Saturday, January 9, 2010

THE BURNING LAND: REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY

GIVEAWAY ENDED
THE BURNING LAND

BY BERNARD CORNWALL

ABOUT THE BOOK:

With The Burning Land, New York Times bestselling author Bernard Cornwell returns with the fifth volume of his brilliant Saxon Tales series. This installment continues where Sword Song left off, as King Alfred of Wessex—the only English king ever called “The Great” —again calls on his reluctant warlord Uhtred to defend England from Danish and Viking hordes intent on conquering the island. Cornwell “tells Alfred’s story with wit, intelligence, and absolute narrative authority,” (Washington Post Book World) and continues in the tradition of his bestseller Agincourt, “a must-read for fans of authentically detailed historical fiction.” (Booklist)

In a clash of heroes, the kingdom is born.

At the end of the ninth century, King Alfred of Wessex is in ill health; his heir, an untested youth. His enemy, the Danes, having failed to conquer Wessex, now see their chance for victory. Led by the sword of savage warrior Harald Bloodhair, the Viking hordes attack. But Uhtred, Alfred's reluctant warlord, proves his worth, outwitting Harald and handing the Vikings one of their greatest defeats.

For Uhtred, the sweetness of victory is soon overshadowed by tragedy. Breaking with Alfred, he joins the Vikings, swearing never again to serve the Saxon king. Instead, he will reclaim his ancestral fortress on the Northumbrian coast. Allied with his old friend Ragnar—and his old foe Haesten—he aims to invade and conquer Wessex itself.

Yet fate has different plans. The Danes of East Anglia and the Vikings of Northumbria are plotting the conquest of all Britain. When Alfred's daughter pleads with Uhtred for help, he cannot refuse her request. In a desperate gamble, he takes command of a demoralized Mercian army, leading them in an unforgettable battle on a blood-soaked field beside the Thames.

In The Burning Land, Bernard Cornwell, "the reigning king of historical fiction" (USA Today), delivers a rousing saga of Anglo-Saxon England—an irresistible new chapter in his thrilling Saxon Tales, the epic story of the birth of England and the legendary king who made it possible.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Bernard Cornwell was born in London in 1944—a "war baby," whose father was a Canadian airman and whose mother was in Britain's Women's Auxiliary Air Force. He was adopted by a family in Essex who belonged to a religious sect called the Peculiar People (and they were), but escaped to the University of London, and after a stint as a teacher, he joined BBC Television where he worked for the next 10 years.

He began as a researcher on the
Nationwide program and ended as Head of Current Affairs Television for the BBC in Northern Ireland. It was while working in Belfast that he met Judy, a visiting American, and fell in love. Judy was unable to move to Britain for family reasons, so Bernard went to the United States, where he was refused a green card. He decided to earn a living by writing, a job that did not need a permit from the U.S. government—for some years he had been wanting to write the adventures of a British soldier in the Napoleonic wars—and so the Sharpe series was born. Bernard and Judy married in 1980, are still married, and still live in the United States—and he is still writing Sharpe.

REVIEW:

Not a fan or reader of Saxon lore, this was a real challenge for me. HOWEVER, from what I can tell in listening to others and after reading my way through this excellently written book, I chose the right author to start with. I do think I was at a disadvantage having not read the four books that came before this but I gave it a valiant reading warrior's effort. Main deal is that King Alfred of Essex is enemies with the Vikings. In this book, his warrior Uhtred is Viking raised but a Saxon warrior and he seems torn between staying with King Alfred and his very Christian dominated court and going instead back to the Vikings where he really feels he belongs. Uhtred really wants to leave Alfred and go back to take over his ancestors home that was stolen from him in the beginning of this story. He wants to settle down and be done with this war. However, Uhtred can't because the land now where he lives is literally burning because the Vikings keep setting fire to places all over Wessex. While Uhtred is sworn to King Alfred he really doesn' t like him but he has a job to do. So he decides to defeat a group of invaders by bribing them and then defeats the others in the battles at a place called Fearnhamme. With this, you think things would be good but Alfred is still not comfortable with the fact that Uhtred was raised by Vikings and has what Alfred calls a pagan background even after the victory. Things start to turn and so Uhtred decides he must leave the king and return to his real love and land.

