Trust me, I don't reeeaallly think he wrote it for me. I am a fan, but not THAT kind of a fan!

I am in the middle of reading the next book in the series, Swordsong, and then I have the latest instalment (released in 2009), The Burning Land to go. I can't wait and hope Cornwell is working on another in the series after The Burning Land, because I don't think I will ever tire of Uhtred's story.
Profile Image for Alicja.
277 reviews82 followers
March 9, 2014
rating: 4.5/5

This is the third in the Warrior Chronicles/Saxon Stories series and am still loving it! Uhtred is a blood-lusting arrogant ass with a cruel streak but also a redeeming goodness (which seems contradictory but you just gotta read for it to make sense).

This book picks up soon after the battle in the second book, The Pale Horseman, ends. Alfred gives Uhtred "five hides" as reward for his actions (the bastard) so Uhtred buries his fortune and, with Hild in tow, makes it for Northumbria. Then shit happens, Uhtred acts recklessly, gets himself in deep trouble, etc. The standard, marvelous Cornwell formula for good adventures and lots of bloody killing.

In between Uhtred gets a good dose of late 800s politics, meets a slave king, takes some long overdue revenge, makes fun of priests, and spouts Viking insults left and right (regardless of the station or ferocity of the person).

Oh, and did I mention Gisela? Uhtred's love interest and a hard-ass Dane. Someone's gotta keep him in line and if anyone has a chance it is that girl.

We also got more Ragnar (yay) but I still miss and grieve . Finan is cool but NOT a worthy replacement (and clearly he is meant as a replacement).

So then why the lower rating than the two previous books in the series? There is a battle at ---------- (spoilers!) toward the end and some WTF moments had me questioning whether Cornwell just got bored describing battles with shield walls and wanted something different but wasn't sure what so he ended up with weirdness. It also wasn't as epic as the ending battles I've come to expect from him. His fault, really, he set up such high standards with the first two!

Anyhoo, still marvelous and still loved it! Still love Uhtred, the haughty blood-thirsty bastard, and just ordered the next one from the library.
Profile Image for David Rubenstein.
816 reviews2,583 followers
April 10, 2018
This series just takes my breath away. It is a superbly told story that gripped me from beginning to end. This novel is the third in The Saxon Stories by Bernard Corwell. This is the story of Uhtred, born as a Saxon, taken by the Danes (Vikings) at the age of 10, and then raised as a Dane. He speaks both languages well, and seems to bounce back and forth from one culture to the other. And, besides being smart, he is a brilliant warrior.

Each character in the book comes to life, especially in the audiobook, read with clarity and distinction by Tom Sellwood. He makes each character sound distinct, and it is never difficult to tell who is speaking, because of Sellwood's accents. One cannot say that the accents are authentic, of course, since the story takes place in the ninth century. But, he uses English, Irish, Scotch, Danish, and other accents to good use throughout.

This series of historical novels has such a good reputation, that a TV series The Last Kingdom has been based on it, and is now up to 16 episodes (two series).

The protagonist in the story, Uhtred, lives to fight. A number of other characters also seem to have that aim in life. As a result, and because of the multiple would-be kings all have their subjects fighting for their hegemony, it seems like everybody in the land is touched by violence. Continuously. Almost without a break. So, as I listen to the story, I am reminded about how true the book The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined by Stephen Pinker is so true. A millennium ago, violence was a way of life.
Profile Image for Clemens Schoonderwoert.
1,117 reviews92 followers
September 24, 2021
Read this book in 2006, and this is the 3rd episode of the "Last Kingdom" series.

This story is set in the year AD 878, and it will bring Uhtred back to the North.

After defeating the Vikings, King Alfred's Wessex is finally free, but Uthred is disgusted by his treatment by King Alfred, and because of that he's heading north to seek revenge for the killing of his foster-father and rescue his stepsister, and not to forget finding his enemie of old, Kjartan, who lurks in the stonghold of Dunholm.

