The Burning Land (the Last Kingdom Series, Book 5)

Paperback | April 26, 2011

byBernard Cornwell

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The fifth novel in Bernard Cornwell's epic and bestselling series on the making of England and the fate of his great hero, Uhtred of Bebbanburg.BBC2's major Autumn 2015 TV show THE LAST KINGDOM is based on the first two books in the series.To King Alfred he is the 'lord of battles'. He has gained riches, loyal men and a beloved wife. But Uhtred is dogged by betrayal and tragedy.The ailing Alfred presses Uhtred to swear loyalty to his son and heir Edward, preventing the warrior lord from taking vengeance on those who stole his home at Bebbanburg. Now Uthred will once again defend the Christian kingdom - in a battle which could smash the growing power of the deadly Danes.In so doing he meets a woman more dangerous than any warlord. A killer, a schemer with a dark power over men's hearts: Skade.Uhtred of Bebbanburg's mind is as sharp as his sword. A thorn in the side of the priests and nobles who shape his fate, this Saxon raised by Vikings is torn between the life he loves and those he has sworn to serve.

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From the Publisher

The fifth novel in Bernard Cornwell's epic and bestselling series on the making of England and the fate of his great hero, Uhtred of Bebbanburg.BBC2's major Autumn 2015 TV show THE LAST KINGDOM is based on the first two books in the series.To King Alfred he is the 'lord of battles'. He has gained riches, loyal men and a beloved wife. B...

Bernard Cornwell was born in London, raised in Essex, and now lives mainly in the USA with his wife. In addition to the hugely successful Sharpe novels, Bernard Cornwell is the author of the Starbuck Chronicles, the Warlord trilogy, the Grail Quest series and the Alfred series.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:488 pagesPublished:April 26, 2011Publisher:HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERSLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0007219768

ISBN - 13:9780007219766

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Customer Reviews of The Burning Land (the Last Kingdom Series, Book 5)

