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Publisher's Summary

The fifth novel in Bernard Cornwell’s epic and best-selling series on the making of England and the fate of his great hero, Uhtred of Bebbanburg.

BBC2’s major Autumn 2015 TV show The Last Kingdom is based on the first two books in the series.

In the last years of the ninth century, King Alfred of Wessex is in failing health, and his heir is an untested youth. The Danes, who have failed so many times to conquer Wessex, smell opportunity....

First comes Harald Bloodhair, a savage warrior leading a Viking horde, who is encouraged to cruelty by his woman, Skade. But Alfred still has the services of Uhtred, his unwilling warlord, who leads Harald into a trap and, at Farnham in Surrey, inflicts one of the greatest defeats the Vikings were ever to suffer.

This novel, the fifth in the magnificent series of England's history tells of the final assaults on Alfred's Wessex, that Wessex survived to become England is because men like Uhtred defeated an enemy feared throughout Christendom.

©2019 Bernard Cornwell (P)2019 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

What the critics say

"Cornwell draws a fascinating picture of England as it might have been before anything like England existed." (The Times

What listeners say about The Burning Land

Average Customer Ratings
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Narration is distracting

While the new narrator did a good job overall, the change was extremely jarring. I had a difficult time getting into the story, as it seemed like a completely different character; the tone of voice, the 'attitude' of the narration, name pronunciations all worked together to completely pull me out of the story.
I don't know why the change was made, but more effort should have been made to find a voice that was at least similar to the previous narrator. We go from a rough, harsh, crass and irreverent narration (which perfectly captured the character of Uhtred) to a smooth, 'posh' and polished narration that doesn't suit Uhtred at all.

9 people found this helpful

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Good story. worse narriator.

I preferred Johnathan Keeble as the narrator I do not understand why a new narrator was selected, otherwise a good book.

5 people found this helpful

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Some words are miss pronounced.

I’d really appreciate the reader to research how certain names are pronounced so that it sounds authentic. Steapa sounds like steaped tea and it is pronounced stee-uppa.

2 people found this helpful

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performance sucks

he doesn't pronounce the names right. so disappointed 😞 wish the kept the same voice.........

1 person found this helpful

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Book five of Last Kingdom series

Jonathan Keeble narrated the first four books. Matt Bates now is the new narrator . The Burning Land is just as wonderful and entertaining as the first four. It took first couple hours of listening to get used to the new narrative. Bates is good, but Jonathan Keeble was so much better. It still a great story. The new narrator isn’t
a reason, not to listen to the rest of the series. The Last Kingdom series is just so damm Good!!

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Previous books were narrated better

Having listened to books 1 through 4 the change in narration is disappointing. The original narrator was really good. To much of a change in style.

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  • Duncan
  • 2020-07-03

They were so good but I stop here

I wont be finishing the series because of the narrator. After listening to the first four books Jonathon, then switching to Matt Battes isn't doable.

The first 4 books were read with such compassion that in itself made them worth listening too but unfortunately Matt Battes did not live up to that. I hope he can use this going forward.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Russ
  • 2021-02-27

What has happened to the narration ?!

I have screeched to a shuddering halt with this series .. brought to a stop by the shield wall that is the flat monotone of Matt Bates narration and voice acting.

What a shame - very disappointed as I was so enjoying the series with the passion of Jonathan Keebles storytelling of the first four books.

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  • Francesco Pennesi
  • 2020-09-01

where is Keeble?

I was deeply disappointed by the change of narrator for the last kingdom series. Mr. Keeble was absolutely perfect. He made you feel as you were in the shield wall with Uthred. The new narrator changed all the names, which is quite annoying, and he does not have the same energy. But the greatest gap is in the fighting scenes, where it sounds too flat and bored when compared to keeble.
I loved the content of the book, but i wished the author would take more care of who narrates his books!