The Pagan Lord
Harper Collins Publishers
New York, New York
England had numerous battles in their early years after the fall
of the Roman Empire to determine the dream of ruling the entire
island. Between the ever-invading Vikings and the constant fighting
with the Saxons, sometimes it seems amazing that anyone lived to tell
In Bernard Cornwell's novel
The Pagan Lord, this is the tale of whether this island
will be England or Daneland.
Edward is now king but the Danish Vikings still hold much of what
we now know as northern England. Leading these Danes is Cnut
Longsword who views victory as within their foreseeable future.
Untred was Alfred's legendary warrior. Alfred is dead with Edward
his successor. Unfortunately, aging and old wounds are beginning to
slow down Untred's body, but not his spirit. He still strongly
follows the gods of the north and views this new Christianity as a
threat, even to disowning his own son. Also the new king does not
actually like or trust Untred.
Untred is to go to the north and to gain control of his family
home, Bebbanburg. He is knows the area well and is baffled of how his
small group can possibly capture this impregnable fortress.
Bernard Cornwell creates a novel of Old England that is easy to
understand and visualize. With names and places that are strange and
foreign to us today, amazingly the story is easy to follow and
comprehend. He does include a rough translation of the places as well
as a map to assist the reader.
What is fascinating were the ever-changing loyalties due to
heritage or religion, Saxon vs. Viking, and Christianity intermixed
with the Norse gods. While the Saxons worshipped the nailed one,
Christianity was also moving into the Danes frequently splitting
loyalties of heritage.
In the introductory pages of this novel is a family tree of the
royal family of Essex. With many of the names being unfamiliar to
those who did not grow up in England, this page is extremely helpful
with the names and their relationships.
Bernard Cornwell currently resides in the U.S. at either Cape Cod
or in Charleston, South Carolina. He is the best selling author of
numerous historical series including the Sharpe series, The Saxon
Tales of which this book is included, The Grail Quest series, The
Nathaniel Starbuck Chronicles, The Warlord Chronicles, The Sailing
Thrillers, and many other novels.
This series featuring Untred is outstanding. The character as a
not always likeable but real person comes to life through Cornwell's
writing. The reader can understand his prejudices while still
viewing him as a crafty, skilled, and ruthless warrior. This manner
of reliving history through Untred is phenomenal.
Did you ever wish for the good old days? Then, definitely read
Bernard Cornwell's books.