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from I love this series! ***This review is FULL of spoilers, so I suggest you stop reading it if you haven't read the book and plan on reading it soon.*** So much happens in the 384 pages of this book. There were two main battles. There was the battle at Beamfleot (Benfleet) and the other one at Fearnhamme (Farnham). Uhtred's victory at Beamfleot against Harald Bloodhair's Danish forces was followed by the news of his wife's death. Her death was unfortunate. I was very sad for Uhtred (and he was more than sad) that I constantly went back to re-read the last time he'd been with Gisela -- of course, unbeknownst to both of them that she was going to die (although Uhtred did have his misgivings about childbirth, especially since this would have been the fourth one). He blamed his wife's death on Skade, Harald's woman. She was known to be a dangerous sorceress and a 'formidable' fighter; she cursed him when he'd captured her during one of her raids on a Mercian village. However, later on she tells him that his wife's death was not her work, though I doubt that (within the context of the story; I don't believe in curses and superstitions, obviously). During the celebration feast of the Saxon victory over the Danes, Godwin, a mad monk, was encouraged to 'sing' and then condemn Uhtred's wife, Gisela, referring to her as 'a piece of filth in human guise', 'the devil's turd with breasts', and 'a whore of rottenness' (Gisela was a pagan, as was Uhtred). He continuously shrieked, saying that that whore is now Skade and that Uhtred is the devil's instrument. Uhtred could not take the offence lightly and so he accidentally killed the monk (deservedly so, I think; I wish he'd killed Bishop Asser, too). This is when he was forced to leave and break his oath to Alfred, or deal with the consequences -- he was to pay a large sum for the monk's death (this is called the "wergild"), kill Skade, and swear an oath to the ætheling, Edward (Alfred's legitimate son). Until he does those things, his three children are taken as hostages under Æthelflæd's care (Alfred's daughter). Uhtred decides to leave Lundene and heads towards Dunholm, in Northumbria, where he would be welcomed by his old friend and brother, Ragnar. He took Skade with him. Uhtred had always wanted to re-take Bebbanburg, his home, from his evil uncle (his uncle usurped the throne of Bebbanburg when Uhtred was the rightful heir). He needed men, and to get enough men he needed money. So he went to Frisia to take Skirnir's treasure horde (Skirnir was the previous owner and 'husband' of Skade), which, to Uhtred's disappointment, turns out not nearly enough. He returns to Dunholm disappointed. Then there was the battle at Fearnhamme. Apparently, Alfred had indirectly (through Æthelflæd) summoned Uhtred back to help Mercia and Wessex defeat Haesten's army. But Æthelflæd was in danger thanks to her husband, Æthelred. She was stuck in a nunnery, but not for long as Uhtred comes to her rescue and lets her accompany him and his men to prepare for the battle. Since Alfred was gravely ill and bedridden, he sent his son, Edward, to 'lead' so as to make a reputation for himself. Of course, Uhtred wasn't too happy about that. He taught Edward a few things, nevertheless. Uhtred's forces (along with the forces of Alfred and other Mercian lords) were almost doomed if the bees (yes, bees) didn't lend a hand. Beehives were thrown over the walls to distract the Danes while the Saxons climbed up the walls to the battle. That bee sting that Uhtred got didn't turn out to be a bad omen, did it, now. I will spare the rest of the details of this battle, but the battle was won. This book was packed (as are most of the previous books in this series). Needless to say, the series gets better and better with each book. I am unable to pick anything else to read, for I feel that nothing would be as enjoyable as this.
Date published: 2016-11-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The forging of a nation continues An outstanding continuation of the series, beautifully written and thoroughly engaging. I am now well and truly invested in Uhtred's fate and eagerly await the start of the BBC series. Cornwell creates an environment of sweeping battles and underhanded politics, tempered with humanity, joy, excitement and lamentation. Hammer and anvil, fire and blood, war and love, Christ and Thor.
Date published: 2015-09-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Warrior Chronicles Good fiction based on historic fact. Plenty if action if a little bloodthirsty. Definitely worth a read but perhaps not in one continuous session.
Date published: 2015-07-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Amazing Love these books. Cornwell never fails to entertain and keep me sucked into his books. Now onto the rest of the series.
Date published: 2015-06-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Warrior Chronicles just get better. I have totally enjoyed all the Warrior books so far. The pace never flags, I become absorbed in the period with the descriptions of towns, the people, the smells and the plots. But from a first class writer, what more can I expect? I have never been disappointed in any Bernard Cornwell book and I have read many. I read where the Warrior books are going to be filmed forTV. With the quality of writing , brilliant actors and production team, this should be classic television.
Date published: 2015-06-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Warrior Chronicles books 4-6 As with the first three books which I thoroughly enjoyed I have also enjoyed books 4-6. Now onto book 7 which I am sure I will not be disappionted.
Date published: 2015-02-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Warrior Chronicles Great battles and intrigue! Another of Cornwell's best.
Date published: 2014-10-10
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Great story but slow pace The pace could be sped up a bit. It was a bit hard slogging through the broody middle part of the book.
Date published: 2014-05-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Warrior Chronicles Incredible series, historically teaching, epic and awe-inspiring. The birth of England through the eyes of a warrior.
Date published: 2014-02-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Warrior Chronicles Great historical drama based on the Anglo-Saxon chronicle
Date published: 2013-10-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic Great series, cannot wait for more swathing and killing in book number 7 due next month!!!
Date published: 2013-08-13

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Editorial Reviews

Praise for The Burning Land:'Cornwell draws a fascinating picture of England as it might have been before anything like England existed'The TimesPraise for AZINCOURT:'This is a magnificent and gory work' Daily Mail'The historical blockbuster of the year' Evening Standard'If Bernard Cornwell was born to write one book, this is it. No other historical novelist has acquired such a mastery of the minutiae of warfare in centuries past.' Daily Telegraph'A runaway success' ObserverPraise for Bernard Cornwell:'The characterisation, as ever, is excellent.And one can only admire the little touches that bring the period to life. He can also claim to be a true poet of both the horror and the glory of war.' Sunday TelegraphThis is typical Cornwell, meticulously researched, massive in scope, brilliant in execution'. News of the World'He's called a master story-teller. Really he's cleverer than that.' Telegraph