The Pagan Lord (Last Kingdom Series #7) (Saxon Tales)

The Pagan Lord (Last Kingdom Series #7) (Saxon Tales)

4.2 36
by Bernard Cornwell

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New York Times bestselling author Bernard Cornwell returns to his epic Saxon Tales saga with The Pagan Lord, a dramatic story of divided loyalties, bloody battles, and the struggle to unite Britain.

At the onset of the tenth century, England is in turmoil. Alfred the Great is dead and Edward his son reigns as king. Wessex survives but peace cannot

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New York Times bestselling author Bernard Cornwell returns to his epic Saxon Tales saga with The Pagan Lord, a dramatic story of divided loyalties, bloody battles, and the struggle to unite Britain.

At the onset of the tenth century, England is in turmoil. Alfred the Great is dead and Edward his son reigns as king. Wessex survives but peace cannot hold: the Danes in the north, led by Viking Cnut Longsword, stand ready to invade and will never rest until the emerald crown is theirs.                                                                                                 

Uhtred, once Alfred’s great warrior but now out of favor with the new king, must lead a band of outcasts north to recapture his old family home, that great Northumbrian fortress, Bebbanburg.

In The Pagan Lord, loyalties will be divided and men will fall, as every Saxon kingdom is drawn into the bloodiest battle yet with the Danes; a war which will decide the fate of every king, and the entire English nation.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In Cornwell's (1356) latest, 10th century Britain is a splintered land, populated by pagans and Christians and divided between Saxons and Danes. The pagan Uhtred, once favored by Alfred the Great, finds himself distrusted by Alfred's successor, Edward, and at odds with the Christians. Made an outlaw by an ill-considered violent act, he heads north to recapture his old home, the fortress of Bebbanburg; though his grand scheme is less bold than foolhardy. It sets Uhtred on the path to play a crucial role in the coming war between Cnut's Danes and Edward's Saxons. For Uhtred the stakes are personal glory and vengeance against those who wronged him, but the fate of Britain itself hangs on the unforeseeable consequences of his actions. Cornwell successfully brings an unjustly obscure era in British history to life, showing how grand events can be shaped by what are essentially petty motivations. Cornwell skillfully illuminates the competing cultures of the 10th Century; the conflict between Dane and Saxon is examined with sympathy and insight—without projecting 21st century values onto cultures now alien to us. In the course of this, he shows how historical novels should be written. (Jan.)
Kirkus Reviews
The death of Alfred the Great leaves what we know as England up for grabs, and Lord Uhtred of Bebbanburg (Death of Kings, 2012, etc.) is caught in the middle of it all. Connoisseurs of conflict can start with the hero's name, which he's done his best to pass on. When the son he's named Uhtred converts to Christianity and becomes a priest, Uhtred dubs him Father Judas and declares that his youngest son, Osbert, is Uhtred instead. Nor is Uhtred widely considered to be lord of Bebbanburg, a northern stronghold his uncle Uhtred (hmm) has seized and plans to pass on to his own Uhtred. Unable to stomach King Alfred's successor, Æthelred of Mercia, whose estranged wife he's in love with, cursed by Bishop Wulfheard after he accidentally kills old Abbot Wihtred, and burned out of his holdings outside Cirrenceastre in modern Gloucestershire by the warlord Cnut Ranulfson, Uhtred would seem to have no direction if Cnut, upon returning Sigunn, the woman of Uhtred's he'd carried off, had not asked him to find Cnut's own abducted wife and son. Instead of searching for them, Uhtred, who's never happy unless he's fighting or scheming, sails off to Bebbanburg with the remainder of his followers in a bold gamble to surprise his usurping uncle and seize his castle. When his plan doesn't go quite as he'd intended, Uhtred is left to journey west to Ceaster, where he'll find Cnut's missing wife and child and prepare to come face to face with the fearsome warlord one last time. As in a summer movie, the big set pieces are more impressive than the realistically meandering odyssey that threads them together. The most consistent motif is Uhtred's undying and principled hostility to "the nailed god" of Christianity and the threat he represents to the warrior code Uhtred so perfectly embodies.

Set ten years after the events of The Death of Kings, Bernard Cornwell's The Pagan Lord forcefully drops us into the tumultuous realm of tenth century England. With Alfred the Great gone and the Danes in the north eager for conquest, the best hope for victory, or even survival, is Uhtred, a fierce pagan warrior with little but contempt for the Christians he is saving. With its intense battle scenes and stormy backstage intrigues, this Saxon Tales installment thrust the series to a new level. Easy to recommend.

