Lords of the North
This is the final book in the Saxon Chronicles trilogy. It begins in 878 AD, shortly after Alfred’s victory over the Danes at Ethandun. Uhtred, the hero, is disgruntled with Alfred’s paltry reward for his service in battle. So, he is going back home to reclaim his lands and title that were stolen by his uncle. His journey is fraught with obstacles and delays. At York, or Eoferwic as it was then known, he encounters Danes who have sacked the city and taken slaves. One of the slaves he frees is Guthred, the rightful king of Northumbria. Before continuing his journey home, Uhtred helps Guthred regain his throne, falls in love with Guthred’s sister, and is sold by Guthred into slavery to a Viking trader. After two years Uhtred is rescued and again finds himself in service to Alfred while his own personal quest to regain his rightful inheritance remains elusive.
Cornwell has taken characters from the 9th century who are often no more than a few sentences in written history, or represented only as a stone effigy in an early Christian burial site, and brings the reader beside them on the battlefield, in the slave galley on a Viking trading ship, walking the muddy roads of Alfred’s kingdom, or taking a fortification. The novel contains all the excitement, danger and bloody battles that are Cornwell’s forte.