The Pale Horseman (The Saxon Chronicles Series #2)

By Bernard Cornwell

The moment installment of Bernard Cornwell’s bestselling sequence chronicling the epic saga of the making of britain, “like video game of Thrones, yet actual” (The Observer, London)—the foundation for The final Kingdom, the hit BBC the US tv series.

This is the exciting—yet little known—story of the making of britain within the ninth and tenth centuries, the years within which King Alfred the good, his son and grandson defeated the Danish Vikings who had invaded and occupied 3 of England’s 4 kingdoms.

At the tip of The final Kingdom, The Danes have been defeated at Cynuit, however the triumph of the English isn't really fated to final lengthy. The Danish Vikings quick invade and occupy 3 of England’s 4 kingdoms—and all that continues to be of the as soon as proud nation is a small piece of marshland, the place Alfred and his relatives reside with a number of infantrymen and retainers, together with Uhtred, the dispossessed English nobleman who used to be raised via the Danes. Uhtred has constantly been a Dane at center, and has consistently believed that given the opportunity, he might struggle for the lads who raised him and taught him the Viking methods. but if Iseult, a robust sorceress, enters Uhtred’s lifestyles, he's compelled to contemplate emotions he’s by no means faced before—and Uhtred discovers, in his second of maximum peril, a new-found loyalty and love for his local kingdom and ruler.

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It was once Leofric, who used to be introduced into the corridor in chains, and there has been no outcry opposed to him simply because males perceived him as my follower. The crime used to be mine, Leofric have been snared through it, and now he could endure for it, yet he it appears that evidently had the sympathy of the boys within the corridor as he was once dropped at stand beside me. They knew him, he was once of Wessex, whereas i used to be a Northumbrian interloper. He gave me a rueful look because the guards led him to my facet. ‘Up to our arses in it,’ he muttered. ‘Quiet! ’ Beocca hissed.

Males cheered. They beloved a struggle to the dying, and it used to be far better leisure than hearing Alfred’s harpist chant the psalms. Alfred hesitated, and that i observed Ælswith glance from me to Steapa, and she or he should have suggestion him the larger warrior for she leaned ahead, touched Alfred’s elbow, and whispered urgently. And the king nodded. ‘Granted,’ he acknowledged. He sounded weary, as though he used to be dispirited via the lies and the insults. ‘You will struggle the following day. Swords and shields, not anything else. ’ He held up a hand to forestall the cheering.

He provided me the kingdoms of the realm! He provided me gold, silver, amber and jet! He even provided me ladies, or boys if I had that flavor, which I don’t. and that i didn’t think a unmarried promise he made. no longer that it mattered. The Britons aren’t going to struggle besides. God doesn’t wish us to. No! My embassy used to be all a pretence. Brother Asser despatched me. He sought after me to undercover agent at the Danes, see? Then inform Alfred what I observed, so that’s what I’m doing. ’ ‘Asser despatched you? ’ ‘He desires Alfred to win. no longer simply because he loves the Saxons, even Brother Asser isn’t that curdled, yet simply because he loves God.

Alfred appeared many years. ‘How distant are they? ’ he requested. ‘From the following? ’ Osric spoke back. ‘Four miles. out of your military? Six. ’ ‘Tomorrow, then,’ Alfred acknowledged, making the signal of the go. The northern clouds have been spreading, darkening the night, however the slanting gentle mirrored from spears and axes on the outdated people’s castle. It appeared Guthrum had now not neglected where finally. We went go into reverse to the encampment to discover but extra males arriving. now not many now, simply small bands, yet nonetheless they got here, and one such band, travel-weary and dusty, used to be fastened on horses and all 16 males had chain mail and strong helmets.

I grew to become to work out that the 5 Danes had deserted their chase and long gone again to the western financial institution the place their fires regarded soft opposed to the evening’s fading mild. ‘I can’t see the boat,’ Iseult acknowledged. ‘Over there,’ I stated, yet i used to be now not yes i used to be correct as the mild was once dimming and our punt used to be tied opposed to a history of reeds, and now we have been leaping from one dry spot to a different, and the tide went on emerging and the dry spots shrank after which we have been splashing in the course of the water and nonetheless the wind drove the tide inland.

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