In order to get his land back, he has to get money and so takes several voyages trying to do so, meeting people along the way who will become important later on, and when he is still no closer to getting his land back, Alfred's daughter sends for him and gets him back which is something her father could never do. Soon, Uhtred is once again battling the Vikings. So from what I read not having the background, it looked to me like Uhtred is still torn between his desire to go home and his strange loyalty to the Saxon court. I found the book was so well written and easy to get involved with the characters that even though this is not a book in my comfort zone nor is it one I have much background for, I still enjoyed the story. It was, however, because of my personal failings, a tough one to get through. If you are a historical fiction fan, especially Saxon lore, than you will LOVE this book. I think it will be a huge hit when it comes out later this month. I will follow it with interest and wonder if indeed I have kept myself too limited in my literary choices!


GIVEAWAY

THANKS TO KYLE AND GOOD PEOPLE
AT HARPER COLLINS PUBLISHING,
I HAVE 3 COPIES OF THIS EXCITING
BOOK TO GIVE AWAY. HERE IS WHAT
YOU NEED TO DO TO WIN A COPY!




--U.S. RESIDENTS ONLY
--NO P. O. BOXES
---INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS
IN CASE YOU WIN!
--ALL COMMENTS MUST BE SEPARATE TO
COUNT AS MORE THAN ONE!


HOW TO ENTER:

+1 ENTRY: COMMENT ON ANY CORNWELL BOOK YOU MAY HAVE READ, OR WOULD LIKE TO READ, WHEN YOU GO TO BERNARD CORNWELL'S WEBSITE CLICK HERE

+1 MORE ENTRY: TELL ME IF YOU FOLLOW MY BLOG AND IF SO, HOW OR WHERE

+1 MORE ENTRY: BLOG OR TWEET ABOUT THIS GIVEAWAY AND LEAVE A LINK I CAN FOLLOW IN THE ENTRY

GIVEAWAY ENDS AT 6 PM, EST,
JANUARY 15 FOR THIS BOOK!


HOWEVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!
ONLY THOSE PEOPLE WHO
ENTERED DURING THE BLOGIVERSARY
WEEKEND ARE ELIGIBLE FOR THE
GRAND PRIZE TO COME ON JANUARY 16...
THAT IS THEY WIN ALL 12 BOOKS

NOTE: BLOGIVERSARY WEEKEND
GRAND PRIZE ELIGIBILITY IS OVER!

BUT YOU CAN STILL WIN THIS BOOK!

82 comments:

Benita said...

I'd like to read Copperhead. I have heard so much about it.

bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

Benita said...

I do follow your blog. I follow via google friend connect. I also subscribe to your blog via email.

bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

rubynreba said...

I'd like to read Sword Song
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

rubynreba said...

I follow on google friend
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

Kaye said...

I'd like to read Stonehenge

florida982002[at]yahoo.com

Kaye said...

I'm a google friend connect follower

florida982002[at]yahoo.com

Lacey said...

I would like to read the short story Sharpe's Christmas.

Lacey914@sbcglobal.net

Lacey said...

I am a follower with google friends.

Lacey914@sbcglobal.net

Lacey said...

http://twitter.com/HtxAstrosFan/status/7575680078

tweet!!

Lacey914@sbcglobal.net

Bethie said...

Please count me in. I have not read any of Cornwell's books. But Excalibur looks really good.

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

Bethie said...

I follow on Google Friend Connect.

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

Giveaway Roundup said...

I have not read any of his books, but would like to read this one, or Agincourt.
Happy Blogoversary!
ludeluh(at)yahoo(dot)com

Giveaway Roundup said...

I follow on Google friends connect.
ludeluh(at)yahoo(dot)com

Giveaway Roundup said...

I posted this giveaway on my blog here:
http://giveawayroundup.blogspot.com/2010/01/giveaway-bonanza-at-bookin-with-bingo.html

ludeluh(at)yahoo(dot)com

Jasmyn said...

