Warriors of the Storm by Bernard Cornwell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I loved this book! Cornwell's writing takes you back to the 9th century, you can, see hear, feel, smell the story unfolding. Britain's history was bloody, with many different peoples trying to control the island. This story takes place after King Alfred's death, there is an uneasy peace, his son Edward (whom we don't actually meet) rules Wessex and seems to try to hold back his sister Aethelflaed who rules Mercia. The main character of the book Lord Uhtred of Bebbanburg, has given his oath to Aethelflaed, but is frustrated that she won't advance north to Northumbria, leaving northern Mercia prone to attacks. He protects the northern area from fortified Chester. There hand is forced when Norseman led by Ragnall Iverson take one of their harbour towns and makes it clear he wants Mercia. Uhtred is somewhat conflicted because his daughter Stiorra is married to Ragnall's brother and he is unsure where that leaves his daughter.
The book is just about war and battles, it is about Christians vs Pagans (Uhtred was born Christian but became Pagan often fingering the gold axe he wears around his neck and he prays to Thor and Wooden, pointing out that Easter was originally Eostre's feast, referring to Christ as the nailed god)His daughter and second son are Pagans, but his eldest is a Christian priest. Uhtred fights on the side of the Christians trying to unite the English speaking part of the island into Englaland (King Alfred's dream) but he also wants to take back Bebbanburg, stolen from him by his cousin (that apparently led to him spending time as a slave.)
Picked this book up on a whim at the library, it is book 9 in the series, I already requested book 1 to read and catch up.
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