BBC2’s major TV series THE LAST KINGDOM is based on Bernard Cornwell’s bestselling novels on the making of England and the fate of his great hero, Uhtred of Bebbanburg. SWORD SONG is the fourth book in the series.
Season 2 of the epic TV series premiers this March.
The year is 885, and England is at peace, divided between the Danish kingdom to the north and Alfred's kingdom of Wessex in the south. But trouble stirs, a dead man has risen and new Vikings have arrived to occupy London.
It is a dangerous time, and it falls to Uhtred, half Saxon, half Dane, a man feared and respected the length and breadth of Britain, to expel the Viking raiders and take control of London for Alfred. His uncertain loyalties must now decide England's future.
A gripping tale of love, rivalry and violence, Sword Song tells the story of England's making.
‘The characterisation, as ever, is excellent…And one can only admire the little touches that bring the period to life: the bitter weather; the swollen rivers; the soliders gossiping about ale and women…he can also claim to be a true poet of both the horror and the glory of war, showing a feeling for the ways of fighting men which is too often lacking in the politicians who send them into battle.’
‘This is typical Cornwell, meticulously researched, massive in scope, brilliant in execution’. News of the World
‘Sword Song’s as sharply written as all of Cornwell’s historical adventures.’ Bournemouth Daily Echo
‘…this will not disappoint Cornwell’s legions of fans.’ Western Daily Press
‘…epic drama, rich language and a thoroughly satisfying journey through Saxon history.’ Eastern Daily Press
About the author
Bernard Cornwell was born in London, raised in Essex and
worked for the BBC for eleven years before meeting Judy, his
American wife. Denied an American work permit he wrote a
novel instead and has been writing ever since. He and Judy
divide their time between Cape Cod and Charleston, South
Cornwell's fourth entry in the popular Saxon Tales (following Lords of the North) is a rousing romp through the celebrated ninth-century reign of Alfred the Great. Uhtred of Bebbanburg, a 28-year-old pagan Saxon "lord of war," has pledged to serve Alfred by commanding the defensive frontier forts ("burhs"). Trouble arises when the Norse Viking brothers Sigefrid and Erik Thurgilson capture and occupy London, threatening Alfred's border and his control of the Thames River port. The Christian Alfred directs Uhtred to raise a Wessex army, expel the pagan Thurgilsons and resecure London. Commanding Uhtred is his vain, abusive cousin Ethelred, who is married to Alfred's eldest daughter, Ethelflaed. Plying his swords Serpent-Breath and Wasp-Sting, Uhtred is a stirring, larger-than-life action hero conflicted by ambition, fidelity and thirst for violence. All the major characters are well drawn, and the London battle scenes unfold quickly and vividly. A deft mix of historical details and customs authenticates the saga. And Cornwell drops in a slick twist precipitating the climatic battle to wrest control of London for the Saxons, paving the way for the story to continue.