The Flame Bearer by Bernard Cornwell
(Saxon Tales)

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The Flame Bearer is only the fifth Bernard Cornwell novel that I have read, and only the fourth of the ten “Saxon Tales,” books. I intend to play catch up because Cornwell's novels are a joy to read.
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Synopsis

The next installment of Bernard Cornwell’s bestselling series chronicling the epic saga of the making of England, "like Game of Thrones, but real" (Observer, London)—the basis for The Last Kingdom, the hit television series coming to Netflix in Fall 2016.

From the day it was stolen from me I had dreamed of recapturing Bebbanburg. The great fort was built on a rock that was almost an island, it was massive, it could only be approached on land by a single narrow track—and it was mine.

Britain is in a state of uneasy peace. Northumbria’s Viking ruler, Sigtryggr, and Mercia’s Saxon Queen Aethelflaed have agreed a truce. And so England’s greatest warrior, Uhtred of Bebbanburg, at last has the chance to take back the home his traitorous uncle stole from him so many years ago—and which his scheming cousin still occupies.

But fate is inexorable and the enemies Uhtred has made and the oaths he has sworn combine to distract him from his dream of recapturing Bebbanburg. New enemies enter into the fight for England’s kingdoms: the redoubtable Constantin of Scotland seizes an opportunity for conquest and leads his armies south. Britain’s precarious peace threatens to turn into a war of annihilation.

But Uhtred is determined that nothing, neither the new enemies nor the old foes who combine against him, will keep him from his birth right. He is the Lord of Bebbanburg, but he will need all the skills he has learned in a lifetime of war to make his dream come true. The latest chapter in Bernard Cornwell’s "violent, absorbing historical saga," The Flame Bearer confirms Bernard Cornwell’s title as "perhaps the greatest writer of historical adventure novels today" (Washington Post).

 

About Bernard Cornwell

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Bernard Cornwell, “the reigning king of historical fiction” (USA Today), is the author of the acclaimed New York Times bestseller Agincourt; the bestselling Saxon Tales, which include The Last Kingdom, The Pale Horseman, Lords of the North, Sword Song, and, most recently, The Burning Land; and the Richard Sharpe novels, among many others. He lives with his wife on Cape Cod.
 
Published November 29, 2016 by Harper. 336 pages
Genres: History, Action & Adventure, War, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Dec 18 2016
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for The Flame Bearer
All: 5 | Positive: 5 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Above average
on Sep 07 2016

No lit-fic pretensions here: historical fiction rendered, with little expansion, via battles and royal intrigue and portraits of day-to-day life circa 1000 B.C.E.

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Washington Independent Review of Books

Good
Reviewed by Terry Zobeck on Jan 10 2017

He provides his fiction with a sound factual foundation and is especially skilled at describing the warrior mentality. His battle scenes are vivid, thrilling, and, at times, quite gruesome. The Flame Bearer is no exception.

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Jacksonville.com

Good
Reviewed by Lee Scott on Dec 04 2016

Cornwell’s technique in previous tales has been to place his fictional hero in the thick of an historical battle, somehow affecting the outcome. This time he’s not shackled by history, so the final battle is one for the ages, bursting with gory detail and flush with savage death as the wolves of the shield wall smite his enemies.

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ComicBookBin

Good
Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux on Dec 13 2016

The Flame Bearer is only the fifth Bernard Cornwell novel that I have read, and only the fourth of the ten “Saxon Tales,” books. I intend to play catch up because Cornwell's novels are a joy to read.

Read Full Review of The Flame Bearer (Saxon Tales)

https://historicalnovelsociety.org

Excellent
Reviewed by Justin M. Lindsay on Feb 14 2017

As always, Cornwell sets the reader deep inside 10th-century England, without a whiff of modernity or a nod to current sensibilities. The world, people, and events are rich and alive. Highly recommended.

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