Sword Song: The Battle for London (Last Kingdom Series #4) (Saxon Tales)

Sword Song: The Battle for London (Last Kingdom Series #4) (Saxon Tales)

by Bernard Cornwell
4.4 107

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Overview

Sword Song: The Battle for London (Last Kingdom Series #4) (Saxon Tales) by Bernard Cornwell

The fourth installment of Bernard Cornwell’s New York Times bestselling series 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 television series.

The year is 885, and England is at peace, divided between the Danish kingdom to the north and the Saxon kingdom of Wessex in the south. Warrior by instinct and Viking by nature, Uhtred, the dispossessed son of a Northumbrian lord, has land, a wife and children—and a duty to King Alfred to hold the frontier on the Thames. But a dead man has risen, and new Vikings have invaded the decayed Roman city of London with dreams of conquering Wessex... with Uhtred’s help. Suddenly forced to weigh his oath to the king against the dangerous turning tide of shifting allegiances and deadly power struggles, Uhtred—Alfred’s sharpest sword—must now make the choice that will determine England’s future.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061798252
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/13/2009
Series: Last Kingdom (Saxon Tales) Series , #4
Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 13,270
File size: 908 KB

About 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 Warriors of the Storm, and which serves as the basis for the hit television series The Last Kingdom. He lives with his wife on Cape Cod and in Charleston, South Carolina.