What he finds in the north is rebellion, chaos and fear, and his only ally is Hild, a west Saxon nun fleeing her calling and his famous killing sword, so he needs to find new allies in an attempt to attack Dunholm, and one is Guthred, and together they will find fanatical Christians and Danes in an desparate battle to overthrow the ruling Viking lords of Northumbria.

What is to follow is an action-packed tale full with struggles, romance and betrayal which is set in a land in turmoil and full with upheaval and all this for control, power and land.

Highly recommended, for this another great addition to this astonishing series, and that's why I like to call this episode: "Great Uhtred Goes North"!
484 reviews29 followers
November 23, 2021
This was a very well written book. The history was quite accurate pertaining to the wars of England against one an other in the eight hundreds.
Warning there is a lot of violents and rape in this view. Not recommended to the squimmish or the young.
Profile Image for Amanda Hupe.
953 reviews58 followers
May 10, 2020
I just finished another epic adventure thanks to Lords of the North, the 3rd book in the Saxon Stories series by Bernard Cornwell. This book picks up right after Uhtred helps Wessex defeat the Danes. Uhtred was expecting Alfred to show more appreciation. So Uhtred leaves Wessex. He goes to enact revenge on Kjartan for killing his family. Along the way, he meets a slave named Guthred. He is a Dane that has become a Christian and claims to be a King. He joins Guthred to help him make alliances. England is in constant turmoil and betrayal runs rampant.

This is another fantastic installment to the Saxon Stories! This audiobook is narrated by Tom Sellwood. He does a great job getting into each character. I still really miss Jonathon Keeble though.

I have also reviewed the previous two books. We all know that Uhtred is arrogant–which leads to many mistakes on his part. His position changes in this book, but he comes out even stronger. Not physically but emotionally and mentally. The hardships he faces in this book make him smarter. There are some new characters that come into play in this book. As always there are fierce and strong women like Hild and Gisela. I love how Uhtred makes some fantastic alliances and friendships. There also many familiar faces like Steapa and Ragnar, and of course, the characters we love to hate like Kjartan.

Once again, the historical detail is so vivid and every time I listen to this book I feel so immersed in the world. The battle sequences are descriptive and keep readers on their toes.

I have already started book 4 and by the time this review posts, I will probably be further along in the series. This book gets another 5 out of 5 stars!
Profile Image for Kate Quinn.
Author 26 books24.7k followers
February 28, 2010
Uhtred does considerable growing up in the third installment of the Saxon Stories, growing from a brash and over-confident boy to a man hardened and tempered by suffering. He is now a warrior of considerable reputation, but Alfred has dispensed with his services now that peace has come to Britain. Spitting with rage over his demotion, Uhtred goes north to meet old enemies and make some new ones. Betrayal leaves him enslaved and chained to an oar but unbroken, and when he gains his freedom Uhtred finds himself attacking a castle everyone assures him cannot be taken. But of course he finds a way, and begins settling old scores with a vengeance. This is one of the best of the Saxon Stories - two nasty villains bite the dust, a shy and limping priest gets an unlikely moment of glory, and there is a scene with a vengeful slave girl and her pack of maddened dogs that will raise the hair on the back of your neck. Uhtred is the consummate hero, brave and bursting with enjoyment of life.
Profile Image for Natasa.
1,203 reviews
November 15, 2021
This is another excellent book in the Saxon series, which continues the story of Uhtred. The author does an excellent job of creating a historic fiction story which has the elements of history mixed in with fiction to make it an interesting read. If you enjoy medieval history and like fiction, then you’ll want to read this series of books. Full review you can find on my blog: https://poetryofreading.blogspot.com/...
Profile Image for 11811 (Eleven).
662 reviews144 followers
April 23, 2017
I'm risking genre burn out so I'll stop here for now. I liked it but I need to break it up with a romantic comedy or something.

