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War of the Wolf

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Bernard Cornwell’s epic story of the making of England continues in this eleventh installment in the bestselling Saxon Tales series—"like Game of Thrones, but real" (The Observer)—the basis of the hit Netflix television series The Last Kingdom. His blood is Saxon His heart is Viking His battleground is England "Perhaps the greatest writer of historical adventure novels today" Bernard Cornwell’s epic story of the making of England continues in this eleventh installment in the bestselling Saxon Tales series—"like Game of Thrones, but real" (The Observer)—the basis of the hit Netflix television series The Last Kingdom. His blood is Saxon His heart is Viking His battleground is England "Perhaps the greatest writer of historical adventure novels today" (Washington Post), Bernard Cornwell has dazzled and entertained readers and critics with his page-turning bestsellers. Of all his protagonists, however, none is as beloved as Uhtred of Bebbanburg. And while Uhtred might have regained his family’s fortress, it seems that a peaceful life is not to be – as he is under threat from both an old enemy and a new foe. The old enemy comes from Wessex where a dynastic struggle will determine who will be the next king.  And the new foe is Sköll, a Norseman, whose ambition is to be King of Northumbria and who leads a frightening army of wolf-warriors, men who fight half-crazed in the belief that they are indeed wolves. Uhtred, believing he is cursed, must fend off one enemy while he tries to destroy the other. In this new chapter of the Saxon Tales series—a rousing adventure of courage, treachery, duty, devotion, majesty, love and battle, as seen through the eyes of a warrior straddling two worlds—Uhtred returns to fight once again for the destiny of England.


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Bernard Cornwell’s epic story of the making of England continues in this eleventh installment in the bestselling Saxon Tales series—"like Game of Thrones, but real" (The Observer)—the basis of the hit Netflix television series The Last Kingdom. His blood is Saxon His heart is Viking His battleground is England "Perhaps the greatest writer of historical adventure novels today" Bernard Cornwell’s epic story of the making of England continues in this eleventh installment in the bestselling Saxon Tales series—"like Game of Thrones, but real" (The Observer)—the basis of the hit Netflix television series The Last Kingdom. His blood is Saxon His heart is Viking His battleground is England "Perhaps the greatest writer of historical adventure novels today" (Washington Post), Bernard Cornwell has dazzled and entertained readers and critics with his page-turning bestsellers. Of all his protagonists, however, none is as beloved as Uhtred of Bebbanburg. And while Uhtred might have regained his family’s fortress, it seems that a peaceful life is not to be – as he is under threat from both an old enemy and a new foe. The old enemy comes from Wessex where a dynastic struggle will determine who will be the next king.  And the new foe is Sköll, a Norseman, whose ambition is to be King of Northumbria and who leads a frightening army of wolf-warriors, men who fight half-crazed in the belief that they are indeed wolves. Uhtred, believing he is cursed, must fend off one enemy while he tries to destroy the other. In this new chapter of the Saxon Tales series—a rousing adventure of courage, treachery, duty, devotion, majesty, love and battle, as seen through the eyes of a warrior straddling two worlds—Uhtred returns to fight once again for the destiny of England.

30 review for War of the Wolf

  1. 4 out of 5

    John Gwynne

    Bernard Cornwell has done it again. Another gripping, page-turning read that I didn't want to put down, and I found my mind drifting back to the story during my day, which is always a sign that a book has done its job and gotten its hooks into me. I'm liking old Uhtred so much - he doesn't suffer fools but has a streak of kindness that he tries hard to hide. The mix of historical detail, heart-felt characterisation and edge of your seat battle scenes strike a perfect blend. Eleven books in and th Bernard Cornwell has done it again. Another gripping, page-turning read that I didn't want to put down, and I found my mind drifting back to the story during my day, which is always a sign that a book has done its job and gotten its hooks into me. I'm liking old Uhtred so much - he doesn't suffer fools but has a streak of kindness that he tries hard to hide. The mix of historical detail, heart-felt characterisation and edge of your seat battle scenes strike a perfect blend. Eleven books in and the momentum just keeps on building, I loved it and can't wait for book 12.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Susan Johnson