Please enter me, the book sounds great.

I am a follower.

jasmyn9[at]hotmail[dot]com

Linda Kish said...

I have not read any of his books. Sharpe's Story sounds good.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

GFC follower

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

I haven't read any of Cornwall's books yet but I'd like to give "The Burning Land" a try.

Sheila
skkorman@bellsouth.net

Anonymous said...

The Sharpe books.

Wendy
ebeandebe at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

I subscribe with google reader.

Wendy
ebeandebe at gmail dot com

DarcyO said...

I haven't read any of his books, but would like to try "Wildtrack" from The Thrillers series.

dlodden at frontiernet dot net

DarcyO said...

I follow with Google Friend Connect.

dlodden at frontiernet dot net

Jessica said...

I have not read any but would love to read The Burning Land however I'd love to start with the first in the series The Last Kingdom.

jessica(at)fan(dot)com

Jessica said...

+ 1 google follower

jessica(at)fan(dot)com

LLL with Leslie said...

I would like to read his AGINCOURT book.

livelovelaughwithleslieblog at gmail dot com

http://www.livelovelaughwithleslie.com

LLL with Leslie said...

I already follow your blog.

http://www.livelovelaughwithleslie.com

livelovelaughwithleslieblog at gmail dot com

LLL with Leslie said...

Tweeted. :)

http://twitter.com/laughwithleslie/status/7580613178

- Marybeth I. said...

The Arthur Books - I have never read him before

misaacmom at gmail dot com

- Marybeth I. said...

new follower - came here via google blog search

misaacmom at gmail dot com

Pricilla said...

I have read the Sharpe's series and Agincourt
thank you
kaiminani at gmail dot com

Pricilla said...

I follow by google friend and email
thank you
kaiminani at gmail dot com

Jane said...

I haven't read any of Bernard Cornwell's books, but I would like to read all his Sharpe books because I have seen a few of the TV movies on BBC America.

janie1215 AT excite DOT com

Jane said...

I'm already a follower through GFC.

janie1215 AT excite DOT com

justpeachy36 said...

justpeachy36@yahoo.com

I am a follower via google friend connect.

I would also like to read Sharpe's story

Katy F. said...

I'd love to read The Archer's Tale (Grail Quest series). I haven't read any Cornwell yet, but the ladies over in the Historical Fiction forum at Paperback Swap rave about his books. :)

srfbluemama at gmail dot com

MiscMayzee said...

I think Sharpe's Christmas - short stories are fun.

ashleymaymott(at)aol(dot)com

MiscMayzee said...

I get e-mail updates - ashleymaymott(at)aol(dot)com

Katy F. said...

I am a follower through Google Friend Connect.

srfbluemama at gmail dot com

Katy F. said...

Tweeted! http://twitter.com/afewmorepages/status/7584059300

Alyce said...

Stonehenge looks good. I like to see what different stories and theories people come up with to explain it (in both fiction and nonfiction).

akreese (at) hotmail (dot) com

Alyce said...

I follow via google friend connect.

akreese (at) hotmail (dot) com

amanda18228 said...

I would like to read Stonehenge.
amandarwest at gmaildotcom

Mitzi H. said...

I would love to see a move made from "Warlord Chronicles".

mitzihinkey at sbcglobal dot net

Mitzi H. said...

I'm a follower

mitzihinkey at sbcglobal dot net

thetruebookaddict said...

Oh how I love Bernard Cornwell...ever since I read Stonehenge...an excellent book. I own the entire Saxon series (except for this one, of course). I really must get going on them!

miller4plusmore(at)bellsouth(dot)net

thetruebookaddict said...

I am a loyal follower via Google Friend Connect.

miller4plusmore(at)bellsouth(dot)net

LoveMyCoffee said...

I haven't read any of Cornwall's books, but would love to read the first book in the series.
I'm a google follower
email subscriber

Dutchlvr1@aol.com

nfmgirl said...

I'd like to read The Last Kingdom. Sounds like a good start to a series!

nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

nfmgirl said...

