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333 pages, Paperback
First published January 1, 2004
“I had the arrogant confidence of a man born to battle. I am Uthred, son of Uthred, son of another Uthred, and we had not held Bebbanburg and its lands by whimpering at altars. We are warriors.”
“What do we look for in a lord? Strength, generosity, hardness, and success, and why should a man not be proud of those things? Show me a humble warrior and I will see a corpse.”
“War is fought in mystery. The truth can take days to travel, and ahead of truth flies rumor, and it is ever hard to know what is really happening, and the art of it is to pluck the clean bone of fact from the rotting flesh of fear and lies.”
“What happens to you, Uhtred, is what you make happen. You will grow, you will learn the sword, you will learn the way of the shield wall, you will learn the oar, you will give honor to the gods, and then you will use what you have learned to make your life good or bad.”
I dream, and know that one day I will take back the land from those who stole it from me.
Love, noun. Pronunciation: luhv
A feeling of strong attachment induced by that which delights or commands admiration; preëminent kindness or devotion to another; affection; tenderness; as,
the love of brothers and sisters.
Of all the dearest bonds we prove
Thou countest sons' and mothers' love
Most sacred, most Thine own.
Affection; kind feeling; friendship; strong liking or desire; fondness; good will; - opposed to hate; often with of and an object.
Love, and health to all.
Smit with the love of sacred song.
The love of science faintly warmed his breast.
War is fought in mystery. The truth can takes days to travel, and ahead of truth flies rumors, and it is ever hard to know what is really happening, and the art of it is to pluck the clean bone of fact from the rotting flesh of fear and lies.
Blood on the grass now, so much blood that the ground was slick, and there were bodies that had to be stepped over as our shield wall thrust forward, leaving Brida and me behind, and I saw her hands were red because blood seeped down the long ash shaft of her spear. She licked the blood and gave me a sly smile.
Ships on the winter Temes. Ships sliding past brittle reeds and leafless willows and bare alders. Wet oar blades shining in the pale sunlight. The prows of our ships bore their beasts to quell the spirits of the land we invaded, and it was good land and rich fields, though all were deserted.
She was heavy, Serpent-Breath, too heavy for a thirteen-year-old, but I would grow into her. Her point tapered more than Ragnar liked, but that made her well balanced for it meant there was not much weight at the blade's out end. And there is magic in Serpent-Breath. Ealdwulf has his own spells that he would not tell me, the spells of the smith, and Brida took the blade into the woods for a whole night and never told me what she did with it, and those were the spells of a woman, and when we made the sacrifice of the pit slaughter, and killed a man, a horse, a ram, a bull, and a drake, I asked Ragnar to use Serpent-Breath on the doomed man so that Odin would know she existed and would look well on her. Those are the spells of a pagan and a warrior.
„Wyrd bið ful ãræd.“ – „Fate is inexorable.“