Posts Tagged ‘England’

The Burning Land by Bernard Cormwell

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

The saga of Uhtred,a Dane employed by King Alfred to defend Wessex from other Danes, continues.  Cornwell has written another great work of historical fiction.  This time, Uhtred abandons Alfred and travels north to visit his good friend, Ragnar.  Alfred tricks Uhtred into returning to Wessex to defend it against a Dane named Haesten who has launched an invasion.

My only problem with Cornwell’s books is they come to an end and I have to wait for the next one to get published.

four out of five stars for this book.  Highly recommended.

Tuck

Monday, August 10th, 2009

by Stephen R. Lawhead

When  I started reading this, I didn’t know it was the third book in a trilogy, but I soon realized it is a stand alone book that makes occasional references to events in the previous two books.  A knowledge of the first two isn’t necessary to enjoy the third one.

Basically, this is a re-telling of the Robin Hood legends with a twist.  Instead of Sherwood Forest the setting is the Marches on the border of England and Wales.  The story takes place in the reign of King William Rufus, the son of William the Conqueror.  All of the principal Robin Hood characters are here, Friar Tuck, Alan Dale, Marian (Merian) and the others.  Instead of Robin Hood, we have a Welshman, Rhi Bran.

The story is mostly told from Tuck’s point of view, hence the title.

Bran is the son of a king.  Upon the death of his father, Bran is denied his father’s kingdom by King William. Instead the small kingdom is turned over to Abbot Hugo who is determined to kill Bran and thus eliminate the claim on the kingdom.  Bran evicts Hugo from the kingdom and Hugo flees to King William and tells a tale of rebellion.  Bran and his friends travel around the Marches and Wales seeking soldiers to help him retain his crown.

William, determined to crush any hint of rebellion, marches on Bran with an army of knights while Bran receives reinforcements from unexpected allies.

Before a bloody slaughter can take place, Tuck convinces the King to listen to Bran to see if a treaty can be worked out. The meeting goes well and Bran regains his father’s kingdom.

Overall, this is an enjoyable adventure story about one of the more colorful heroes in the English language.

Now that I’ve read Tuck, I plan to read the first two books in the series.