Washington Post
“A violent, absorbing historical saga, deeply researched and thoroughly imagined.”
“Uhtred of Bebbanburg rides into battle once again in the seventh installment of Cornwell’s stellar Saxon Tales series….Cornwell excels at depicting gloriously gory battle scenes as well as the inherent religious, political, and martial conflicts upon which a great nation was born.”
“Cornwell does a masterful job of showing not only how Uhtred fights, but also in how he uses his wits to backstab, threaten, bluff, and maneuver his way into a position where he’s able to fight with the best possible odds.”
The Oklahoman
“Plunges the reader into the world of the past, with all of its cruelties, nonexistent plumbing and deplorable personal grooming....Cornwell is a master at writing these historical novels, and The Pagan Lord as usual, is no exception.”

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Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Last Kingdom (Saxon Tales) Series, #7
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.40(d)


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The Pagan Lord 4.2 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 36 reviews.
saintdeath More than 1 year ago
Bernard Cornwell is and has for some time been one of the most significant writers of historical fictions to date. With the  beginning of Utred of Bebbanburg as a welp to the seeing of the crowning of Alfred the Great to his future grandson whom historians regard as the first real king of all of England, Athelstan. Cornwell truly has an eye for the imagination. Some of his greats are the "Grail series" to even " Agincourt" are some of the greatest historical fiction novels set in the world of monarchs and soldier peasants! This book is a must!
syphi More than 1 year ago
Fantastic book from Bernard Cornwell again. It's amazing how he manages to fascinate with every book he writes. No other author is as consistent in this respect. Uhtred is one of the best characters in literature. His interactions with the civil society with which he has allied himself is always amusing. Confounding self-righteous bishops and ruffling feathers of the timid, he never fails to entertain. He's the guy you can't trust in polite company, but there is no one better in a fight. In The Pagan Lord Cornwell delivers up his usual dazzling combination of historical envelopment and medieval action adventure. The pacing is swift and we're never waiting for long before the next confrontation. Uhtred is always forcing the action. This book is very good - not quite up to some of the other books in the series in terms of plot and conflict, and hence the 4-star rating instead of Cornwell's usual 5-star status.
Zeifus More than 1 year ago
Maybe it's not fair that Cornwell is such an exceptional writer. He has set the bar so high that even he might fall  short from time to time. This is one of those times. The book is good. For any other author, this would be a 4-star book. Uhtred is as brash and cunning as ever. I enjoyed seeing him beset by indecision from time to time - it made him more human. The problem is repetition. Cornwell establishes early in every book in the series that Uhtred is a pagan. It's one of the most interesting aspects of the series -- a pagan fighting with Christians against other pagans. It is brilliant, actually. But it seems we are reminded about every other paragraph that Uhtred is a pagan and that he esteems his gods higher than the "nailed god." Uhtred's attitude toward and insults about Christians and their religion are highly entertaining. But only the first 75 times or so. It becomes a little tiresome.  Still, the repetition of the insults and a plot that was thinner than the other books in the series only took away a little from Cornwell's mastery of this period of history and his characters. Cornwell is always an automatic "must read."
Kevin_Chapman More than 1 year ago
I have read all the books in this series, in fact all his books except the Sharp series. I therefore jumped in to read the continuation of the Saxon wars with the Northmen. I somewhat enjoyed the book, no problem with the scene setting except for the abortive raid on Bebbanburg, I felt that was very contrived and the way of the book was lost there. Maybe Bernard is getting tired of Utred, that being said, I will buy the next in the series to see if the story comes alive again. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a story. Cornwell is a master and Uhtred is one of my favorite characters. I have read everything Cornwell has written. I can hardly wait for the next Saxon story. Where will he pi k this one up? I nearly bust a gut with Uhtred solution to finding the bones of Saint Oswald. A must read. Michael Hammond Approved!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another great Uhtred story. I don't know how I'll be able to wait for the next book. I want to see how Uhtred regains Bebbanburg so badly!
Anonymous 21 days ago
Jules_K More than 1 year ago
Continues the saga of Uthred, plot twists are cleverly done and battle scenes continue to illustrate the times. Characters are multidemensional and you root for some and against others. Looking forward to the next one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
kidsx11 More than 1 year ago
This is the 7th of the Saxton Series by Cornwell. once I started the series I could not but them down . I read all 8 in the series in 2 weeks.Each on wanted me to start the next one immediataly. The Pagan Lord followed a great read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cornwell drags on the tale of Uhtred by the same tired descriptions and recounting of previous novels. Time to wrap it up on the Saxon Tales series.
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Bernard Cornwell has written yet another great novel. I loved everything about the book,especially the literature, and the battle depictions.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An excellent historical adventure, presented within the context of authentic events.
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