Happy Monday, Savvy Readers!
If you’re anything like us, you’re looking for a way to escape all this doom and gloom that seems to be going around. We’re looking for books that will transport us as far away as possible, filled with adventure, justice, and excitement. Look no further!
On November 15th (that’s tomorrow), Bernard Cornwell’s latest book in the Last Kingdom series, The Flame Bearer, will be released.
I am a huge fan of The Last Kingdom series on Netflix so I was super excited to read this book.
The Flame Bearer takes us way back to before England was a unified country and before it was the powerful empire that helped to colonize the rest of the world. In this medieval England, originally called Englaland (try saying that five times fast!), Uhtred of Bebbanburg finally has a chance to take back his home and take revenge on those that took it away. Back when Uhtred was a child, he was taken away from his Saxon home and raised as a Dane, setting him apart from his countrymen. Rather than hold a grudge against those who took him away, he embraced their teachings and instead begrudged his uncle and cousin, who kept Bebbanburg to themselves and prevented Uhtred from returning to it.
In this book, we see Uhtred as a successful man who has a loyal following and is wise in the ways of politics. He is hardened warrior and a cunning strategist, outsmarting all of his opponents. He also has quite the mouth on him, which was very entertaining!
He finally has the chance to move against his cousin and exact revenge on a few of his other enemies that he’s made along his way to greatness.
I loved how Cornwell blended fact and fiction to create such an exciting and entrancing book. I was desperate to find out if Uhtred finaaaaally returned to Bebbanburg, as he’s been dying to do for decades now. He seems like an overly confident war lord, but by having the book in a first person narrative we see just how much he doubts some of his own actions. Uhtred is made human by showing us his faults, his doubts, his dreams, and his desires.
I liked that while the ultimate goal is Bebbanburg, we see Uhtred in several other situations that help lead to that final battle. We can see him as he outwits his enemies, protects his friends, and deals out justice to those are just plain mean. Cornwell keeps you on the edge of your seat as he gets near the end so that we’re not totally sure about the outcome of the final battle at Bebbanburg.
The setting of the book also helped to create a world where fighting to survive was a necessary part of living. Not only did you have to fight with the land to find food and prosper, but you also had to defend your family and land from others that wanted to take it for themselves.
If you want to escape from reality into the good old fighting days of the past, and learn some history while you’re at it, look no further. I highly recommend The Flame Bearer for any lovers of historical fiction and adventure, as well as fans of the Netflix series and the show Vikings. Let us know if you pick up this book or add it to your TBR pile! I can’t wait to see what happens next in the series!
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