    It is hard to believe Uhtred is just as interesting in this 11th book of the series as he was in the first. Well, almost. One of my my favorite scenes in any book comes in the first book of the series when he and King Alfred and what we know as England now comes down to a fight in a marsh with the Vikings. One of the most truly captivating pieces of writing I have ever read. But I digress, Uhtred although aging has plenty of tricks up his sleeve and battles left to fight in this latest entry. I It is hard to believe Uhtred is just as interesting in this 11th book of the series as he was in the first. Well, almost. One of my my favorite scenes in any book comes in the first book of the series when he and King Alfred and what we know as England now comes down to a fight in a marsh with the Vikings. One of the most truly captivating pieces of writing I have ever read. But I digress, Uhtred although aging has plenty of tricks up his sleeve and battles left to fight in this latest entry. I really like how Cornwall has let him grow and mature and yet remain himself. He will never turn his back on Thor. He will always love Bebbanburg. He will always enjoy the company of women and never pass up a fight. Still he is aging and learning his limitations. In this book, he proves he is human and yet is still admired and feared. There is a very sad death in this book and I appreciated in the author's notes on how he lamented the death but had to do it to make it match history. Darn, I hate it when facts get in the way of what I want to happen. I love how well researched these books are and how much I have learned just from reading them. Frankly I knew next to nothing about King Alfred until I read this series. This was a pleasure to read but it presented a dilemma for me. Should I read it slowly and savor it or should I read it at the fast speed the writing demanded? Of course, I read it rapidly. I can't get enough. This can be read as a stand alone but why deprive yourself that way? You will miss so much if you don't start at the beginning and watch Uhtred evolve. I had happy that Netflix is putting out Season 3 of the series. Maybe that will tide me over to the next book. I doubt it. If you have not read this series, do yourself a favor and get started.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Andy

    We’re upto book 11 in the series AND this time we also get an age for Uhtred, (we’re always told he’s “old” in the prior few books) he’s 60! He’s also still in the saddle & fighting at the head of his men. As I always say when I settle down to read ANOTHER book in the series..... I think this series needs to wrap up soon? I think i started saying that back at book 9? It’s in 3 parts I had three goes at this review having changed it after reading part 2 & then again after part 3. Some outlay We’re upto book 11 in the series AND this time we also get an age for Uhtred, (we’re always told he’s “old” in the prior few books) he’s 60! He’s also still in the saddle & fighting at the head of his men. As I always say when I settle down to read ANOTHER book in the series..... I think this series needs to wrap up soon? I think i started saying that back at book 9? It’s in 3 parts I had three goes at this review having changed it after reading part 2 & then again after part 3. Some outlay of the first part.... we start in Northumberland with Uhtred en route to the siege in Chester where rebellion has broken out amongst the men of Mercia which has led/involved action by Wessex. We have mercenaries (of the welsh variety) & we learn that the Norse have been kicked out of Ireland & settle on the land North of the Merse (Mersey), all re-laid to the reader in the opening pages so its no big reveal. The church (as usual) plays a role in the story as does Alfred’s grandson Athelstan who is now a man & a warlord in his own right. Most of the first part is a monologue; it seems for pages on end at some points before another character is involved. I really did not enjoy the first part & if it was another book in a series I may well have thrown it in...... The second part sees Uhtred on a mission, there’s more action to the story & more importantly interaction with other characters. There is politicking & scheming aplenty, its a different paced story entirely than the first part of the book which at times was tedious....... To talk of the “mission” would spoil but it’s far livelier after the half way point & I’m warming to the tale. The final part, as expected, is rip roaring.....? Well actually no, we go back to tedium & monologue in places before the final climax & big battle. Perhaps Uhtred is acting the part of a tired old man & it’s all deliberate in it’s style? What do I think of it all then? Originally I had included - A touch too much formulaic for me, a new priest/monk as an enemy, a new foe to be defeated, his home under threat, old adversaries to fight......... nothing really new leapt out & grabbed me.... ok a MC dies but really that’s jus yer lot when it comes to revelations. If you love the series I’m sure you’ll find no fault with it & jus smack those 5 stars against it...... if like me yer expecting summit a little more then you’ll be disappointed. The prior book would have made a good finality but I can see that the creation of a united England will be the end point, I can only hope that comes in the next book. At journey’s end, the middle 1/3rd of the book & the change in pace of the story with the additional politicking plot has saved it & actually that part was one of the better reads in the series, however it was a slog to get to that point in the first 1/3rd which smacked of “cash cow” if ever i saw it, although some may say it was setting up for the long game..... to be fair I’d ere to the later conclusion. As to the final third, well again at times it was a bit of a slog as you wind yer way to the inevitable final battle (which you always get in these books) which seemed rushed & left me feeling non-plussed come the end..... Middle 3’s for me rounded down a 3 stars for a run of the mill read as it petered out in the final third

  4. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    This is the 11th book in the Saxon Stories series by Bernard Cornwell. I LOVE THIS SERIES. It really is in my top 5 of favorite series'. Uhtred is a dynamic character. He is getting up there in age, and physically he is starting to slow down, but his mind is what is getting him out of trouble. (Usually it is getting him into trouble.) Reading this one, makes me want to binge-watch the series on Netflix yet again. I just can't get enough. So 5 whole stars for this one.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Scott Hitchcock

    Maybe it's just because I hadn't read and Uhtred in a while but that was the best in some time. I thought book 10 was the perfect place to end it and had lamented the continuation of the series being more about not killing the cash cow. This book made it worth being wrong.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Bill Lynas

    Bernard Cornwell's eleventh entry in his Saxon/Last Kingdom series brings us a wealth of new characters & some old favourites too. Uhtred of Bebbanburg is now over sixty years old, which even he admits isn't old-it's ancient. However, he is still a commanding figure & is supported by many loyal allies. Cornwell keeps the perfect balance (as always) between tragedy, comedy, action, plotting & decent characterisation. Of course Cornwell's Uhtred novels cannot go on forever. After all wy Bernard Cornwell's eleventh entry in his Saxon/Last Kingdom series brings us a wealth of new characters & some old favourites too. Uhtred of Bebbanburg is now over sixty years old, which even he admits isn't old-it's ancient. However, he is still a commanding figure & is supported by many loyal allies. Cornwell keeps the perfect balance (as always) between tragedy, comedy, action, plotting & decent characterisation. Of course Cornwell's Uhtred novels cannot go on forever. After all wyrd bio ful araed.