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Sword Song: The Battle for London (Saxon Tales #4) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 107 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ignore the first review. It's either a joke or a mistake. Having enjoyed the 3 previous saxon stories, this one is the best. As always, Cornwell excels at battle scenes. He also brings to life a bygone age with great detail that never weights down the page. Throw in a touch of humor and you have a great book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is very good and it is a great addition to the series, read it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love the books. Somebody make a series of movies, HBO forget Spartagus, go with Uhtred. He is loyal to the king, though sometimes reluctantly, and a dispossed son of a Lord, trying tirelessly to regain his birthright. He's a warrior, a leader, treats his woman with respect and is a hulk to boot.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Saxon Chronicles, panned from the outset as Cornwell trying to return to his British roots, has proven to be a juggernaut that cannot be stopped by bad and, in this case, off-base, press reviews. Book 4, 'Sword Song: The Battle for London', continues the story of Lord Uhtred, Saxon born, Dane raised, sworn man of King Alfred the great. In this installment, Uhtred fights to take London back from the invading Northemen, the Vikings. Uhtred, who loves the Vikings far more than he cares for the Christian religion of the king he is continually sworn to serve, now must fight to take back London and to save Alfred, and his family, from defeat at the hands of the Norse invaders. This book, beginning in the year 885, probably doesn't see the end of 886 before the final page is turned. Unlike the first 3 offerings in this series, this book covers a very short period of time, perhaps 6-8 months. It is a fast moving, blood-letting adventure as Uhtred overtakes Danish controlled London whilst his estranged cousin, Aethelred, marries King Alfred's daughter, Aethelflaed, in search of a kingdom of his own. Uhtred is ordered to produce that kingdom as a gift to the newly married couple. Aetheflaed, a young woman whom Uhtred has known and loved as a daughter since she was a child, marries Uhtred's cousin, Aethelred, a man who Uhtred respects little and whom Uhtred, thanks to Alfred's order, owes much begining with the city of London. As we again hear Uhtred continue the story of his service to Alfred (All of the books in this series are told in first person), we find that a dead Dane skald (poet) is rising from his grave and announcing that Uhtred is to be King of Mercia. Uhtred witnesses this dead rising and follows the corpses instruction to meet with the Danish attackers who want to take the Saxon lands, present day England. Uhtred obeys the skald and travels to the Danish stronghold in London to meet 2 brothers, Erik and Sigefrid Thirgilson, and Haesten, a man who Uhtred once saved and who owed Uhtred an oath, which had been broken. Uhtred, if nothing else, is a man of his word, but he is tempted by the prophecy of the dead skald. He was tempted by the opportunity to fight along side the Northmen that he loved. He was desirous of seeing Alfred dethroned for he hated the pious nature of the king. Thus begins our journey with Uhtred. A journey that will lead to the battle for London, another war with the Danes, and a twist of fate (as Uhtred repeats throughout the book, 'Fate is inexorable') that will test Uhtred's oath like no other test has in his past. Uhtred is one of the greatest characters ever written. He was born a Saxon and rightfully the Lord of Bebbanburg, a county in Northumbria, a part of Saxon England. That birthright was stolen from him by his treacherous uncle earlier in the series. Uhtred longs to regain his birthright but, being a man of his word, he continues to fight for Alfred, and continually waits for his opportunity to return to Bebbanburg and avenge the loss of his birthright. This book, unlike 'Lords of the North', book 3 in the series, returns to the gory battle and grisly action of the first 2 installments ('The Last Kingdom' & 'The Pale Horseman'). 'Lords of the North' was as excellent as the other books in this series, but it lacked the battles and the carnage of the first 2 books and this latest installment 'Lords' was still an excellent book and I recommend that each be read to truly appreciate and understand Uhtred's story. Thankfully, the end of this book is not the end of Uhtred's tale. Cornwell has promised more works about the displaced warrior. With all hope, I can only wait for the Saxon Chronicles to grow to a library the size of which Cornwell has grown his 'Sharpe' series. A continued focus on this man and his adventures in establishing England for Alfred is deserving of at least a large fraction of the number of books produced on Sharpe. If fate is inexorable, I hope aga
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cornwell has a knack for weaving historical fact and fictional characters. 'Sword Song' is an interesting study of life and wars in the late first millinium.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have to say that I felt that this book was a good read and a good addition to Uhtred's story. However, I feel that out of the four books it was my least favorite. I feel that Mr Cornwell spent a lot more time in descriptions and politics as opposed to story , action, and character development. I still cannot wait for the 5th book to be written and absolutely love this series.
Lilo02 More than 1 year ago
The dispossessed son of Northumbrian Lord Uhtred, once again finds himself back in the hands of King Alfred. This is the period where the Vikings started kidnapping for ransom. The King Alfred's daughter Athelfaed (sp?) is kidnapped all due thanks to her abusive husband Athelred who, through this marriage becomes a nobleman. Uhtred is, once again sent out on a battle mission, this time to rescue Alfred's daughter. The story, especially at the end, takes the reader through lots of twists and turns that will keep your nose in this book until your finished with it. THIS SERIES IS A MUST READ!
JohnP51 More than 1 year ago
Lord Uhtred's saga continues in this, book #4 of the 5-book series. Sword Song loses none of the punch and excitement of the first three books in this series and leaves you wanting more. Fortunately, #5 is out "The Burning Land" and I have started it. I know that once finished, I will be wanting more books in this series. If you like historical fiction, you will love this series.
kirkwood59 More than 1 year ago
This story provides some interesting historical insights into early english history. It is an enjoyable book as well as a quick read, quite suitable for airline travel.
J_Cobol More than 1 year ago
Aside from academics, I suspect there are few of us who know what life was like in the 9th Century. Corwnwell has done a great job of opening up this world to us. If nothing else, I came away with a deeper understanding and appreciation for life in England at a much earlier time. People were both more civilized than I thought, and even more uncivil than I expected. This lens of history also made me appreciate much more the world we live in today.
cjhTX More than 1 year ago
Formulaic- If you like Cornwell's style this is enjoyable but he sticks to his formula and it does seem to get old after a couple books.
emmi331 More than 1 year ago
Sword Song continues the epic saga of Uhtred, the Saxon with the heart of a Viking. Now twenty-eight, Uhtred is still energetically running opposing warriors through with his sword and lopping off various body parts as the occasion demands. In ninth-century Britain, the Vikings and the Saxons still struggle for supremacy, so there is plenty of opportunity for mayhem. Uhtred dislikes both Christianity and its accompanying priests, yet must continue to honor his oath to serve the pious King Alfred and rid the country of the Norsemen. Never one to balk at risky undertakings, Uhtred keeps the action heart-stopping, with battle scenes and skirmishes vividly described in gory detail.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
But still a good read.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
These are the things of Uhtred's life and story. The battles are starting to run together for me since they mak up at least 50% of the book. I will read on after a break. Becoming a labor of love and pursuit of history.
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Phasma More than 1 year ago
I love these books, can't get out of it!
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