Bernard Cornwell

Sword of Kings

"..another bloodcurdling episode in this remarkable series. "


Uhtred of Bebbanburg is a man of his word.

An oath bound him to King Alfred. An oath bound him to Æthelflaed. And now an oath will wrench him away from the ancestral home he fought so hard to regain. For Uhtred has sworn that on King Edward's death, he will kill two men. And now Edward is dying.

A violent attack drives Uhtred south with a small band of warriors, and headlong into the battle for kingship. Plunged into a world of shifting alliances and uncertain loyalties, he will need all his strength and guile to overcome the fiercest warrior of them all.

As two opposing Kings gather their armies, fate drags Uhtred to London, and a struggle for control that must leave one King victorious, and one dead. But fate – as Uhtred has learned to his cost – is inexorable. Wyrd bið ful ãræd. And Uhtred's destiny is to stand at the heart of the shield wall once again…

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Uhtred is good as shouting out oaths, but they invariably get him in to trouble. Now at an age when others would retire, Uhtred is still cutting down many who are years younger then him. Most of 'Sword of Kings' is one huge battle between Unhtred's tiny force and two massive armies, climaxing in a bloodbath battle within the city of London. The scene is nicely set up for the next battle as the new king, Aethelstan will undoubtedly travel north to try to take Northumbria to unify England. You wonder if the poor Uhtred ever gets a rest day! Although the story is not as polished as Cornwell's earlier books, he still injects the frisson of excitement of battle that he is world-renowned for. His sense of time and place is impeccable which in turn lends impetus to Uhtred's latest trial. What makes Cornwell so popular is that he is so readable and it is his talent as a supreme teller of tales that makes many buy his books as soon as it is published. 'Sword of Kings' is another bloodcurdling episode in this remarkable series.

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