  7. 4 out of 5

    HBalikov

    Warning: If you haven’t read The Flame Bearer read no further. Start with The Last Kingdom. “Wyrd bið ful aræd” This is a brutal book. Not a surprise for those of us who have followed these chronicles of Uhtred of Bebbanburg and the period in which the Saxons were able to repel the Norse and Danes and forge the beginning of England. But, even at this late date, that goal was still up for grabs and this book makes it clear that there was no peace in the land from the border with Scotland down to t Warning: If you haven’t read The Flame Bearer read no further. Start with The Last Kingdom. “Wyrd bið ful aræd” This is a brutal book. Not a surprise for those of us who have followed these chronicles of Uhtred of Bebbanburg and the period in which the Saxons were able to repel the Norse and Danes and forge the beginning of England. But, even at this late date, that goal was still up for grabs and this book makes it clear that there was no peace in the land from the border with Scotland down to the English Channel. “…They raid us, we raid them.” “For cattle?” “For cattle, sheep, slaves, for anything we can eat or sell…” “You live well here,” I said. “Few know we’re here. We keep to ourselves.” “Except when you raid?” That guy who wrote Game of Thrones, George R.R. Martin, says: “Bernard Cornwell does the best battle scenes of any writer I’ve ever read, past or present.” I can’t quarrel with that, but I will add that Cornwell does not write fantasy; he writes historical fiction. He helps dry historical names and dates become real for us. History is people making choices and doing things. There are few authors that have been able to convey the feeling of that better than he does. Cornwell has his protagonist observe: "The gods are not kind to us, any more than children are kind to their toys. We are here to amuse the gods, and at times it amuses them to be unkind....Perhaps my conviction that I was cursed was false, but there were not birds in the winter sky, and that omen told me I was the plaything of cruel gods." Uhtred finds himself more than once at the wrong place, and at the wrong time. This is what engenders his thoughts of being cursed by the gods (those being the Norse gods). It isn’t just Uhtred who finds himself in a tight spot. His son-in-law, Sigtryggr, is King of Northumbria. [For those not familiar with this Kingdom, it was one of the four eventually melded into England. At this time, it is the only remaining non-Christian kingdom of any significance on the Island that now contains England, Scotland and Wales.] “If I fight Thurferth and his followers,” Sigtryggr went on, “I’m fighting King Edward. And I’ll get no help from the west, will I?” He meant Cumbraland, which was supposedly a part of Northumbria. “No help,” I agreed. “And meantime that bastard Constantin would love to take Bebbanburg’s land and make it Scottish. So,” he struck his fingers one by one, counting his enemies, “I have the Scots to the north, my fellow Norsemen to the west, and Saxons to the south, and fewer than two thousand men to fight them all. And that is why I’m here…being humiliated,” he added bitterly…” “Eadgyth, Edward, Eadgifu, Aethelstan, Aefweard, and Aethelhelm made a tangle of love, loyalties, and hate, mostly hate, and that was difficult. The only thing that was simple was war. And Sigtyggr and I were going to war.” Lest you think that this novel is simply plot-driven, Cornwell takes time to give us a full sense of daily life whether in town or in a steading. You will learn: what foods are available; how things are stored; the way one traveled; the elements of clothing and battle armor; etc. There are plenty of familiar characters including Uhtred’s “right hand,” Finan (who can tell Uhtred the truths he doesn’t want to hear) and Prince Aethelstan (who as a youngster was saved and protected by Uhtred). Those who have read the series will delight in the fact that Mus and Osferth reappear. “Wyrd bið ful aræd” means “Fate remains wholly inexorable” and that is what Cornwell has chosen as his underlying theme for this book. Good news for fans of the series. From what the author has posted we can expect at least another two books in this series.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lucia

