The new novel in Bernard Cornwell's number-one best-selling series on the making of England and the fate of his great hero, Uhtred of Bebbanburg.
BBC2's major autumn 2015 TV show The Last Kingdom is based on the first two books in the series.
A fragile peace is about to be broken.... King Alfred's son, Edward, and formidable daughter, Æthelflaed, rule Wessex, Mercia and East Anglia. But all around the restless Northmen, eyeing the rich lands and wealthy churches, are mounting raids.
Uhtred of Bebbanburg, the kingdoms' greatest warrior, controls Northern Mercia from the strongly fortified city of Chester. But forces are rising up against him. Northmen allied to the Irish, led by the fierce warrior Ragnall Ivarson, are soon joined by the Northumbrians, and their strength could prove overwhelming. Despite the gathering threat, both Edward and Æthelflaed are reluctant to move out of the safety of their fortifications.
But with Uhtred's own daughter married to Ivarson's brother, who can be trusted?
In the struggle between family and loyalty, between personal ambition and political commitment, there will be no easy path. But a man with a warrior's courage may be able to find it. Such a man is Uhtred,and this may be his finest hour.
"A tense, powerful and compulsive story." (
"Strong narrative, vigourous action and striking characterisation, Cornwell remains king of the territory he has staked out as his own." ( Sunday Times)
"Blood, divided loyalties and thundering battles." ( The Times)
"A violent, absorbing historical saga, deeply researched and thoroughly imagined." ( Washington Post)
"The best battle scenes of any writer I've ever read, past or present. Cornwell really makes history come alive." (George R. R. Martin)
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- David O Connor
His usual high standard
- Steven A. McKay