Tag Archives: bernard cornwell

War of the Wolf: A Novel (Saxton Tales Book 11) by Bernard Cornwell

Reviewed by Teri Davis

War of the WolfHow could anyone teach about life in the late 900s or early 1000 A.D.? The time of Saxons, Mercians, Danes all battling over land that would become England. Along side the land issue is the decision of religion. Christianity is being followed by most of the inhabitants while the many of the Danes hold on to their beliefs and loyalties to the Norse Gods. Naturally, among each side are inner battles of ambitious rulers fighting and acquiring loyalties for power and possessions.

War of the Wolf is the eleventh book in Bernard Cornwell’s Saxon series explaining how England became a single country. All of these books feature Uhtred, who in my mind resembles one of the larger fighting men in Game of Thrones with numerous scars and battle wounds from constant altercations.

War of the Wolf is seen through the eyes of Uhtred, now an older and wiser man. In the first book, I viewed him with distaste as his taste of fighting seemed impulsive. Throughout the series, Uhtred grows more interlining from his experiences and challenges so that now he thinks, plots, and attempts to outwit his enemy. Now, it is easier to see Uhtred as wise and even caring and protective of his friends, allies, and family.

Uhtred now has reestablished his life in his northern family home of Bebbanburg which took many years. He is comfortable in his northern home and would rather be home than fighting. He realizes that even though home, peace is always temporary with the constant threat of the Viking invaders, the wild fighting Scots from the northern lands and the battling for power from the Mercians, now in control of England.

Uhtred is summoned to King Edward in Wessex to decide the next king whether through oldest illegitimate sons, legitimate heirs, or other lesser leaders. Uhtred has no intention of going until he discovers the problems of his son-in-law. The needs and vengeances of the family outweigh the dangers.

In War of the Wolf, Uhtred proves his leadership and acquired wisdom in this battle of kings as well as a new challenger proves a threat to him, his family, and his ancestral homeland. His skills or lack of skills in this new world of diplomacy as well as his strategic fighting abilities demonstrates that peace is never permanent. There is always a new, younger, stronger, and perhaps smarter challenger.

War of the Wolf is thoroughly enthralling as Uhtred enters of a world of constant change.

For a reader unfamiliar with this series, I would strongly recommend to read at least the first book or to watch the television series The Last Kingdom before this particular novel. Being acquainted with the characters, especially the names is extremely helpful as well as understanding the people. Personally, I enjoy how each person matures and their previous life choices affecting their life in this eleventh book.

How could anyone learn of life in the 900s and 1000 A.D. in England. Read the Saxon series by Bernard Cornwell. Bernard Cornwell is a master storyteller with this newest book in the Saxon series, War of the Wolf.

The Flame Bearer (Saxon Tales Book 10) by Bernard Cornwell

Reviewed by Teri Davis

The Flame Bearer“When we are young we yearn for battle. In the firelit halls, we listen to the songs of heroes. Then the day comes when we are ordered to fight with the men, not as children to hold the horses and to scavenge weapons after the battle, but as men. … We are almost men, not quite warriors, and on some fateful day we meet an enemy for the first time, and we hear the chants of battle, the threatening clash of blades on shields, and begin to learn that the poets are wrong and that the proud songs lie.”

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Before the year 1000 A.D., England was a group of tribal kingdoms. Since the Romans left, there was constant fighting over land and religion with little time for peace. The invasions from the Vikings were constant. Throughout the years many of these kingdoms were merged into larger ones through marriages, battles, or treaties. Finally, there is some peace due to a treaty between Sigtryggr, Northumbria’s Viking ruler and AEthelflaed, Mercia’s Saxon queen.

Warriors of the Storm: A Novel (Saxon Tales) by Bernard Cornwell

Reviewed by Teri Davis

Warriors of the StormThere has been numerous books about Richard the Lionhearted and his mother, Queen Eleanor. However, the years before their reigns do not have the documents supporting the history. The basics have been recorded but not many accounts still exist showing the various perspectives. What about the time period just as England was becoming a country?

