The Empty Throne (Last Kingdom Series #8) (Saxon Tales)

The Empty Throne (Last Kingdom Series #8) (Saxon Tales)

by Bernard Cornwell

Paperback(Reprint)

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Overview

The eighth 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.

Britain, early tenth century AD: a time of change. There are new raids by the Vikings from Ireland and turmoil among the Saxons over the leadership of Mercia. A younger generation is taking over.

Æthelred, the ruler of Mercia, is dying, leaving no legitimate heir. The West Saxons want their king, but Uhtred has long supported Æthelflaed, sister to King Edward of Wessex and widow of Æthelred. Widely loved and respected, Æthelflaed has all the makings of a leader—but could Saxon warriors ever accept a woman as their ruler? The stage is set for rivals to fight for the empty throne.

Editorial Reviews

Daily Mail

Cornwell once again shows his acknowledged mastery of fast-paced storytelling, full of exciting incident and an unflinching approach to bloodshed.

Booklist

Excellent . .. Mysticism, history, brutality, muck, and mire combine to splendid effect in this compelling fictional version of the birth of a great nation.

Daily Mail

Cornwell once again shows his acknowledged mastery of fast-paced storytelling, full of exciting incident and an unflinching approach to bloodshed.

Booklist

Excellent . .. Mysticism, history, brutality, muck, and mire combine to splendid effect in this compelling fictional version of the birth of a great nation.

Mail on Sunday

An effortlessly engaging ride.

The Times (London)

The Empty Throne is Cornwell’s best Uthred tale yet. If there is a throne for writers of this particular type of muscular historical fiction, then Cornwell is firmly wedged in it. And on this evidence, he is not budging.

Kirkus Reviews

2014-12-07
As conspiracies breed in their wake, Lord Uhtred of Bebbanburg and Lady Æthelflaed ally to drive invaders from Mercia in Cornwell's (The Pagan Lord, 2014, etc.) eighth in his Saxon series. "In the year of our Lord 911," Alfred the Great is gone. "Alfred had dreamed of uniting the Saxons. That meant driving the Danes out of northern Mercia, from East Anglia, and, eventually, from Northumbria." King Edward now rules Wessex, and Lord Æthelred is Edward's reeve in Mercia, but he's been mortally wounded in battle, and it is his wife, Lady Æthelflaed, who has "the love of the Mercians." A heroine lost in history's mist, the lady is Cornwell's homage to a warrior, a leader who preserved Mercia against invading Danes and the Vikings encroaching from Ireland. With her lover Uhtred, Æthelflaed fights battles across "Englaland"—the best and bloodiest against the Viking lord Sigtryggr—and manipulates the ealdormen (lords) to accept her leadership upon Æthelred's death. This novel easily stands alone, with perfectly choreographed battle scenes and political infighting between Æthelhelm, Edward's father-in-law, "the richest man in Wessex," and Eardwulf, Æthelred's traitorous henchman. The protagonists, and Uhtred's daughter, Stiorra, who flees with Sigtryggr, are perfectly drawn. Other characters shine: the giant Gerbruht and Folcbald, Frisian warriors; Finan, Uhtred's droll second-in-command; and Eadith, Eardwulf's sister, who wins Uhtred's affection and heals him with his vanquished enemy's sword. Despite Cornwell's use of ancient names and places, the lusty, rollicking narrative (accompanied by a map) is totally accessible and great good fun. Cornwell's done it again. New readers: Draw a flagon of ale, and be prepared to find the first seven in the series.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062250728
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 01/05/2016
Series: Last Kingdom (Saxon Tales) Series , #8
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 13,706
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.72(d)

Customer Reviews