The Burning Land (Last Kingdom Series #5) (Saxon Tales) by Bernard Cornwell, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
The Burning Land (Last Kingdom Series #5) (Saxon Tales)
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The Burning Land (Last Kingdom Series #5) (Saxon Tales)

4.2 171
by Bernard Cornwell
     
 

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The fifth installment of Bernard Cornwell’s bestselling Saxon Tales chronicling the epic saga of the making of England, “like Game of Thrones, but real” (The Observer, London)—the basis for The Last Kingdom, the hit BBC America television series.

At the end of the ninth century, King Alfred of Wessex is in ill health; his

Overview

The fifth installment of Bernard Cornwell’s bestselling Saxon Tales chronicling the epic saga of the making of England, “like Game of Thrones, but real” (The Observer, London)—the basis for The Last Kingdom, the hit BBC America television series.

At the end of the ninth century, King Alfred of Wessex is in ill health; his heir, an untested youth. His enemy, the Danes, having failed to conquer Wessex, now see their chance for victory. Led by the sword of savage warrior Harald Bloodhair, the Viking hordes attack. But Uhtred, Alfred’s reluctant warlord, proves his worth, outwitting Harald and handing the Vikings one of their greatest defeats.

For Uhtred, the sweetness of victory is soon overshadowed by tragedy. Breaking with Alfred, he joins the Vikings, swearing never again to serve the Saxon king. Instead, he will reclaim his ancestral fortress on the Northumbrian coast. Allied with his old friend Ragnar-and his old foe Haesten-he aims to invade and conquer Wessex itself.  But fate has different plans . . .

In The Burning Land, Bernard Cornwell, “the reigning king of historical fiction” (USA Today), delivers a rousing saga of Anglo-Saxon England-an irresistible new chapter in his thrilling Saxon Tales, the epic story of the birth of England and the legendary king who made it possible.

Editorial Reviews

Robert Conroy
“Cornwell (Agincourt) has been described as a master of historical fiction, but that may be an understatement. Cornwell makes his subject material come alive. Better, his major protagonist is totally believable and human.”
Margaret Flanagan
“Cornwell, a master of martial fiction, makes history come alive with his rousing battlefield scenes.”
Publishers Weekly
Slathered in blood and gore, Saxon warlord Uhtred of Bebbanburg hacks his way through the ninth century in the exciting fifth installment to bestseller Cornwell's Saxon Tales series (following Sword Song). This action-packed novel continues the saga of warfare for supremacy in Britain, a brutal period when Saxon and Danish swords, battleaxes, and treachery ruled the day. By now, Alfred the Great is old and feeble, unwilling and unable to repel the Danish invaders. He relies on trusty pagan warlord Uhtred, but Uhtred's temper and an unexpected violent act force Uhtred to break his oath of loyalty to Alfred and flee north with his men, intending to reclaim his ancestral home. En route, they face marauding Danish armies, betrayal, battles for a pirate treasure, and the curse of a vicious Danish witch, only to eventually be manipulated back into fighting for Alfred. Vivid descriptions of merciless battlefield slaughter, rape, and destruction are artfully related by a masterful storyteller. Uhtred is victorious in some battles, but the outcome of others will have to wait for the sequel. (Jan.)
Library Journal
Uhtred the Warlord is the irreverent and conflicted hero of Cornwell's Saxon Tales saga about Alfred the Great. In the fifth volume (after Sword Song), both he and England are in peril. The Saxons and the Danes are at war, and this puts Uhtred in a precarious position. Worse, he is an unrepentant pagan in a world that is becoming aggressively Christian. After tragedy strikes, he is exiled and determines once again to become a Viking, retrieve the mighty fortress that is his heritage, and get away from not-so-merry England. However, fate pulls him back to help protect the kingdom of Mercia from the Danes. Almost unwillingly, Uhtred becomes a major player in an extremely violent and exciting period of English history. VERDICT The prolific Cornwell (Agincourt) has been described as a master of historical fiction, but that may be an understatement. Cornwell makes his subject material come alive. Better, his major protagonist is totally believable and human, if incredibly violent. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 9/15/09.]—Robert Conroy, Warren, MI

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060888763
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
09/14/2010
Series:
Last Kingdom (Saxon Tales) Series, #5
Edition description:
Reissue
Pages:
345
Sales rank:
39,304
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)

What People are saying about this

Margaret Flanagan
“Cornwell, a master of martial fiction, makes history come alive with his rousing battlefield scenes.”
Robert Conroy
“Cornwell (Agincourt) has been described as a master of historical fiction, but that may be an understatement. Cornwell makes his subject material come alive. Better, his major protagonist is totally believable and human.”

Meet the Author

BERNARD CORNWELL is the author of the acclaimed New York Times bestselling Saxon Tales series, which includes The Last Kingdom, The Pale Horseman, Lords of the North, Sword Song, The Burning Land, Death of Kings, The Pagan Lord, and, most recently, The Empty Throne, and which serves as the basis for the BBC America series The Last Kingdom. He lives with his wife on Cape Cod and in Charleston, South Carolina.

