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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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Comments

peadarog
Dec. 15th, 2009 03:23 pm (UTC)
I finished The Burning Land a few days ago. It's more of the same, really, but I have no problem with that. I still think you need to give "The Winter King" a go. It's a completed series and, IMHO, much better than the Saxon series -- i.e. the magic in it is really, really insane/scary and not in the least bit attractive.
bogwitch64
Dec. 15th, 2009 05:44 pm (UTC)
Oh, gads! I have the Winter King series and have had them on my shelf for...forever. I'll have to pull them out and get them onto the TBR pile next to my bed.
peadarog
Dec. 15th, 2009 06:52 pm (UTC)
No harm, no foul! But lots and lots of battles. Not everybody likes that sort of thing.
jongibbs
Dec. 15th, 2009 05:58 pm (UTC)
The Burning Land doesn't come out over here until next month :(

I read The Winter King a few years back. It was okay, but it didn't grab me in the same way the Saxon series did. Mind you, I do plan to read it again - I've read most of Cornwell's books twice :)

peadarog
Dec. 15th, 2009 06:51 pm (UTC)
Ah well, maybe second time 'round it will do its thang! Maybe part of the attraction for me is that I feel he got very close to the spirit of that age. There are a whole set of ancient Irish laws that resonate loudly when reading that series.
jongibbs
Dec. 15th, 2009 07:59 pm (UTC)
See, there you go again, setting me up for 'Irish Laws' jokes when you know I can't tell them :(

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















 











THE MEAGER PUDDLE OF LIMELIGHT AWARDS


Books by my writer friends - compressed

NJ Writing groups - compressed

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