My rating: 4 of 5 stars
When you go to Bernard Cornwell for a reading fix, you go for impeccable historical research, gritty reality(no sanitized Jane Austen romance here)and characters who are larger than life, very human in their flaws.
This six book series of Cornwell’s is no exception, chronicling the embryonic years of England’s conception under the vision of Alfred the Great, and told through the crusty voice of Alfred’s fictional warrior, Uhtred of Bebbanburg. It should be noted, however, the character of Uhtred is very loosely based on one of Cornwell’s own ancestors.
I would have to work hard to find a criticism of the series, and at that it would be the battle scenes often seem repetitive, the skill of the protagonists legendary. Such hero-building can become wearying; however, Cornwell retains a reader’s interest in his unflagging dedication to his subject matter and minute details which he weaves beautifully into the flow of the narrative.
Overall, a great winter or summer read, escapism with virtue.