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By Bernard Cornwell

The fourth installment of Bernard Cornwell’s bestselling sequence chronicling the epic saga of the making of britain, “like online game of Thrones, yet genuine” (The Observer, London)—the foundation for The final Kingdom, the hit BBC the USA tv series.

The 12 months is 885, and England is at peace, divided among the Danish state to the north and the Saxon state of Wessex within the south. Uhtred, the dispossessed son of a Northumbrian lord—warrior via intuition, Viking by means of nature—has ultimately settled down. He has land, a spouse and teenagers, and an obligation given to him through King Alfred to carry the frontier at the Thames. yet then hassle stirs: a lifeless guy has risen, and new Vikings have arrived to occupy the decayed Roman urban of London. Their dream is to beat Wessex, and to do it they want Uhtred’s help.

Alfred has different principles. He desires Uhtred to expel the Viking raiders from London. Uhtred needs to weigh his oath to the king opposed to the damaging turning tide of moving allegiances and lethal energy struggles. And different hurricane clouds are amassing: Alfred’s daughter is newly married, yet through a merciless accident, her very lifestyles now threatens Alfred’s nation. it really is Uhtred—half Saxon, part Dane—whose doubtful loyalties needs to now make a decision England’s future.

Sword Song is Cornwell’s best paintings yet—vivid with interval element, this breathtaking event throroughly reimagines the most attention-grabbing stories in all of history—the beginning of England—and breathes lifestyles into the bright king who made it attainable: Alfred the Great.

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The place have you ever come from? ” I requested. “From the disturbed floor, lord,” he replied in Danish, however it was once visible from the way in which he mangled the phrases that he used to be no Dane. “Beyond the road? ” I spoke English back. “Yes, lord,” he acknowledged. “And whilst does Bjorn disturb your land back? ” “The day after the following day, lord. he'll come after moonrise. ” “You are despatched to steer me? ” “Yes, lord. ” We rode subsequent day. Gisela desired to come, yet i wouldn't permit her for i didn't completely belief the summons, and thanks to that distrust I rode with six males; Finan, Clapa, Sihtric, Rypere, Eadric, and Cenwulf. The final 3 have been Saxons, Clapa and Sihtric have been Danes, and Finan used to be the fiery Irishman who commanded my loved ones troops, and all six have been my oath-men. My lifestyles used to be theirs as theirs used to be mine. Gisela stayed in the back of Coccham’s partitions, guarded by means of the fyrd and by means of the rest of my family troops. We rode in mail and we carried guns. We went west and north first as the Temes was once iciness swollen and we needed to experience far upstream to discover a ford shallow adequate to be crossed. That was once at Welengaford, one other burh, and that i famous how the earth partitions have been unfinished and the way the trees to make the palisades lay rotting and untrimmed within the dust. The commander of the garrison, a guy named Oslac, desired to recognize why we crossed the river, and it was once his correct to grasp simply because he guarded this a part of the frontier among Wessex and lawless Mercia. I stated a fugitive had fled Coccham and used to be considered skulking at the Temes’s northern financial institution, and Oslac believed the story. it can succeed in Alfred quickly adequate. the fellow who had introduced the summons used to be our consultant. He was once referred to as Huda and he informed me he served a Dane named Eilaf who had an property that bordered the jap facet of Wæclingastræt. That made Eilaf an East Anglian and an issue of King Guthrum. “Is Eilaf a Christian? ” I requested Huda. “We are all Christians, lord,” Huda acknowledged, “King Guthrum calls for it. ” “So what does Eilaf put on approximately his neck? ” I requested. “The related as you, lord,” he stated. I wore Thor’s hammer simply because i used to be no Christian and Huda’s solution advised me that Eilaf, like me, worshipped the older gods, notwithstanding to delight his king, Guthrum, he pretended to a trust within the Christian god. I had identified Guthrum within the days while he had led nice armies to assault Wessex, yet he was once getting older now. He had followed his enemy’s faith and it appeared he not desired to rule all Britain, yet used to be content material with the huge fertile fields of East Anglia as his nation. but there have been many in his lands who weren't content material. Sigefrid, Erik, Haesten, and possibly Eilaf. They have been Norsemen and Danes, they have been warriors, they sacrificed to Thor and to Odin, they stored their swords sharp, and so they dreamed, as all Northmen dream, of the richer lands of Wessex. We rode via Mercia, the land with out a king, and that i famous what percentage farmsteads have been burned in order that the one hint in their lifestyles was once now a patch of scorched earth the place weeds grew. extra weeds smothered what were plowland.

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