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Publisher's Summary

The fourth in the best-selling Alfred series from number-one historical novelist, Bernard Cornwell.

The year is 885, and England is at peace, divided between the Danish kingdom to the north and Alfred's kingdom of Wessex in the south.

But trouble stirs, a dead man has risen and new Vikings have arrived to occupy London. It is a dangerous time, and it falls to Uhtred, half Saxon, half Dane, a man feared and respected the length and breadth of Britain, to expel the Viking raiders and take control of London for Alfred.

His uncertain loyalties must now decide England's future.

A gripping tale of love, rivalry and violence, Sword Song tells the story of England's making.

©2007 Bernard Cornwell (P)2014 HarperCollins Publishers Ltd

What the critics say

Praise for The Lords of the North:

“Beautifully crafted story-telling, complete with splendid set-piece battles and relentless derring-do, so gripping that it rarely stops to catch a breath. It demonstrates once again Cornwell's enormous skill as a historical narrator. He would have graced Alfred's court entertaining the guests with his stories” (Daily Mail)
“Cornwell takes the spectres of ninth century history and puts flesh back on their bones. Here is Alfred's world restored - impeccably researched and illuminated with the colour and passion of a master storyteller” (Justin Pollard, author of Alfred the Great)

Praise for Bernard Cornwell:

“Bernard Cornwell is a literary miracle. Year after year, hail, rain, snow, war and political upheavals fail to prevent him from producing the most entertaining and readable historical novels of his generation.” (Daily Mail)
“Cornwell's narration is quite masterly and supremely well-researched” (Observer)

What listeners say about Sword Song

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Incredible Historical Fiction

This is book four. If you start from the first book The Last Kingdom, Then listen to book two and three , then listen to this book book four. Best historical fiction I’ve ever listen too. Year 857 , Post Roman occupation so very entertaining. Highly recommended. But start with book one The Last Kingdom

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Love the story and narrative

This captivating story is made even better due to the narrator. I am very disappointed with the length of the books in this series. It’s more like 15 linearly written short stories of a group of characters. I’m not sure I’ll make it too the end of the series because of that.

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Extremely enjoyable, but!

Yet again, Bernard Cornwell paired with Jonathan Keeble made for an absolutely fantastic listening experience. This book was great, however......

My only criticism is that all future books in the series, ie 5 onwards are not narrated by Jonathan Keeble and the listening experience suffers so much for it that I reluctantly returned book 5 for a refund as I just couldn't get past the completely different reading style, completely different place names and name pronunciations for the characters and the far too softly spoken narrator that is at odd's with Keeble's exciting and vivid way of bringing the book to life.

So to sum up, books 1 to 4 were wonderful. Book 5 was a no go for me personally. The story itself is fine but there has been too much character and location development with Keeble for this complete change in everything to work for me.

I live in hope that Keeble finishes the series one day, and if not, I'll probably buy hard copies and read them for myself.

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Another great performance

The story is great but the presentation is brilliant makes me believe you are sitting listing to Uthred tell his tale

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Love it

Still enjoying these. I won't go into much detail here, as I think the series really deserves to be read from the beginning. I do find myself wondering if my interest will really stretch to ten (or more?) volumes; it's basically one battle after another, with some tricky spying and scamming interspersed, but somehow it just keeps pulling me along. The main character is such a great rogue. So far, so good.

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  • K. A. Wolstenholme
  • 2018-04-03

Loved it!

Once more I have been transported thanks to a great writer and brilliant narrator. Sadly, I have listened to a brief snippet of the next book and find myself torn because of the change in narrator. Jonathan Keeble brings a book and its characters to life for me, I think that a new narrator will be lacking and I will not enjoy the immersion as I normally do. Whatever the reasoning I feel it is poorly done to switch narrator part way through a series.
I may continue at a later date but for now I will savour what has come before and take a break.

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  • Ross Nevette
  • 2018-08-16

Best narration I’ve heard!

Jonathan Keeble’s performance was superb! His ability to create subtle differences in character with his voice is amazing. I was amazed at the difference in his voice between the older and younger Uhtred.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Allan H. Langille
  • 2020-08-11

Sadly, the 4th and last JONATHAN KEEBLE narration.

The first four novels in this series were simply OUTSTANDING thanks to Jonathan Keeble's stellar NARRATION. For reasons I'll never understand, Bernard Cornwall changed narrators for the 5th novel, and in so doing terminated the remainder of a 13 episode series (for me). I gave episode 5 a listen but failed to make it though the first hour as I so missed Johnathan Keeble's gift of such extraordinary passion..... I immediately started the 3 part WARLORD CHRONICLES (same author) narrated by no other than... JOHNATHAN KEEBLE👍👍👍

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2017-02-21

Keeble as narrator adds so much to the story

the story was good but Jonathan Keeble as narrator was great adding so much color to the story telling. I hope he knows how appreciated his efforts are. its amazing how much a great narrator can add to a good series.

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  • Rui Ribeiro
  • 2016-05-08

Breathtaking

Another great book in a great series. Gripping story, perfectly narrated. Battles described with amazing detail in a lively manner. Highly recommended.

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  • justin aquino
  • 2015-06-11

Awesome Performance and Story

I love the story and how it's told. Jonathan keeble is my favorite version of this.