“A man does not rid his house of wasps by swatting them one by one, but by finding the nest and burning it.”
As Cornwell delves deeper into the darkness of English history, his stories become more purely fictional. No less fun, but his pattern is clearer. Though these stories necessarily focus on men trying to kill each other, the female characters are realistic and occasionally historical.
“It is not difficult to be a lord … or a king, but it is difficult to be a leader.”
Like Richard Sharp, the hero of Cornwell’s other extended historical fiction series, Uhtred of is something of a Mary Sue. No matter what chances our pagan protagonist takes he always lands on his feet.
“A man who loves his leader will fight better than a man who merely fears him.”
Quibble: Modern phrases sneak into the dialogue occasionally, breaking the spell of the storytelling.
“I will never understand Christians.”
[Spoiler] Gomer’s name betrays her identity.
“For the rest of us the future is a mist and we only see as far as the mist allows.”