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The Lords of the North by Bernard Cornwell
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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.

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Reading Progress

March 11, 2020 – Shelved
February 3, 2021 – Started Reading
February 6, 2021 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-13 of 13 (13 new)

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Klaus I agree, this plotline was handled better in the TV series. I actually stopped with the books at this point because I just completely lost interest.


Kyle Erickson Wow, super surprised to read this one. I haven't done a re-read of the series, and I blew through most of the series in like a month or two, but Lords of the North is tied with Death of Kings as my favorites in the series, haha.


Petrik Klaus wrote: "I agree, this plotline was handled better in the TV series. I actually stopped with the books at this point because I just completely lost interest."

I think I would've enjoyed this one so much more if I hadn't watched the TV show tbh! Knowing what would happen really kinda takes away the tension. Let's see how I'll feel for the next book! :)


Petrik Kyle wrote: "Wow, super surprised to read this one. I haven't done a re-read of the series, and I blew through most of the series in like a month or two, but Lords of the North is tied with Death of Kings as my..."

Yeah! It's a shame! I really thought I'd enjoy it more. Considering that Death of Kings is my favorite adaptation in the show so far, fingerscrossed I will feel the same for the books! :)


Klaus Petrik wrote: "Klaus wrote: "I agree, this plotline was handled better in the TV series. I actually stopped with the books at this point because I just completely lost interest."

I think I would've enjoyed this ..."


Yes, let's see! I will eagerly await your opinion on that one, good sir.


message 6: by Krishna (new) - added it

Krishna Prasad Great review again and sad to know it's not better than TV show, do you know untill which book they made into TV show probably book 8? I really like the book covers though.


message 7: by Celly (new)

Celly Great review. I have watched the series already, twice to be honest and I enjoyed it for the most part. I didnt even know that it was based on a book!


Petrik Krishna wrote: "Great review again and sad to know it's not better than TV show, do you know untill which book they made into TV show probably book 8? I really like the book covers though."

Thank you, Krishna! Yeah, each season contained two books in the series, so far there's 4 seasons which means 8 books have been adapted. I think the TV series will be finished on season 6 or 7! :)


Petrik Celly wrote: "Great review. I have watched the series already, twice to be honest and I enjoyed it for the most part. I didnt even know that it was based on a book!"

Thank you, Celly!! Whoa twice already!? :D
I felt lukewarm about the first season of the TV show but I LOVED season 2-4! It's indeed based on books! :)


message 10: by Celene (new)

Celene Wheaton So glad you’re reading Bernard Cornwell. I haven’t gone through all the Saxon tales but he’s my absolute favorite author. Maybe you’ll check out his Sharpe’s series sometime.


message 11: by Petrik (last edited Feb 07, 2021 05:55PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Petrik Celene wrote: "So glad you’re reading Bernard Cornwell. I haven’t gone through all the Saxon tales but he’s my absolute favorite author. Maybe you’ll check out his Sharpe’s series sometime."

Yeahh! I've heard amazing things about Sharpe series, too, maybe one day I'll get back to it. I definitely loved his Warlord Chronicles so much! :)


message 12: by A.R (new)

A.R Sad to hear that it's not living up to the tv show. Hope that it gets better soon!


Petrik A.R wrote: "Sad to hear that it's not living up to the tv show. Hope that it gets better soon!"

Thank you! No worries, when it comes to a long series there will always be some weaker installment! :)


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