Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Warriors of the Storm by Bernard Cornwell

Warriors of the Storm by Bernard Cornwell
Reviewed by Keith McCoy, Somerset County Library System
Originally Submitted to Library Journal

The irascible and combative Uhtred Uhtredson returns in the ninth book of Cornwell’s Saxon Tales.  Set in a fractured ninth century England, the aging Saxon warrior is surprised by a Norse attack from across the Irish Sea.  Worse, he quickly finds out that a former lover has allied with the invader, Ragnall Ivarson:  the latter wants a kingdom, and the former wants to annihilate Uhtred and his grown children.  Threaded through the battle scenes is the nascent Celtic Christianity, and how it melds or conflicts with the old religious ways.  The desire to create (or prevent) a unified England under Edward of Wessex is behind much of the maneuvering, too.  Uhtred uses all of his martial prowess, wits, and gut instinct to save most of his offspring, and the future of his land.  Cornwell again provides an exciting and tricky retelling of history from the standpoint of a colorful warrior lord.  

Verdict: Not just for lovers of historic fiction, but those who catch the first episodes of The Last Kingdom (based on this series) on BBC America will want to read all the stories.