Well, that's extreme. Probably not a romantic comedy.
Profile Image for Петър Стойков.
Author 2 books282 followers
July 26, 2020
Винаги ми е било интересно как в Средновековието религиозната доктрина приема мощите от светците и другите свети предмети като значителна и важна част от себе си и винаги съм се чудел как тогава Църквата е обяснявала това при наличието на Втората божа заповед (тази против правенето на идоли и кланянето пред тях).

Наистина, трудно е да се преувеличи значението, което са имали за средновековния човек различните свети реликви в тяхната материална форма. Масово е било вярването, че физическото им притежание е рецепта за божия благодетел.

Така е и в ранно-средновековна Англия, дето християнството е сравнително установена религия, до идването на езичниците датчани. Действието на Повелителите на Севера се върти около свещения труп на някакъв светия и има що годе екшън и битки, но като цяло нищо друго интересно, за разлика от предишните две книги.

Забелязвам тенденция в съвременните книги главните герои в тях да са прекалено млади, което не знам защо е но доста ме дразни.
Profile Image for Nate.
482 reviews20 followers
August 8, 2012
I've heard a lot of people gripe about the fact that Cornwell sticks to a somewhat formulaic pattern with his books; a lot of people don't like it, but I do. I do enjoy when authors have a lot of dynamics and changing styles, ideas, plots etc. from book to book, but I also sometimes just want to read something where I know what I'm gonna get and I don't have to adapt or really face any challenge with new facets of an author's work. That's not to say that it's boring or stale, though; he's great at coming up with new places and plights to stick Uhtred in.

Although I haven't read that much of his stuff when I opened this one I had a hunch I was gonna get a lot of his stuff he does so well; vivid and immersive setting, entertaining characters, and gruesome, gripping battles. Within the first few chapters I knew I was right. The best part with Cornwell is that I don't put down the book having been only entertained and not educated; my knowledge of this part of the dark ages has seriously increased since I got into this series.

The one thing I did notice about this entry in the series is that the actual historical events take a backseat in favor of advancing the stories of the fictional characters. I was a little disappointed by this, but this period of time was apparently somewhat of a lull in the intense struggling between the different factions that were fighting over Britain so Cornwell had to fill it with something interesting. He did that admirably well and the story is so entertaining that I can't bring myself to deduct that precious star.

I also have to say I was pretty pleased with how much Uhtred is reigning in his douchey, selfish, macho murderous impulses. There were a couple of his actions in The Pale Horseman that really made me bummed out and disturbed at the fact that I was rooting for this person, and his moral code is still kinda fluid in this one but I can really see him slowly turning to being an honorable, honest person and I dig it. I do like some good anti-hero action but I don't wanna hang out with a guy for 6+ books who's prone to doing that kind of stuff.

Lords of the North was another great entry in this series and I didn't hesitate to order Sword Song from Amazon. My Cornwell addiction is blossoming so much that I'm probably gonna start on Agincourt tonight. Usually after a few books in a row from an author I'll start to get a burned out feeling that forces me to pick someone else up until I feel refreshed enough to come back, but that's not the case so far.
Profile Image for Michelle.
492 reviews25 followers
January 30, 2022
Well, that was AWESOME! This was even better than the first two books.

Uhtred is now twenty-one. He leaves Alfred in a snit since he didn't feel appreciated for all he had done for Alfred. And he wasn't. He soon fights on behalf of the king of Northumbria, Guthred, who is a very likeable fella for a king. All goes well until it doesn't, and things go south at a rapid pace. I didn't see this one particularly awful thing coming, and it was very upsetting!

My favorite parts of the book were the welcome reappearance of Ragnar and Steapa; I really like those two characters!, and the disagreement with the clergy as to whether or not Gisella was married. The dialogue in that scene was so comical! And poor beleaguered Father Beocca had his hands full trying to rein in Uhtred.

Speaking of which, I love the character of Uhtred, but I would certainly hate to get on his bad side!
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