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Carpe Librum

Bookish conversation with author Samantha Wilcoxson.


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Historical Novel Society

Sword Song by Bernard Cornwell (Saxons #4)

Sword Song by Bernard Cornwell Unabridged MP3 CD Audiobook - Bernard Cornwell, Gerard Doyle

In this fourth installment in the Saxon Warriors series, we find Uhtred continuing to struggle with his loyalties, faith, and destiny. While he feels more of a connection to the Norsemen, he remains paired with Alfred for inexplicable reasons. Uhtred is a mystery wrapped in an enigma, and he is a cruel one. Or, as my husband's short review summed up once I convinced him to read the first few books in the series, "Uhtred is kind of a jerk."


I still found myself amused by Uhtred's witty irreverence, and battle scenes were as vivid and gory as ever. However, I found the ongoing fighting seemed pointless and knocks on Christians wore a little on my nerves. I also didn't need to be reminded every time his name was mentioned that Guthred's Christian name was King Aethelstan. I blame David Pilling's Uhtred Shmutred post for taking some of the fun out of Uhtred's alpha male style.


Uhtred's adventures were certainly still enjoyable and fast paced, but I found that I began looking for him to form more of an objective than dying with a sword in his hand. Uhtred fights alongside the loyal Finan, who shared Uhtred's time in slavery. They fight anyone Alfred tells them to and a few that he doesn't. Not every battle is met with complete success, so there is still some suspense, and the plot is left ripe for the next episode.