    Another very enjoyable read by Bernard Cornwell. I love Uhtred's military strategic thinking! Let me share with you at least some major points to explain my reasons for loving this series so much: * Astonishing storytelling skills. Bernard Cornwell brought 9th and 10th century England alive for me. * Unforgettable narrator. Uhtred of Bebbanburg is unapologetic and ruthless yet lovable and admiration worthy character with brilliant military strategic mind. He is a true hero! * Complex and fascinating Another very enjoyable read by Bernard Cornwell. I love Uhtred's military strategic thinking! Let me share with you at least some major points to explain my reasons for loving this series so much: * Astonishing storytelling skills. Bernard Cornwell brought 9th and 10th century England alive for me. * Unforgettable narrator. Uhtred of Bebbanburg is unapologetic and ruthless yet lovable and admiration worthy character with brilliant military strategic mind. He is a true hero! * Complex and fascinating side characters that you will love to come back to. * Constant philosophical battle between paganism and Christianity that depicts given period precisely. * Well thought-out storyline and twists. * War and fight scenes are chillingly realistic. I really felt like I was there with Uhtred, fighting every new enemy or being part of countless shield wars. All in all, The Warrior Chronicles/Saxon Stories series (all 11 available books) is spectacular story with spectacular writing. It is one of the best historical fiction stories I have ever read and it is the perfect example of how to write engaging historical fiction series that never get boring or predictable!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    Uhtred fan forever.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Hillary

    I love this book so much i wish that i could give it more than 5 stars . i can't wait to read the next book in the series when he writes it . i thought uhtred was going to die in the battle with king skoll but of course he can't die yet .because i want to keep reading about him in the next book . i love bernard cornwell writing style because he gives so much detail to the story. that it makes you feel you living the storyline with uhtred eyes. that is why i love this series so much . i will be s I love this book so much i wish that i could give it more than 5 stars . i can't wait to read the next book in the series when he writes it . i thought uhtred was going to die in the battle with king skoll but of course he can't die yet .because i want to keep reading about him in the next book . i love bernard cornwell writing style because he gives so much detail to the story. that it makes you feel you living the storyline with uhtred eyes. that is why i love this series so much . i will be sad when he ever stops writing this book series .

  11. 4 out of 5

    Bart

    Actual rating: 4.25.

  12. 4 out of 5

    C.P. Lesley

    As seems appropriate for a character as resourceful, skilled, and self-confident as Uhtred of Bebbanburg, he goes from strength to strength. In addition to a set of bestselling novels, collectively dubbed The Saxon Tales, Uhtred has a television series to his name: The Last Kingdom, just renewed for its third year by Netflix. Here in his eleventh adventure, War of the Wolf, Uhtred should be enjoying the fruits of his labors over the last ten books, but of course, that story would be no fun to rea As seems appropriate for a character as resourceful, skilled, and self-confident as Uhtred of Bebbanburg, he goes from strength to strength. In addition to a set of bestselling novels, collectively dubbed The Saxon Tales, Uhtred has a television series to his name: The Last Kingdom, just renewed for its third year by Netflix. Here in his eleventh adventure, War of the Wolf, Uhtred should be enjoying the fruits of his labors over the last ten books, but of course, that story would be no fun to read or to write. Instead Uhtred, now past sixty, receives a summons to travel south to protect the fortress of Ceaster (Chester) on behalf of Aethelstan, the son of King Edward of Wessex. Uhtred soon realizes that the summons is a ruse: the greater danger lies in the North, in the person of the Dane Sköll and his warriors, who dose themselves with henbane to harness the power of the wolf. Sköll also has the support of a powerful sorcerer, who Uhtred comes to believe has cursed him—especially after Sköll attacks the city of Eoferwic (York), where Uhtred’s son-in-law rules, with devastating effect. Bernard Cornwell does not disappoint, and this latest entry in the Last Kingdom saga sees Uhtred at the top of his game and England a bit closer to its eventual unification, a goal that Uhtred both supports and fears as it becomes ever clearer that his kingdom, Northumbria, and his pagan religion increasingly pose the only barriers to King Edward’s success. Interview with Bernard Cornwell at New Books in Historical Fiction.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Krista Baetiong Tungol

    Uhtred is almost in his twilight years now, but he is still a formidable leader and a commanding presence in the battlefield. Wessex, Mercia and East Anglia are now all under one rule, and it is only a matter of time before King Alfred’s vision of England is finally achieved (and only if the Dane-ruled Northumbria will easily allow it). Meanwhile, nobles from Wessex are already checking and/or shifting loyalties as their king lies dying, Mercia is in rebellion, and Uhtred is led into a ruse by a Uhtred is almost in his twilight years now, but he is still a formidable leader and a commanding presence in the battlefield. Wessex, Mercia and East Anglia are now all under one rule, and it is only a matter of time before King Alfred’s vision of England is finally achieved (and only if the Dane-ruled Northumbria will easily allow it). Meanwhile, nobles from Wessex are already checking and/or shifting loyalties as their king lies dying, Mercia is in rebellion, and Uhtred is led into a ruse by a Norseman who styles himself Northumbria’s new king. As always, I am enamored by Bernard Cornwell’s masterful storytelling. Admittedly I am more into historical fiction novels that stick to facts as much as possible, but I didn’t mind that he has injected a few imagined sequences of events to conspire with his historical narratives. Also, it’s always a joy for me to read through Uhtred’s mind—how he brilliantly describes things in finer points or justifies his stand on a certain issue—and while I’m still at a loss when it comes to battle tactics and medieval warfare, it seems I have grown old and wise alongside Uhtred and this series, and I can’t really wait to hear more of him.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Laura Tenfingers