I follow via Google Friend Connect.

nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

nfmgirl said...

Blogged:
http://cerebralgirl.blogspot.com/2010/01/book-giveaways-in-blogworld-1-09-10.html

nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

sharon54220 said...

I haven't read any books by this author before.

I would like to read Crackdown.

sharon54220@gmail.com

sharon54220 said...

I follow via Google Friend Connect.

sharon54220@gmail.com

Angie said...

I would like to read Stonehenge or Growing Up Peculiar

aksimmo at brainerd dot net

Angie said...

I subscribe by email

aksimmo at brainerd dot net

booklover0226 said...

I want to read the Sharpe series. I watched this series years ago on PBS and had no idea Cornwell wrote them!

Thanks,
Tracey D
booklover0226 At gmail dot com

booklover0226 said...

I'm an old follower through Google.

Thanks,
Tracey D
booklover0226 At gmail dot com

Wickdogg said...

I became a follower today on GFC


wickdogg AT gmail dot com

Wickdogg said...

I probably would like to read The Last Kingdom


wickdogg AT gmail dot com

Wickdogg said...

I subscribe and follow via email


wickdogg AT gmail dot com

Renee said...

I'm not sure I would like to read any of them but they are books my dh would enjoy

reneesuz82@msn(d0t)com

Renee said...

I am a google follower


reneesuz82@msn(d0t)com

CherylS22 said...

I've never read any of Bernard Cornwell's books but I'd love to read the Sharpe series. I have seen the TV series starring Sean Bean that is based on the Sharpe series & I really enjoyed it.

Thanks ~ megalon22 at yahoo dot com

CherylS22 said...

I follow in GFC
megalon22 at yahoo dot com

Wendy said...

I would most love to read his Arthur trilogy (The Winter King, Enemy of God and Excalibur). I think I may have to go and place an order for myself -- they sound wonderful!! lol


Thanks for the entry!

Wendy
wendysfictionaddiction(at)gmail(dot)com

Wendy said...

I'm a follower via Google Connect!


Thanks for the entry!

Wendy
wendysfictionaddiction(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I would love to read the Sharpe series. thanks for this giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Sam said...

I would like to read the Sharpes series especially Sharpes Christmas. It looks very interesting.

Fourevermandm@aol.com

Sam said...

Im an old follower of your blog through google friend connect and twitter and I have been following since mid july.

Fourevermandm@aol.com

Edna said...

Please enter me into the drawing for this book


Mamat2730(at)charter(dot)net

Edna said...

I am an old follower of this blog.



Mamat2730(at)charter(dot)net

Edna said...

I have your button on my blog
http://edna-myfavoritethings.blogspot.com/




Mamat2730(at)charter(dot)net

Denny, Alaska said...

I am a big fan of Cornwell's "Sharpe" series, having seen the television episodes first before reading the books. Thanks for hosting this giveaway.

denny(dot)gill(at)gmail(dot)com

Neas Nuttiness said...

+1 I'm a follower:-)

libneas[at]aol[dot]com

Rebecca O said...

Ohh...the book Fallen Angels looks good too! I like these kind of books! Thanks for the chance. bekki1820cb at gmail

Rebecca O said...

I am a follower via gfc, reader, and email.
bekki1820cb at gmail

Linda Henderson said...

I would like to read Sword Song. I've heard good things about it.

seriousreader at live dot com

Linda Henderson said...

I do follow your blog by Google Reader.

seriousreader at live dot com

Nancye said...

I would like to read Sharpe's Peril.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Missa said...

I'd like to read The Last Kingdom.

sweetmissa at gmail dot com

Sue said...

I haven't read any, but I'd love to read the Sharpe books. They look great. Thanks for the giveaway.

s.mickelson at gmail dot com

ccqdesigns said...

This entry is for my dear Hubby. He has read every book in the Sharpe series. He loves this author so, I am trying to win this book for him so he can start another series.

rebecca dot cox at charter dot net

ccqdesigns said...

I follow you on google reader, at least for the last year or so, I guess that is a long time!

rebecca dot cox at charter dot net.

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