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ARC Book Review + Blog Tour: ‘Sword of Kings’ by Bernard Cornwell

Title: King of Scars

Author: Bernard Cornwell

Length: 331 pages

Publisher: HarperCollins

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This is the 12th book in the ‘Last Kingdom’ series by Bernard Cornwell and I’m thrilled to be on the blog tour.

Uhtred of Bebbanburg is a man of his word. An oath bound him to King Alfred. An oath bound him to Æthelflaed. And now an oath will wrench him away from the ancestral home he fought so hard to regain. For Uhtred has sworn that on King Edward’s death, he will kill two men. And now Edward is dying. A violent attack drives Uhtred south with a small band of warriors, and headlong into the battle for kingship. Plunged into a world of shifting and alliances and uncertain loyalties, he will need all his strength and guile to overcome the fiercest warrior of them all. As two opposing Kings gather their armies, fate drags Uhtred to London, and a struggle for control that must leave one King victorious, and one dead. But fate – as Uhtred has learned to his cost – is inexorable. Wyrd bid ful ãræd. And Uhtred’s destiny is to stand at the heart of the shield wall once again…

As I said before, this is the 12th book in the series and I have to be honest and say I haven’t read the previous eleven. But I can gladly say it doesn’t matter, as I was able to get into the book and more importantly I didn’t feel like I was missing anything and I throughly enjoyed it.

This really was a fantastic historical fiction. It was full of little, intricate details that really made the novel really shine. I loved the period of history the story took place in, with all the different names for places in England, and the different armies and the conflict it created. It made it so interesting and you knew exactly when the book was set.

Uhtred was a great character to follow. He was loyal, strong and fierce and I was so intrigued throughout to see if he would complete his mission and keep his oath. He was a brilliant anchor to have throughout the book and the series. You just wanted Uhtred to succeed. Even when he was captured he still had a dignity about him and the I couldn’t wait to see if he got his revenge. Bernard Cornwell really knows how to craft great characters.

The story was brilliant. It was well paced yet different lose its finer details. I even especially enjoyed the minor plot of Bernadette seeking revenge over her old slaver, it was fantastic. A times it even felt a tad like a spy novel to me, with the some of story. It was filled with some great action sequences, especially those ones on the ocean, you don’t read them often in books and these ones were so well written.The action begins quite early on in the book and the story takes off from there and doesn’t settle down till the end of the book. Fantastic.

I highly recommend this well written, action packed historical fiction book, that has been researched meticulously. Read it regardless of wether you’ve read the previous books or not. Do not miss this one.

Thank you to HarperCollins for gifting me with a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. This book is out now.

Until the next review

JTH

blog, blogtour, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, historical fiction, review, Uncategorised

Book Review: ‘The Song of Peterloo’ by Carolyn O’Brien

Title: The Song of Peterloo

Author: Carolyn O’Brien

Length: 376 pages

Publisher: Legend Press

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This book was published in early August to coincide with the 200 year anniversary of a The Peterloo Massacre.

Manchester 1819: Prices are high and wages are low, but as the poor become poorer, the rich are alarmed by their calls for reform. Mill-worker Nancy Kay struggles to support her ailing mother and sensitive son. Desperate to provide for them, she is inspired to join the growing agitation. But, as she risks everything to attend a great assembly on St Peter’s Field, Nancy is unaware the day will go down in history, not as a triumph but as a tragedy: the Peterloo massacre.

This book is throughly enjoyable. It’s a heartfelt, brutal look at a turning point in British history.

We see the story of Nancy unfold through the eyes of people around. It’s such a interesting way of telling the story, and you get to know Nancy is such a detailed way. There’s such a sense of foreboding for what’s to come for Nancy and the story. Carolyn has created such a fantastic character in Nancy, I loved reading Nancy bettering herself. It’s what gives heart to this tremendous historical fiction novel.

This novel starts off quite slowly, with it really setting the scene for time and place. Due to Carolyn’s atmospheric prose and wonderful description the slow start really lets the reader immerse themselves in the story.

The ending of the book is absolutely thrilling, yet heartbreaking. Carolyn O’Brien makes such a clever choice when the massacre starts to keep chapters short and to change which character we see the story from. It makes it so invigorating. It creates such a fantastic atmosphere. The pacing at the end of ‘The Song of Peterloo’ is brilliant and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. It’s a highlight of the book for me. Like I said, it also was heartbreaking. It just made the ending better. I’m so glad Carolyn chose to end the novel this way, to further show the brutality of the event.

This novel has been meticulously researched. It’s full intricate details that make it a fantastic historical fiction novel. You know I absolutely love a book that is not only excellent, but teaches you something and ‘The Song of Peterloo’ sure did. This isn’t a time in British history I knew much about, but through this novel it felt like I was a part of it.

I can’t recommend this book enough. If you love Historical Fiction, or British history then this is the book for you.

Thank you to Legend Press for gifting me with a copy in return for a honest, unbiased review.

Until the next review

JTH