Friday, 30 June 2017

NO MORE WAITING #9: THE SAXON STORIES

Are you fed up with cliffhangers? Are you not patient enough to wait months for next instalment when reading series? Or do you just prefer to completely lose yourself in story and marathon all the books together? If you answered "yes" to at least one of these questions, this post is for you. NO MORE WAITING is a feature on my blog that spotlights completed series. You can look forward to spoiler-free reviews and graphic arts to accompany it.

The Saxon stories by Bernard Cornwell

Published by: HarperCollins

Genre: Historical Fiction


     
This is the exciting—yet little known—story of the making of England in the 9th and 10th centuries, the years in which King Alfred the Great, his son and grandson defeated the Danish Vikings who had invaded and occupied three of England’s four kingdoms.

The story is seen through the eyes of Uhtred, a dispossessed nobleman, who is captured as a child by the Danes and then raised by them so that, by the time the Northmen begin their assault on Wessex (Alfred’s kingdom and the last territory in English hands) Uhtred almost thinks of himself as a Dane. He certainly has no love for Alfred, whom he considers a pious weakling and no match for Viking savagery, yet when Alfred unexpectedly defeats the Danes and the Danes themselves turn on Uhtred, he is finally forced to choose sides. By now he is a young man, in love, trained to fight and ready to take his place in the dreaded shield wall. Above all, though, he wishes to recover his father’s land, the enchanting fort of Bebbanburg by the wild northern sea.

This thrilling adventure—based on existing records of Bernard Cornwell’s ancestors—depicts a time when law and order were ripped violently apart by a pagan assault on Christian England, an assault that came very close to destroying England.


SERIES RATING AND REVIEW:


Book #1 - The Last Kingdom 
Book #2 - The Pale Horseman 
Book #3 - Lords of the North
Book #4 - Sword Song
Book #5 - The Burning Land
Book #6 - Death of Kings
Book #7 - The Pagan Lord
Book #8 - The Empty Throne
Boook #9 - Warriors of the Storm
Book #10 - The Flame Bearer


„Wyrd bið ful ãræd.“ – „Fate is inexorable.“

I had a super long review written for this series but I deleted the document accidentally so let me share with you at least some major points to explain my reasons for loving this series so much:

* Astonishing storytelling skills. Bernard Cornwell brought 9th and 10th century England alive for me.

* Unforgettable narrator. Uhtred of Bebbanburg is unapologetic and ruthless yet lovable and admiration worthy character with brilliant military strategic mind. He is a true hero!


* Complex and fascinating side characters that you will love to come back to.

* Constant philosophical battle between paganism and Christianity that depicts given period precisely.

* Well thought-out storyline and twists.

* War and fight scenes are chillingly realistic. I really felt like I was there with Uhtred, fighting every new enemy or being part of countless shield wars.


All in all, The Warrior Chronicles/Saxon Stories series (all 10 available books) is spectacular story with spectacular writing. It is one of the best historical fiction stories I have ever read and it is the perfect example of how to write engaging historical fiction series that never get boring or predictable!

Moreover, I loved author’s note at the end of every book where author explained which parts were based on historical facts and which parts of his novel he made up.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE HISTORICAL SERIES?

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Lucia @Reading Is My Breathing

Lucia is 28 years old passionate reader and reviewer who enjoys talking about all bookish things. Currently she lives in Prague, works in business industry and dreams of starting her own publishing company. Her weakness? She can never say no to chocolate, coffee or good novel.