FICTION

Sword of Kings

Harper. (Saxon Tales, Bk. 12). Nov. 2019. 352p. ISBN 9780062563217. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062563231. F
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A washed-up corpse and an old oath propel Uhtred of Bebbanburg out of his castle and back into battle in the 12th exciting installment of Cornwell’s “Saxon Tales” (after War of the Wolf). Getting along in years, the old warrior would prefer to hang up his sword and remain in Northumbria, but the rumored death of King Edward and the possible civil war between royal half brothers force Uhtred back into the field, as well as into the water. Using his cunning almost more than his waning strength, he rescues a queen, but his wits are not enough to keep himself from capture and humiliation. In the end, with a little help from a friend, he vanquishes his tormentor and helps the rightful heir become king.
VERDICT One can start with this volume, but readers of history and warfare, not to mention Game of Thrones fans, will want to go back and read the entire series, especially with four seasons filmed for British television. [See Prepub Alert, 5/13/19.]

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