    Bloody fabulous! Completely formulaic, yes, but so amazing that it's no matter. Oaths, revenge quests, deceits, out-maneuverings, bloody confrontations and plenty of scathing commentary on the Church. Doesn't get better than this. I was worried #11 might just be too much for me and maybe I'd be over it. Not even close.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mark Halse

    The best Uhtred book in a dog's age! I've lately been disappointed in Uhtred books but this one redeems the last few. Cornwell gets back to basics in this book telling a Uhtred tale with all of its Saxony goodness. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

  16. 4 out of 5

    happy

    On an off day, Mr. Cornwell still writes better historical fiction than most other authors on their best days. I found this entry to the author’s “Saxon Shores” series not quite up to the author's standard set in earlier entries of the series. In fact, I found it a bit formulaic and quite frankly, a bit “talky”. The plot of the novel can easily be divided into three parts. In the first part, Uthred receives a message to go to Chester on the other side of Northumbria and help relieve a siege of th On an off day, Mr. Cornwell still writes better historical fiction than most other authors on their best days. I found this entry to the author’s “Saxon Shores” series not quite up to the author's standard set in earlier entries of the series. In fact, I found it a bit formulaic and quite frankly, a bit “talky”. The plot of the novel can easily be divided into three parts. In the first part, Uthred receives a message to go to Chester on the other side of Northumbria and help relieve a siege of the city by a rebellious Mercian Lord. As always with Mr. Cornwell, the battle sequence when he gets there is very well done. Few other writers can put the reader into a Shield Wall like Mr. Cornwell. When the battle is won, Uthred finds out he wasn’t really needed and was summoned under a false pretext by a supposed Christian Monk (of course). The next part of the plot can be summed up by “who is going to succeed Edward, who is ill, to the Thorne of Wessex and by extension all of what is now England except Northumbria.” In addition to the succession talk, Uthred is also trying to figure out just who summoned him from Beddenburgh/York to Chester and why. During this section of the novel, the why is revealed and Uthred finds he has a new enemy (as if Uthred didn’t have enough). Though it takes place, “off screen” this new enemy attempts to take York and while this attempt is beaten off, Utherd’s daughter, who is Queen of Northumbria, is killed. Of course, Uthred wants revenge and this leads to the final third of the novel. The plot of the final third of the novel is Uthred’s attempts to gain revenge on the man who killed his daughter – a refugee Viking from Ireland, Skoll. While the Skoll story line is woven throughout the novel, but doesn’t really come to the forefront until the roughly the final third of the novel. This storyline is where the novels title comes from. His band are known as wolf-warriors and are exceptionally vicious. The battle sequence as Uthred attempts to take Skoll’s fortress and deal with these wolf warriors again is up to Cornwell’s standards. As with the rest of the series, Uthred distain for Christianity and most of the clergy is a prominent plot point. However, I thought it was not quite as strident as in previous entries in the series. He seems be realizing and coming to terms with the idea that the future God of Britain will not be Odin/Thor. All in all, I felt this was somewhere in the middle of the series as far as quality. That said, nobody can bring a reader into the timeframe of a historical novel better than Mr. Cornwell. As always, the battle sequences are superb and the research excellent. The main problem I have with this is that the formula is beginning to wear a bit thin. No matter what the problems I had with the novel, it is still better than most of what is out there and in IMO is a solid 4 star read.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    This is the 11th book of the life of Uhtred of Bebbanburg. When I first started the book we were introduced to a little boy and now he is in his 60s. I absolutely love The Last Kingdom series. It has been truly a journey reading the tale of Uhtred of Bebbanburg. His quest, his success, his setbacks, fights, loves, friendships, enemies. This is one of my favourite historical fiction series and Bernard Cornwell is one gifted author! 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ This is the 11th book of the life of Uhtred of Bebbanburg. When I first started the book we were introduced to a little boy and now he is in his 60s. I absolutely love The Last Kingdom series. It has been truly a journey reading the tale of Uhtred of Bebbanburg. His quest, his success, his setbacks, fights, loves, friendships, enemies. This is one of my favourite historical fiction series and Bernard Cornwell is one gifted author! 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  18. 4 out of 5

