It is the lowest time for the Saxons. Defeated comprehensively by the Vikings who now occupy most of England, Alfred and his surviving followers retreat to the trackless marshlands of Somerset. There, forced to move restlessly to escape betrayal or detection, using the marsh mists for cover, they travel by small boats from one island to another, hoping that they can regroup and find some more strength and support. They seek refuge in Athelney, a tidal swamp to which Alfred's kingdom has shrunk. Uhtred finds himself torn between his Danish foster brother and the winning Vikings, and his growing respect for the stubborn leadership of Alfred. He must decide whether to rebuild the Saxons' strength from his watery base and help them to take on the Vikings once more.
The Pale Horseman is a splendid story of divided loyalties and desperate heroism, with a wonderful range of characters from Vikings to British kings in their Cornish fortresses, from political but passionate priests to enduring fishermen and farmers desperately striving to survive as the battle sweeps over them. Uhtred and Alfred, Vikings and Saxons, are a winning combination for Bernard Cornwell.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By William on 20-03-07
This book took me back in time as this is my type of subject. I couldnt put it down so to speak. The fact that the narrator sounded like Sean Bean was even better for me, I will be getting the rest of the books in this range even though this one was not the first in the series, I think that i could carry on with the story even if the order is not correct. As this is the first of this series that I have read i call these books historical fantasy - some fact some fiction. A great read.