Saturday, March 28, 2009

Sword Song by Bernard Cornwell

Bernard Cornwell is the author of the extensive and popular series of Richard Sharpe historical novels about the period of Napoleonic Wars. Sword Song is the third novel in a new series about the time of King Alfred in England (9th century).

This story includes several battles with shield walls, swords, and maces between soliders and farmers armored in mail, plate and leather. There is also the unhappy marriage of the king's daughter Aethalflaed to the abusive Aethalred, and the plan to conquer England by two Danish brothers - Sigefrid and Erik. In the end, the perennial hero of the series: Lord Uhtred of Babbanburg prevails.

While I am not a fan of historical fiction, and found the opening section tedious as the characters discussed the various relationships among the many players, when the battles began, the book was exciting and moved very quickly.

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