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Burning Land 4.2 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 171 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
As the ninth century begins to wind down, King Alfred of Wessex is old and dying. The Danes feel the opportunity to conquer Wessex whose great leader has foiled them before is now. Warlord Harald Bloodhair leads the Viking horde invasion by sea and land Mercia and Wessex. Alfred turns to his oath-bound loyal Saxon pagan warrior Uhtred of Bebbanburg; the warlord defeats Harald, but also breaks his pledge of fealty. Deciding enough of England and its treachery, the warlord and his warriors head home to reclaim his family land. They confront other war parties and a witch's curse only to take another spin back in the world of Alfred and his increasingly Christian nation as the he Danes from East Anglia and the Vikings from Northumbria head once again towards Mercia and Wessex. The fifth Saxon saga (see Sword Song).affirms once again that Bernard Cornwell is one of the best, if not the top writer, of pre William the Conqueror Dark Ages historical fiction. The story line is fast-paced and filled with plenty of bloody action. However, it is an ailing dying Alfred nearing the end of his "Great" reign and the Saxon pagan warlord Uhtred who bring the period alive as the barbarians are at the gate, but it takes a barbarian to prevent them from entering. Fans will relish this deep tale as The Burning Land is increasingly Mercia and Wessex as Alfred no longer can defend them. Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I felt like I was there read entire series twice, just couldn't get enough!
OToole More than 1 year ago
Cornwell's writing style matches that of James Michner. You read without realizing that you are reading and learning HISTORY! The fictional characters blend so well with the REAL characters that you feel they are ALL real. Scene setting is done with all aspects of the town, village, city made easy to visualize. Action scenes make you feel like you are experiencing it with the people involved. He makes you feel the cold or heat, smell the odors and hear the sounds. I have read all of his novels and it has gotten to the point that I buy his novels without regard to the title...just CORNWELL on the cover is enough to convince me to make the purchase. I have not been dissapointed yet.
LN_Adcox More than 1 year ago
The convention continues of a story told by Uhtred, a surly, ancient pagan warrior who was ignored in the official written depictions of history because he had been an embarrassment. However, his reputation as a cunning, ruthless, and terrifying warrior and his proven success makes him an indispensable embarrassment to King Alfred of Wessex and the Saxon English as they seek to retain and regain England. Uhtred's aversion to his overly pious and stingy liege only increases after Alfred declares him an outlaw for killing a priest that slandered his dead wife. Uhtred would rather fight with his Danish friend than for Alfred. However, there are three overpowering motivations in Uhtred's life - his reputation, his love of King Alfred's daughter, Aethelflaed, and his desire to reclaim his ancestral Northumbrian birthright stolen by his uncle. King Alfred manipulates Uhtred through the latter's love of and pledge to his daughter to thwart Danish attempts to add Mercia and Wessex to their Northumbrian and East Anglia domain by defeating them in the battles of Fearnhamme and Benfleet. This excellent series will continue and we can expect Uhtred to continue to be a puppet to the same motivations.
bookwormMC More than 1 year ago
Another superb saxon story from the best historical writer in the business. It treads some new ground, but keeps up with favorite characters also. A history lover would be hard pressed to do better.
TunaSF More than 1 year ago
Excellent story, I read it in a weekend. This series is fantastic historical fiction. Filled with love, war, God, swords, blood, disembowlement, castles, kings, and lords, and more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bernard Cornwell's Historic Fiction Series always leave a person impatiantly waiting for the next book to be published. The book finishes some plot lines from the previous books in the series and opens new plots. Though Cornwell uses the same recipe for the majority of his books, they are overwhelmingly entertaining and a refreshing change of pace from the over descriptive style that now seems to be commonplace. My Library contains the majority of Mr. Cornwell's body of work and it will continue to increase with every historic fiction novel he writes. Uhtred again faces his enemies across the battle line and behind. While pretty ladies have been his undoing and uprising in previous books the same happens here with his wife, a Dane, and Alfred's daughter. Meanwhile, Uhtred gets closer to his main goal of taking his home back from his Uncle.
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strider190 More than 1 year ago
Outstanding historical fiction. Best I have ever read and I'm a historian. 
PainFrame More than 1 year ago
It was like killing piglets, a lot of squealing and blood. Book Five of Bernard Cornwell’s Saxon Tales, an inspired retelling of historical events from Anglo-Saxon England. Being an American, this isn’t the type of history that I know much about, so I appreciate Cornwell’s depth of knowledge and the skill with which he can bring his characters to life. Since the narrator of the story is Uhtred himself, the storytelling can be very blunt and abrasive, but I like this, it’s a peculiar spice that gives this series it’s own flavor. Hard to define, but unmistakeable. Weirdly enough, my hardcover version of this book is probably the most screwed up physical book I’ve ever held in my hands. The pages are printed diagonally, bound at a different angle, and then trimmed completely off of center from the hardcover itself. It remains completely readable, although I did catch myself holding my head at weird angles and subconsciously adjusting the dust cover to be flush with the inside pages (impossible!). In no way does this impact the greatness of the book itself, but I will forever by confounded by my copy’s construction.
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A little slow at start, but a good read
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Bernard brings Uhtred back with the same gusto as before. Ther isnt aything particularly remarkable or different about this novel, but it is well written and exciting. A good fun read.
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