The third instalment in Bernard Cornwell’s King Alfred series. Following on from the outstanding previous novels The Last Kingdom and The Pale Horseman, both of which were top ten bestsellers. The year is 878 and Wessex is free from the Vikings. Uhtred, the dispossessed son of a Northumbrian lord. He helped Alfred win that victory. Yet now he is disgusted by Alfred’s lack of generosity and repelled by the king’s insistent piety.
On the run:
He flees Wessex, going back north to seek revenge for the killing of his foster father. And to rescue his stepsister, captured in the same raid. He needs to find his old enemy, Kjartan, a renegade Danish lord who lurks in the formidable stronghold of Dunholm. Uhtred arrives in the north to discover rebellion, chaos and fear. His only ally is Hild, a West Saxon nun fleeing her calling. And his best hope is his sword, with which he has made a formidable reputation as a warrior.
He will need the assistance of other warriors if he is to attack Dunholm and he finds Guthred. A slave who believes he is a king. He takes him across the Pennines to where a desperate alliance of fanatical Christians and beleaguered Danes form a new army to confront the terrible Viking lords who rule Northumbria. ‘The Lords of the North’ is a powerful story of betrayal, romance and struggle. Set in an England of turmoil, upheaval and glory. Uhtred, a Northumbrian raised as a Viking, a man without lands, a warrior without a country, has become a splendid heroic figure.
Another one of the reviews I am playing catch up on this one is from 2018, better late then never right?
Revisiting Lord Uhtred is always a treat for me, and thanks to the Netflix series The Last Kingdom I have been happily re-reading the series. It always feels nice to retreat into characters you view as friends. Once more our Hero is just trying to get to his home of Bebbanburg and become the rightful lord. Once again a cast of people who you want to smack steadfastly stand in his way. Its like if he didn’t have back luck he would have no luck at all. Something that in the end I appreciate it because let’s face it that is how real life is for many of us.
Why enjoy this series so much?
Uhtred is resilient, persistent and thinks on his feet. He is a good man who doesn’t always do good things. Seeking vengeance though if you ask me is the right thing in this world. I always enjoy meeting the cast of characters Uhtred manages to draw to him and for better or worse people are drawn to him. He inspires loyalty among people and it tends to serve him well for the situations he ends up in. Bottom line this is another solid installment to the series and we can only hope our Lord eventually manages to get home.
My Star Rating: