Framing the Dialogue

Posts Tagged ‘bernard cornwell’

Death of Kings

In this the sixth book in the Saxon Tales saga, Alfred the Great is still dying with his dream of a greater Wessex (England) still unfulfilled.  His heir, Edward, seems ill prepared for the throne, though seems to be better in many ways than his father.  Uhtred, Wessex’s best sword is unwilling to swear an oath to the presumptive king thus condemning the kingdom to turmoil and failure.  The threats to the kingdom are not just from the Danes, but from “relatives” in and around Wessex.  The big question is who will Uhtred support or will he return to fulfill his long-desired quest to take back his father’s kingdom.

Sword Song: The Battle for London

“could have placed all my household troops in the small houses and, the moment the raiders came, erupted into the street with sword, ax, and spear, and we would have killed some of them, but in the dark many more would have escaped and I did not want one to escape. I wanted every Dane, every Norseman, every raider dead. All of them, except one, and that one I would send eastward to tell the Viking camps on the banks of the Temes that Uhtred of Bebbanburg was waiting for them.”

Lords of the North

“Then I drew Serpent-Breath and I saw that Hild had looked after the blade well. It shone with a light coating of lard or lanolin that had prevented the patterned steel from rusting. I raised the sword to my lips and kissed her long blade. “You have men to kill,” I told her, “and revenge to take.”

The Pale Horseman

“These days I look at twenty-year-olds and think they are pathetically young, scarcely weaned from their mothers’ tits, but when I was twenty I considered myself a full-grown man. I had fathered a child, fought in the shield wall, and was loath to take advice from anyone. In short I was arrogant, stupid, and headstrong. Which is why, after our victory at Cynuit, I did the wrong thing.”

The Last Kingdom

In the backdrop of the Danes regularly invading British soil we follow the life of English-born, turned adopted Dane, turned British, turned Dane, Uthred…you get the picture.  The Amazon summary compares this novel to Game of Thrones and to an extent it is of that ilk, without the dragons.  Uhtred, though a lord, is separated from his rightful land and his life becomes one of survival as he both fights for the Danes and against them as he longs to regain his life.

The Archer’s Tale

“Thomas’s left hand shook as he drew the bow. He was dry-mouthed, frightened. He knew he would shoot wild so he lowered his arm and released the cord’s tension. Remember, he told himself, remember everything you have ever been taught. An archer does not aim, he kills. It is all in the head, in the arms, in the eyes, and killing a man is no different from shooting a hind. Draw and loose, that was all, and that was why he had practiced for over ten years so that the act of drawing and loosing was as natural as breathing and as fluent as water flowing from a spring. Look and loose, do not think. Draw the string and let God guide the arrow.”