The first book in the epic and bestselling series that has gripped millions.
A hero will be forged from this broken land.
As seen on Netflix and BBC around the world.
In a land torn apart by conflict, an orphan boy has come of age. Raised by the Vikings, deadly enemies of his own Saxon people, Uhtred is a fierce and skilled warrior who kneels to no-one.
Alfred – Saxon, king, man of god – fights to hold the throne of the only land still resisting the pagan northerners.
Uhtred and Alfred’s fates are tangled, soaked in blood and blackened by the flames of war. Together they will change history.
'Cornwell is a virtuoso of historical fiction.' Sunday Telegraph
'Bernard Cornwell is a literary miracle. Year after year, hail, rain, snow, war and political upheavals fail to prevent him from producing the most entertaining and readable historical novels of his generation.' Daily Mail
‘A phenomenal storyteller’ Daily Express
'Cornwell's narration is quite masterly and supremely well-researched.' Observer
About the author
Bernard Cornwell worked for BBC Television for seven years, mostly as a producer on the Nationwide programme, before taking charge of the Current Affairs department in Northern Ireland. In 1978 he became editor of Thames Television’s Thames at Six. Married to an American, he now lives in the United States.
Bestseller Cornwell leaps back a millennium from his Richard Sharpe series to tell of the consolidation of England in the late ninth century and the role played by a young (fictional) warrior-in-training who's at the center of the war between Christian Englishmen and the pagan Danes. (Most of the other principal characters Ubba, Guthrum, Ivar the Boneless and the like are real historical figures.) Young Uhtred, who's English, falls under the control of Viking ber-warrior Ragnar the Fearless when the Dane wipes out Uhtred's Northumberland family. Cornwell liberally feeds readers history and nuggets of battle data and customs, with Uhtred's first-person wonderment spinning all into a colorful journey of (self-)discovery. In a series of episodes, Ragnar conquers three of England's four kingdoms. The juiciest segment has King Edmund of East Anglia rebuking the Viking pagans and demanding that they convert to Christianity if they intend to remain in England. After Edmund cites the example of St. Sebastian, the Danes oblige him by turning him into a latter-day Sebastian and sending him off to heaven. Uhtred's affection for Ragnar as a surrogate father grows, and he surpasses the conqueror's blood sons in valor. When father and adopted son arrive at the fourth and last kingdom, however, the Danes meet unexpected resistance and Uhtred faces personal and familial challenges, as well as a crisis of national allegiance. This is a solid adventure by a crackling good storyteller. will take special interest in the personal angle here. Four-city author tour.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Rather gory at times but an interesting historical story nevertheless which keeps readers intrigued with each new development.
Cannot get enough of this series, have re-read right through atleast three times and still as exciting a read as the first time round. The constant plots, twists and turns make for every book to have a can’t put down storyline.
Brilliant. Cornell never lets me down.