The idea of peace is a concept that intrigues all, but it is mercurial and hard to realize. Warriors of the Storm by Bernard Cornwell, takes us into an era where a fragile peace reigns. Edward and his daughter rule the Kingdoms of Anglo-Saxon England, but arrayed around them are others who eye the richness of the lands and their wealthy churches. As raiding begins, Uhtred, one of the kingdom’s greatest warriors, holds the city of Chester. When local Northmen allied to the Irish, led by a fierce man named Ragnall Ivarson join forces with the Northumbrians they become a force to be reckoned with.
Uhtred has been at the forefront of many of battles and his trusty sword Serpent-Breath has helped him in numerous skirmishes to turn the tide. He and his crew have routed the first invaders but Uhtred knows he must find the rebels and save the land for King and Queen. His own daughter is married to Ivarson’s brother, who she met through one of Uhtred’s previous battles, but can he trust them to fight for him? Uhtred must make decisions between family and loyalty to the crown, between his ambition and his commitment to his King, and somehow navigate this prickly path to maintain the status of his country.
Cornwell brings us a compelling tale of fierceness and bravery, creating characters that are real and down to earth, with fears and concerns that keep you entranced. His ability to describe conditions of the times is amazing and brings to life the dangers of the time. He imbues his battles with just enough danger and gruesome fighting to create a fast paced rumble that threatens the very lives of all concerned.
Warriors of the Storm is the Ninth book in “The Last Kingdom” series. If you enjoy rich absorbing historical fiction that follow the threads of our own histories you will find this a great addition to your library. Uhtred of Bebbanburg is one of Cornwell’s recurring heroes, and this story continues his adventures from where previous books left off. Cornwell’s characters jump off the pages and the danger keeps you tense and compelled to continue reading to the very end. If you’ve not read any of the previous books this should inspire you read them all from the beginning. If you’re already a fan, it will leave you looking for more.
This would be a great book for a reading group.