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I’ve read (and listened to) a lot of great books this year. If I had to pick a favorite, I’d choose Bernard Cornwell’s, Lords of the North, the third book in his Saxon series.

Here’s the book blurb:
The Lords of the North begins soon after the events described in The Pale Horseman. Uhtred, having helped Alfred secure Wessex as an independent Saxon kingdom, returns north in an attempt to find his stepsister. Instead he discovers chaos, civil war and treachery in Northumbria. He takes the side of Guthred, once a slave and now a man who would be king, and in return expects Guthred's help in capturing Dunholm, the lair of the dark Viking lord, Kjartan. There is [fencing, fighting,] betrayal, romance [possibly true love] and war, and all of it, as usual, based on real events.

I’ve always liked historical fiction and there’s something about the way Mr. Cornwell contrives to make his poor characters suffer (usually by making them long for something they can never get) that I find irresistible, as anyone who’s enjoyed his Sharpe or Starbuck Chronicles novels will agree.

I'm sure there are those who don't care for his work, and I'm the first to admit that Mr. Cornwell loves his adverbs, but so what? The man writes compelling stories that keep you coming back for more, and that should be good enough for everyone, don't you think?

The next Uhtred novel, The Burning Land, comes out in the US next month.

I’m already excited about reading it. I thoroughly recommend the whole series.

How about you?

What’s the best book you’ve read this year?


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Dec. 15th, 2009 01:48 pm (UTC)
This has been a year of light reading, so I'll define "best" as "having the highest entertainment value". For that I'd recommend either the "Vatta's War" series by Elizabeth Moon or "Halting State" by Charles Stross.

As for not-so-light non-fiction, there's no doubt that "A Continent for the Taking" by Howard E. French was my most mind-opening reading experience.
Dec. 15th, 2009 05:50 pm (UTC)
Any particular favorite among the (I think) five Vatta's War books?
Dec. 15th, 2009 06:55 pm (UTC)
Essentially they form one big story, so it's hard to pick out a favorite. I also read them all in a row, so they kind of blurred together. Anyway, Trading in Danger (book # 1) is the place to start.
Dec. 15th, 2009 07:11 pm (UTC)
Ah, the old 'start at the beginning' method :)
Dec. 15th, 2009 07:14 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it's a time-tried method. Of course, if it's a really bad series you might want to start with the last book to get it over with as soon as possible :-)

Edited at 2009-12-15 07:14 pm (UTC)
Dec. 15th, 2009 07:14 pm (UTC)
Maybe even the last chapter, right? :)

Things What I Wrote and Other Stuff

No longer in print but there are still some copies floating around out there

No longer in print but there are still some copies floating around out there



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