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The Burning Land

The Last Kingdom Series, Book 5
Written by: Bernard Cornwell
Narrated by: Matt Bates
Series: The Last Kingdom Series, Book 5
Length: 13 hrs and 22 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

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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

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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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.

2 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.