In this installment, Uhtred finally manages to journey north in an attempt to take his home, Bebbanburg, back from his uncle, and to kill the murderers of his adopted Danish family. He also goes through some more adventures, most of which he hasn’t expected, but in the end returns to Alfred as it seems he will always do.
This one dragged a little at the beginning, and especially during Uhtred’s time as a slave. It was interesting to see how slaves were used at the time, but mostly it was just depressing and uncomfortable to read. I’ve never liked to read about slavery, although I know how important it is to be aware of its atrocities, it’s just one of my things. On the other hand, this lasted about 100 pages, then Uhtred is reunited with his friends and the story really takes off again.
It was nice to see Uhtred in the north again. I have a particular fondness for the north of England, York in particular, which may be why I’m going to grad school there in the fall, so I’m always happy when it turns up in fiction. Cornwell remains a great writer, his battle scenes especially leaping off the page and feeling real. I enjoyed this book, and when it was over I immediately wanted the next in the series. Unfortunately it’s only available in hardcover, so I’ll be waiting for the paperback. I definitely recommend this entire series!