    Magic History

    Bernard Cornwell’s War of the Wolf is the latest, but still not the final chapter of The Last Kingdom series. Uhtred is still riding against his enemies. He is now over sixty years old and a bit long in the tooth. Nevertheless, he’s still snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. I don’t think I’m giving away any spoilers by relating that. It’s amazing that Cornwell can pull it off, but he does. The series never gets old. Cornwell makes allowances for his aging hero, putting him in the third lin Bernard Cornwell’s War of the Wolf is the latest, but still not the final chapter of The Last Kingdom series. Uhtred is still riding against his enemies. He is now over sixty years old and a bit long in the tooth. Nevertheless, he’s still snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. I don’t think I’m giving away any spoilers by relating that. It’s amazing that Cornwell can pull it off, but he does. The series never gets old. Cornwell makes allowances for his aging hero, putting him in the third line of the shield wall and letting the younger guys do much of the slaughter. But it all rings true. Now that Uhtred has finally won back his home castle of Bebbanburg in book 10, he is forced to leave his home to defend Northumbria, the last of four countries destined to comprise Englaland. But Northumbria is still independent, and Uhtred plans on keeping it that way. His new enemy is Skoll, a Norseman and a warrior who wants to take the title of king of Northumbria, now held by Uhtred’s son-in-law, Sigtrygger. Skoll has a scary sorceror whom he uses to frighten the oppostion. He also uses soldiers that consume henbane so they believe they are wolves –thus The War of the Wolf. They are crazed when they attack, and their bloodthirstyness scares off anyone who faces them. Anyone except Uhtred, of course. Uhtred seems to get more savage as he grows older. This is clearly understandable, as death and fate continue to play with him. He and Sigtrygger form an alliance and together they find a way to keep Northumbria out of the hands of Skoll and King Edward, who wants to dissolve it. Aethelflaed died in the last book, so this book is a little thin of developed female characters, one of my few complaints about Cornwell. It’s still compelling, however, making a war story interesting for both men and women. Much has been made of Uhtred straddling two worlds — the English world and the Norse world, as well as the Christian world versus the pagan world. That struggle continues, with Uhtred always a little undecided on which side he falls. He seems to be placing more and more significance on omens as he grows older, so he remains pagan although born Christian. I can also complain this book seemed a little short. Still, Uhtred sniffs the winds of change and makes allowances in the War of the Wolf, for both his family and his soldiers. The author’s note makes mention of Uhtred’s life span, so we are left to wonder why, and how Uhtred will leave this world. Somehow I suspect he will die with his sword clutched in his hands. But I still can’t guess how many more books there will be. I received a complimentary digital copy of this book from Edelweiss. It goes on sale in October, 2018. Grade: A-

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    This is the 11th installment in Cornwell’s Saxon Kingdom series; and it is clearly one of his best. Uhtred of Bebbanburg is now over 60, and a savvy warrior to the bone. In this offering, Uhtred and his army fall for a ruse to keep him away from Northumbria. The Danish Norseman, Skoll then attacks Euferevic (York) in an attempt to become King of Northumbria. The city is able to fend him off, but not without sacrifice. The current King of Northumbria, Sigtryggr Ivarson, vows revenge—along with Uh This is the 11th installment in Cornwell’s Saxon Kingdom series; and it is clearly one of his best. Uhtred of Bebbanburg is now over 60, and a savvy warrior to the bone. In this offering, Uhtred and his army fall for a ruse to keep him away from Northumbria. The Danish Norseman, Skoll then attacks Euferevic (York) in an attempt to become King of Northumbria. The city is able to fend him off, but not without sacrifice. The current King of Northumbria, Sigtryggr Ivarson, vows revenge—along with Uhtred. Meanwhile, there are stirrings of a dynastic struggle in Wessex. King Edward’s health is in severe decline. Although he continues to rule Wessex, Mercia, and East Anglia; Mercia is in rebellion. Uhtred and Sigtryggr are being coerced into giving their oaths to Edward—but what happens when he dies? First, Uhtred and Sigtryggr need to defend Northumbria. There is plenty of action with medieval battle tactics and warfare. Uhtred is the best ‘trash talker’ ever! Cornwell must thoroughly enjoy coming up with Uhtred’s dialog—it’s awesome. And his descriptions of the shield wall and hand-to-hand fighting are excellent. Recommend.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lee Conley

    War of the Wolf By Bernard Cornwell I am a big fan of Bernard Cornwell and I consider his Saxon series with Uhtred of Bebbanburg some of his best work. So, as soon as I heard about this next instalment, I immediately pre-ordered and eager awaited its arrival. It was a pleasure to once again find myself immersed back into Cornwell’s world of Dark Age Britain. The book kicks off with Uhtred, Finan and his other warriors riding out from Bebbanburg to relieve a rebel siege on the burgh of Caester – the War of the Wolf By Bernard Cornwell I am a big fan of Bernard Cornwell and I consider his Saxon series with Uhtred of Bebbanburg some of his best work. So, as soon as I heard about this next instalment, I immediately pre-ordered and eager awaited its arrival. It was a pleasure to once again find myself immersed back into Cornwell’s world of Dark Age Britain. The book kicks off with Uhtred, Finan and his other warriors riding out from Bebbanburg to relieve a rebel siege on the burgh of Caester – the scene of so many of Uhtred’s recent books. Mercia has now been swallowed by Wessex and Caester is now a West Saxon town, but Uhtred swore an oath, and so, he rides into the lands of his enemy to help an old friend. Wessex has conquered all of England except Northumbria and now an uneasy peace hangs over England. Still, Wessex eyes Northumbria greedily and it is only a matter of time before the Christian armies of Saxon Wessex march north, but first they must crush the rebellion in Mercia. King Edward of Wessex is aging and has not got long left. Uhtred accompanies his son-in-law, the King of Northumbria, to a Witan in Wessex to ensure peace lasts. The powers of Wessex are manoeuvring to ensure their own preferred choice inherits the throne as Edward’s successor. Meanwhile, another threat is stirring within Northumbria’s borders, in the desolate western lands of Cumbraland. A Viking warlord who fancies himself a king is trying to take the throne for himself. Uhtred and the Northumbrians must return and march west to crush this pretender and do battle with his formidable Wolf Warriors and his deadly sorcerer, to avenge the loss of a precious loved one. Another great instalment in the Uhtred series, I very much recommend the entire series to be honest, Cornwell is a stunning writer. However the ending of this particular instalment was not my favourite, I didn’t like the way the final battle ended with an almost Deus ex machina event which I felt slightly spoiled the ending. Saying that I will nonetheless be eagerly awaiting the next book to find out where Uhtred’s adventures take him and to discover the fate of England. These books are still one of the best historical fiction series out there and written by a true master of the genre. Thanks for reading Lee

