The Pale Horseman (The Warrior Chronicles, Book 2)

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9780008139483: The Pale Horseman (The Warrior Chronicles, Book 2)

Continuing the outstanding success of The Last Kingdom, this is the second installment of Bernard Cornwell’s fantastic series, following the fate of Alfred the Great, and the forging of Britain.

Uhtred, Northumbrian born, raised a Viking and now married to a Saxon, is already a formidable figure and warrior. But at twenty he is still arrogant, pagan and headstrong, so not a comfortable ally for the thoughtful, pious Alfred. But these two, with Alfred’s family and a few of Uhtred’s companions, are apparently all that remains of the Wessex leadership after a disastrous truce.

It is the lowest time for the Saxons. Defeated comprehensively by the Vikings who now occupy most of England, Alfred and his surviving followers retreat to the trackless marshlands of Somerset. There, forced to move restlessly to escape betrayal or detection, using the marsh mists for cover, they travel by small boats from one island to another, hoping that they can regroup and find some more strength and support.

They seek refuge in Athelney, a tidal swamp to which Alfred’s kingdom has shrunk. Uhtred finds himself torn between his Danish foster brother and the winning Vikings, and his growing respect for the stubborn leadership of Alfred. He must decide whether to rebuild the Saxons’ strength from his watery base and help them to take on the Vikings once more.

THE PALE HORSEMAN is a splendid story of divided loyalties and desperate heroism, with a wonderful range of characters from Vikings to British kings in their Cornish fortresses, from political but passionate priests to enduring fishermen and farmers desperately striving to survive as the battle sweeps over them. Uhtred and Alfred, Vikings and Saxons, are a winning combination for Bernard Cornwell.

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Product Description:

The second book in Bernard Cornwell’s number one bestselling series The Warrior Chronicles, on the making of England and the fate of his great hero, Uhtred of Bebbanburg.

A Saxon raised by Vikings. A pagan fighting for a Christian King. The conflict at the heart of a hero will be played out in the fight for England.

It is 877. Across the kingdoms of Britain the Danes are gaining strength. Uhtred of Bebbanburg, a pagan warrior, must decide who he will align with: the Vikings who raised him or Alfred, King of the West Saxons.

As the Danes make for Wessex and threaten to destroy the kingdom, Uhtred will forge an uneasy alliance with the king, to lead the last remaining Saxon army in a battle that will be a fight for the very existence of England.

Review:

The Pale Horseman is the second book in Bernard Cornwell's Alfred the Great sequence, and this highly experienced author will be well aware of the pitfalls awaiting the creator of any second book in a series -- particularly when its predecessor, The Last Kingdom, was so enthusiastically received. The fact that Cornwell's Sharpe books are so beloved (for their immense colour and vivid recreation of a very lively period of history) was not a guarantee that this latest venture for the author would succeed. But succeed it did, and The Last Kingdom conjured an era of Vikings and massacres, with a brilliantly drawn (and complex) King Alfred at the centre of the narrative. So -- does Cornwell bring off this second book with equal panache?

No need for suspense -- The Pale Horseman is just as exhilarating a recreation of an age of heroes as its predecessor, delivered with the brio that is the author's trademark. Uhtred was born in Northumbria but rais! ed as a Viking. Married to a Saxon, he has achieved fame as a doughty warrior. But the more reflective Alfred has problems with the aggressive, self-serving manner of his young friend. An alliance, though, is necessary: these two are the sole remnants of those who commanded Wessex, after ill-judged bargains have destroyed the union. The Vikings now reign over most of England, and Alfred and his company are obliged to hide in the swampy netherland of Athelney, trying to regain the support they once enjoyed. Uhtred cannot shake off his Viking training, but finds himself acquiring an admiration for Alfred, who he comes to sense is a great man. As the narrative progresses, the conflict between the two men must be resolved before bloody battles will change the fate of England.

One expects the heroic endeavours of Bernard Cornwell's novels to be dispatched with panache, but there is another element which his admirers rely on: the conflict between his strongly drawn characters,! exemplified here by the two proud leaders. It'll take a while! before this new sequence achieves the immense popularity of the Sharpe novels, but the auguries are good. --Barry Forshaw

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. TV tie-in edition. 197 x 130 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. ENGLAND IS BORN. BBC2 s major TV series THE LAST KINGDOM is based on Bernard Cornwell s bestselling novels on the making of England and the fate of his great hero, Uhtred of Bebbanburg. The Pale Horseman is the second book in the series. Season 2 of the epic TV series premiers this March. ALONE IN A SEA OF ENEMIES. BOUND TOGETHER BY LOYALTY, BELIEF AND DESPERATION. Wessex, led by the pious King Alfred, is the last Saxon stronghold against the savage strength of the Vikings. Now it is struggling for its very existence. Uhtred, a Saxon raised by Vikings, is no ordinary warrior. As sharp of mind as he is of sword, his lust for life and battle sits badly with Alfred and his priests. But they face dire odds and Uhtred s unique knowledge and fearlessness mean that he may be their only hope in the coming battle . Bookseller Inventory # AA89780008139483

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. TV tie-in edition. 197 x 130 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. ENGLAND IS BORN. BBC2 s major TV series THE LAST KINGDOM is based on Bernard Cornwell s bestselling novels on the making of England and the fate of his great hero, Uhtred of Bebbanburg. The Pale Horseman is the second book in the series. Season 2 of the epic TV series premiers this March. ALONE IN A SEA OF ENEMIES. BOUND TOGETHER BY LOYALTY, BELIEF AND DESPERATION. Wessex, led by the pious King Alfred, is the last Saxon stronghold against the savage strength of the Vikings. Now it is struggling for its very existence. Uhtred, a Saxon raised by Vikings, is no ordinary warrior. As sharp of mind as he is of sword, his lust for life and battle sits badly with Alfred and his priests. But they face dire odds and Uhtred s unique knowledge and fearlessness mean that he may be their only hope in the coming battle . Bookseller Inventory # AA89780008139483

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Book Description Harper. Book Condition: New. DESTINY IS ALL. BBC2's major Autumn 2015 TV series THE LAST KINGDOM is based on Bernard Cornwell's bestselling novels on the making of England and the fate of his great hero, Uhtred of Bebbanburg. THE PALE HORSEMAN is the second book in this masterful series. Series: The Last Kingdom Series. Num Pages: 432 pages. BIC Classification: FV. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 130 x 197 x 30. Weight in Grams: 304. . 2015. TV tie-in edition. Paperback. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780008139483

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