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Fortunately for most of us, Bernard Cornwell masterfully has researched this time period and has created a phenomenal saga in his Saxon stories.

Waterloo: The History of Four Days, Three Armies, and Three Battles by Bernard Cornwell


Reviewed by Teri Davis

Two-hundred years ago in the year 1815, Napoleon was defeated at the Battle of Waterloo.

With history usually being written by the victors, this famous battle of the French against the combined forces of Prussia and Great Britain has been told from various perspectives throughout the years. Three armies with three battles over four days ended Napoleon’s rule over much of Europe. So why write another book about Waterloo?

Historical fiction writer Bernard Cornwell decided that none of these accounts truly reflected the actual battle. In his first non-fiction book, Cornwell breaks this battle down into chapters with accompanying maps detailing the placement and actions of the troops as well as artistic paintings of the events, explaining both in a readable version for the non-historians and military strategists demonstrating that sometimes the portraits painted years after the events were flawed.

The Empty Throne by Bernard Cornwell

The Empty Throne

Reviewed by Teri Davis

“Leave one alive, that had been my father’s advice. Let one man take the bad news home to frighten the others,…which meant the survivor, if there was one, would take the news of defeat to widows and orphans.”

This was the belief of many fighters of numerous battles throughout history. Always leave one person alive, usually a youngster, to deliver the news to the towns and families about the fates of their loved ones. Considering the limits of communication back in the years prior to the 1900s, this appeared to be a common practice throughout much of European history.

The Pagan Lord: A Novel (Saxton Tales) by Bernard Cornwell

The Pagan Lord

Reviewed by Teri Davis

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 the history.

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.

Death of Kings by Bernard Cornwell

Death of Kings Reviewed by Teri Davis

Frequently the courageous person is the one who makes a decision and then is responsible for that choice. Uhtred wisely makes decisions quickly but does put himself in another’s place and does learn from past mistakes, both his own and others.

Death of Kings is the sixth book of Bernard Cornwell’s ‘The Saxon Stories’ and can be read as both a standalone or part of this series. Please recognize that if it is read as a standalone, Cornwell does quickly summarizes the previous events that impact this particular book.

Beginning in the year 898 A.D., England is divided between the Danes and the English, as well as the Norse gods and Christianity. King Alfred has the dream of having a united Christian England with one language. Unfortunately, the numerous rulers trade loyalties all too easily and it is difficult to know about alliances that are constantly changing. With Alfred dying, many view this as an opportunity for their personal gain even though Edward, Alfred’s son, is to be the next king.

The Fort: A Novel of the Revolutionary War by Bernard Cornwell

Reviewed by Cy Hilterman

The Fort:  A Novel of the Revolutionary War by Bernard CornwallThe little known story depicted in this book took place in the territory of Massachusetts, now Maine. It is a frustrating story of a several month battle between British and American troops in 1779 in an area called Majabigwaduce that was surrounded by a Harbor and a river of the same name and Penobscot Bay. The area contained many British warships, even more American ships of various types, some government ships, and some privateers that had gotten their ships mostly by pirating. Some of the American military were naval men, some marines, some conscripted from Boston or other areas nearby, and some civilians from the area. The Americans were “led” by several generals that were in constant bickering against each other whether on land or sea, seemingly never to agree for any length of time to get something accomplished. The British were led quite well by their officers on land and sea.

This story is historical fiction but fiction only for several characters thrown in to make understanding easier but the battles and actions were true and gives one a sense of why this battle didn’t go better for the Americans. They had superior amounts of men and ships but too many differences of opinions as to how and when a battle should start. They bickered about positioning of ships, men, where and when to move them, and how strong their tactics should be. One of the officers that caused much trouble was Lieutenant-Colonel Paul Revere who most of us know of through the “midnight ride of Paul Revere” to warn the area that “the British were coming” in his earlier years. It seems that Revere wasn’t such a hero and he never did complete his famous ride, only starting it with others continuing to spread the word. In this particular action he was the artillery officer but always balked when he was ordered to move his artillery where his superiors wanted it. He seemed to be disruptive about most all he did, or didn’t do.