Lords Of The North by Bernard Cornwell

Lords Of The North is the third book in the Saxon Series, written by Bernard Cornwell and published in 2006 by HarperCollins Publishers.

Lords Of The North is a historical epic and complement to a series that I’m excited to continue reading more about.

 Synopsis: The Saxons have reclaimed the Kingdom of Wessex from their Danish oppressors in a battle that saw the defeat of Svein of The White Horse and his forces.  Now Uhtred of Bebbanburg, is travelling North to take back his lands in Northumbria from the usurper, his uncle Ælfric.

Along the way, Uhtred and his crew of shipmates rescue a Danish slave named Guthred, whom the Abbots of Eoferwic believe to have been chosen by their hallowed Saint Cuthbert to become the next King of Northumbria. In his quest to become King, Guthred, with Uhtred by his side must overcome the ruling Lords of the North, which sees Uhtred reunited with old enemies.

Lords Of The North carries the same gritty , emotionless and humourous quality as its predecessors. I loved the edginess of the novel. It has this unromantic pragmatism that at times might feel monotonous but which I largely enjoyed.   

Cornwell harnesses the plot as the driving force of the story with its many graphic portrayals of violence and its scheming politics. Its central focus is the conquest of of the formerly enslaved Dane, Guthred, who rises to power in Eoferwic, converts to Christianity and learns to make hard decisions in order to realize his kingly ambitions.

It further analyses Uhtred’s character through the use of such motifs as fate and destiny, his utter disdain for Christianity and his torn loyalties. The latter of these I found to be the most enthralling as Uhtred is largely a character of unwavering determination, yet he also struggles to reconcile between the two warring sides within himself. This sequel novel explores his character even deeper, exposing a more vulnerable side to him, through trials that test his ironlike core.

Lords Of The North is a historical epic and complement to a series that I’m excited to continue reading more about. The rawness of the novel finds the perfect balance with its sense of witty humour. However this is largely at the expense of Christians, which made me to wonder at the reception of the series had its derisive quips been directed at another particular group of individuals, but otherwise a very funny read all the same.

I rate Lords Of The North ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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