  21. 4 out of 5

    Katy

    I received my copy free through Goodreads Giveaways. My husband has been reading this series and is thrilled to see this book show up at our house. It may be a bit before I get my turn to read this one. He has loved this series, and it has been the most books he has read in years.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Nazzarena

    Uhtred never gets old.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Terri

    review to come.....need to think...

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ron

    “The rumor was believed because truth is ever feeble against passionate falsehood.” Bernard Cornwell is my favorite author of historical fiction, but he was off his game with this eleventh installment of his Saxon Stories. All the well-loved elements were there: skilled melding of fact and fiction, conflict, eucatastrophe all mediated by Uthred’s snarky inner voice. “Bravery is overcoming fear,” I said. “and I don’t know how you do that. Duty helps a little, and not letting down your comrades he “The rumor was believed because truth is ever feeble against passionate falsehood.” Bernard Cornwell is my favorite author of historical fiction, but he was off his game with this eleventh installment of his Saxon Stories. All the well-loved elements were there: skilled melding of fact and fiction, conflict, eucatastrophe all mediated by Uthred’s snarky inner voice. “Bravery is overcoming fear,” I said. “and I don’t know how you do that. Duty helps a little, and not letting down your comrades helps a lot, but really bravery is a kind of madness.” But it’s heavily laden with backstory and repetition. Needed another editing to reduce the duplication. Starting near the end of this series is not recommended, but a new reader would have appreciated all the repetition; those who have read the preceding ten, not so much. “I didn’t say anything like that!” I told the poet. “Well, lord--” “It’s a poem, I know.” Saved by a smashing closing battle and the happy inclusion of a poet. The dialogue involving the latter recovered a star of rating. “The world of glory was gone and we were sinking into a darkness of smoke, fire, savagery, and blood.”

  25. 5 out of 5

    Clemens Schoonderwoert

    This exciting book is the 11th volume of "the Last Kingdom" series, which is also one of my favourite TV-series, featuring Uhtred of Bebbanburg, from the highly acclaimed author Bernard Cornwell. To read this story in a somewhat easier way the author has included and documented at the beginning of the book a list of Place Names, and there it also contains a well-drawn map of the areas which will play an important part in this tale. At the end of the book you'll notice a very well defined and expla This exciting book is the 11th volume of "the Last Kingdom" series, which is also one of my favourite TV-series, featuring Uhtred of Bebbanburg, from the highly acclaimed author Bernard Cornwell. To read this story in a somewhat easier way the author has included and documented at the beginning of the book a list of Place Names, and there it also contains a well-drawn map of the areas which will play an important part in this tale. At the end of the book you'll notice a very well defined and explained Historical Note concerning this tale of an England slowly in the making. Story-telling is as always of a superb quality from this author, and all his characters, whether they are real historical or fictional, come all vividly to life within this story of kingship, power at court, deceit and great battle scenes. This tale is mainly set, according to the author (see Historical Note), in the early AD 920s, but it starts off in AD 918 just after the death and burial of the Lady of Mercia, Aethelflaed. The book is set into three parts, and part one is action-packed with a rebellion in Mercia, and it is there where Uhtred has been lured into by an unseen hand, but his presence there will make him become once more acquainted with Prince Athelstan who's holding Ceaster (Chester) for his father King Edward the Elder, who has taken Mercia for himself after winning East-Anglia to add it to the Kingdom of Wessex. In part two, at the Witan of Tamweorthin (Tamworth) Uhtred and much more in particular his son-in-law, King Sigtryggr of Northrumbia, is tricked and humiliated into a marriage with the twin-sister of Athelstan, Eadgyth, after the death of his (fictional) wife Stiorra at the hands of the Vikings let by Skoll at Eoferwic (York), and by stealth and cunning from his advisors King Edward appoints himself overlord of Northumbria and so making King Sigtryggr his Client-King. Finally in part three Uhtred and Sigtryggr and their armies will meet up with Skoll and his army, and in captivating action-packed and fast-paced battle scenes the death of Stiorra, daughter of Uhtred and late wife of Sigtryggr will be avenged in a most bloody fashion at the Fortress of the Eagles. During these turbulent historical times it is very important for Uhtred of Bebbanburg to choose his path very sensibly and his friends wisely, for the old ways are fading slowly and Christianity is rising, and so Uhtred has to tread carefully as a father, politician and as a warrior into these winds of change. Very much recommended, for this is for certain a thrilling encounter, and one that I would like to call as: "A Fantastic Historical Uhtred Adventure"!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    Less impressed with this book, then again just finished 3,500,000 words by Steven Erikson and that could make anything pale by comparison. Unfortunately there was some repetitive information in the beginning, as if readers really can't hold a thought longer than a few pages. Having just finished I find myself thinking, was that it? So 4 stars in credit to past accomplishments and because, no matter what Bernard Cornwell writes a great book. Unfortunately my very, very high expectations weren't me Less impressed with this book, then again just finished 3,500,000 words by Steven Erikson and that could make anything pale by comparison. Unfortunately there was some repetitive information in the beginning, as if readers really can't hold a thought longer than a few pages. Having just finished I find myself thinking, was that it? So 4 stars in credit to past accomplishments and because, no matter what Bernard Cornwell writes a great book. Unfortunately my very, very high expectations weren't met with this installment.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Juan Gallardo Ivanovic

