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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 02:12 pm (UTC)
I have to choose?!?!?

It's a toss up. I read so amazing writing.

Soulless by Gail Carriger - combination steampunk/romance/urban fantasy/humor

Bitter Nights by Diana Pharaoh Francis - urban fantasy
If you like fantasy, you should try Di's other series. She's written 2 epic fantasy ones. :) Amazing...

The Sword-Edged Blonde by Alex Bledsoe - fantasy noir detective/gumshoe novel (so awesome)

And the list goes on!!
Dec. 15th, 2009 02:18 pm (UTC)
I read Soulless - I didn't think the writing was very polished (it was very informal and almost blog-ish in a lot of ways) by my goodness was that story fun. And I did like the characters (though I refuse to picture her like the woman on the cover, who bothers me for some reason - people, do not judge this book by its cover!). I'll definitely be reading more!
Dec. 15th, 2009 02:21 pm (UTC)
It was her first book so I'm impressed!! But I liked the writing. Not perfect but you're so busy laughing, who needs to worry about it? :)

I saw Alexia as the cover. Gail said it was exactly how she pictured her too. (Gail has an LJ if you want to follow.)

You know, I've only known one person to go by the nickname Smedly... but not how you spell it. Caught me off-guard. :)
Dec. 16th, 2009 01:02 am (UTC)
Yeah, I was more than willing to forgive the non-perfect writing, because I did love it.

I thought the model on the cover looked like she had a bit of a spinal condition, but that's the only thing that really bothered me.

I have no idea how we came up with this name, but it's been my on-line moniker for years now. It's pretty unique, and usually available at most web sites, which makes it easy for me to remember logins!
Dec. 16th, 2009 01:08 pm (UTC)
Ah, a good 'broken doll' pose by the model... mayhap I have watched too much America's Next Top Model. Though I was simply impressed with her costuming and she had the Italian look well enough.
Dec. 17th, 2009 12:55 am (UTC)
I loved the costume, it was just that spinal curve. Maybe having spinal problems myself it put me off it a bit more than the average person, though! I'll be reading more, though, that's for sure, no matter the covers (which I know authors - especially new ones - don't always have the most control over).
Dec. 15th, 2009 06:01 pm (UTC)
I don't know about you, but I'm prepared to forgive a lot if something's a fun read :)
Dec. 16th, 2009 01:03 am (UTC)
Oh, totally! The writing has to get really bad, and really jar me out of the story for me to stop for that. And it wasn't that the writing was bad, just not the flowing, lyrical prose a lot of people prefer.
Dec. 15th, 2009 05:52 pm (UTC)
There's a fantasy noir detective/gumshoe novel?

Sounds intriguing. Thanks for sharing :)
Dec. 15th, 2009 07:44 pm (UTC)
OMG... it's awesome. And Mr. Bledsoe is a man of class. I was laid off when a friend sent me the first one. Unable to feed my book addiction, he sent me the second one. Just offered it! Because I'd enjoyed it that much.

Hurry and go read it so we can talk about it... or read my reviews. ;) It's an extremely unique take on the fantasy genre.
Dec. 15th, 2009 07:55 pm (UTC)
I shall order it from Amazon today :)

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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