Book Review: The Empty Throne by Bernard Cornwell (Four Stars)

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Book Review: The Empty Throne (Saxon Stories #8) by Bernard Cornwell

Four Stars

“It probably did not matter what the Witan thought … or what I thought. I should have thought harder.”

A romp through a historic game of thrones. History may not be quite as exciting as fiction, but that’s why we have historical fiction. And few authors blow the dust off the pages of time better than Bernard Cornwell.

“It probably did not matter what the Witan though … or what I thought. I should have thought harder.”

Uhtred may be on his last legs. His near-fatal wound is festering, his king is dying, his family is threatened, and his dreams are unfulfilled. What’s a man do to? If that man is Uhtred, attack.

“I wanted an end to the pain, to the problems, but I also wanted to know how it would all end. But does it ever end?”

Well written. Good map, though unreadable in the ebook format. Love, death, betrayal, and surprises. A real life strong female leader. Leavened with humor.

“As I said, Father, I am not noisy.” “And I am?” “Very.”

No quibbles, just looking for an excuse to insert another text quote.

“How?” “By killing any bastard who opposes her.” “Oh, by persuasion.” “Exactly.”

 

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Book Review: The Flame Bearer by Bernard Cornwell (Four Stars)

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Book Review: The Flame Bearer (Saxon Stories #10) by Bernard Cornwell

Four Stars

“When a man cannot fight he should curse. The gods like to feel needed.”

Read this book. I can’t imagine anyone starting a series with the tenth installment, but if you’ve read a few and slacked off this is a good place to jump back in. Classic Uhtred.

“… and stroked a stone down a sword already as sharp as the shear wielded by the three fates.”

Cornwell is a master of historical fiction, though he admits that he’s run out of history and in this story, “Just about everything is invention.”

“We’re outnumbered and they have the high ground. Does that mean we’re attacking?” “Of course, it does.”

The battle scenes are gory, the coincidences monumental, and the stakes are higher than ever. Leaven with just a touch of humor.

“You’re an idiot.” “Men often tell me I’m like you, Father.”

“Men see what they want to see.”