    Uhtred the Lucky Another year is passing and a new book telling the new endevours of our favorite Norse-Anglo-Saxon-hero is on the shelves. As today, there is nothing new about this mighty Lord, because Cornwell does what is his proven formula for success, that is basically provide a problem, some plot twists, a motive (a big one this time) and the setting. I felt very few innovation on the plot but I also felt comfortable with the characters and the story in general. As a summary the story goes li Uhtred the Lucky Another year is passing and a new book telling the new endevours of our favorite Norse-Anglo-Saxon-hero is on the shelves. As today, there is nothing new about this mighty Lord, because Cornwell does what is his proven formula for success, that is basically provide a problem, some plot twists, a motive (a big one this time) and the setting. I felt very few innovation on the plot but I also felt comfortable with the characters and the story in general. As a summary the story goes like this: Learning that young Æthelsthan is struggling and besieged in Mercia, Lord Uhtred of Bebbangburg will ride swiftily to aid the Prince, just to learn that a trap is set and he is the catch. A new warlord is rising an army in Cumbraland, endangering and being a direct threath to Sigtryggr's throne (Uhtred's overlord and son-in-law). Also, King Edward is calling himself King of the Ænglisc as he has succeeded in annexing East Anglia and larger portions of Mercia into his realm. He seeks conquering Northumbria as the last prize, so all english speaking population be his subjects. Again, Uhtred will be struggling between duty and wishes, while surviving schemes and battles to see another day. As always, characters won the upperhand, mostly our main character, his loyal friend and commander Finan and some secondaries that gave flavor to story. Be warned, after last book there are few things that will surprise our hero but in here we have a story that may be lacking innovation, but worths the read.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jo

    The series follows the violent, adventurous life of Uhtred of Bebbanburg (born a Saxon but raised a Dane). He had long dreamed of reclaiming Bebbanburg, the impregnable northern fortress treacherously taken from him by the uncle who sold him into slavery. Uhtred finally achieved that life goal in Flame Bearer and once again is lord of Bebbenburg. I was a bit worried that this would be Uhtred's last adventure, as age has slowed this once lethal warrior. But it hasn"t dulled his instincts, hes stil The series follows the violent, adventurous life of Uhtred of Bebbanburg (born a Saxon but raised a Dane). He had long dreamed of reclaiming Bebbanburg, the impregnable northern fortress treacherously taken from him by the uncle who sold him into slavery. Uhtred finally achieved that life goal in Flame Bearer and once again is lord of Bebbenburg. I was a bit worried that this would be Uhtred's last adventure, as age has slowed this once lethal warrior. But it hasn"t dulled his instincts, hes still a master strategist, who measures situations and people and reacts with the same lethal skill that readers have come to expect, from this legendary warrior. The action is fast paced and Uhtred is still a fascinating character, cynical, determined but sadder and older. Cornwell does a wonderful job of recreating the harsh reality's of life, when a united England was only a dream of Wessex royalty. 5 stars..

  29. 4 out of 5

    Vagner Stefanello

    Acho que esse é o melhor dos livros da série desde o 7º, que pra mim é o melhor dos já lançados. Lida bastante com a transição depois da morte da nossa Senhora da Mércia e como os reinos se movimentam a partir disso. Ansioso pelo próximo!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Dean

    Brilliant. I love these books. They are bloody good stories and very well written. They are completely relevant to our current mess reminding us that Britain has always been a multicultural island with close ties to the rest of Europe. They have also helped me cope with life's ups and downs over the last few years. Thank you Mr Cornwall.

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