Saksernes Fortællinger #2 Den Danske Rytter
Title: The Pale Horseman
Series: The Saxon Stories
Author: Bernard Cornwell
Published in English: 2005
Dansk titel: Den danske rytter
Dansk Udgivelsesår: 2006
Finished Reading: Februar 2020
Genre: Historical & Historical Fiction
This is my personal review without spoilers of the actual plot.
This is the exciting—yet little known—story of the making of England in the 9th and 10th centuries, the years in which King Alfred the Great, his son and grandson defeated the Danish Vikings who had invaded and occupied three of England’s four kingdoms.
At the end of The Last Kingdom, The Danes had been defeated at Cynuit, but the triumph of the English is not fated to last long. The Danish Vikings quickly invade and occupy three of England’s four kingdoms—and all that remains of the once proud country is a small piece of marshland, where Alfred and his family live with a few soldiers and retainers, including Uhtred, the dispossessed English nobleman who was raised by the Danes. Uhtred has always been a Dane at heart, and has always believed that given the chance, he would fight for the men who raised him and taught him the Viking ways. But when Iseult, a powerful sorceress, enters Uhtred’s life, he is forced to consider feelings he’s never confronted before—and Uhtred discovers, in his moment of greatest peril, a new-found loyalty and love for his native country and ruler.
After the first book, I had high expectations since it was such a magnificent story with amazingly unique characters and probably one of the best reads I’ve ever had. I wasn’t disappointed, if anything, I am even more thrilled with this than the first.
Sequels usually fail big time, but Cornwell has fulfilled his task with style, in the process created my favorite character of all time, Uhtred, and proven himself a master of the genre. I can honestly say that after reading this, this has now become my favorite series and Cornwell, my favorite author.
In order to understand the book and some of its characters interactions with each other, you’ll need to read the first book, no harm in that, since it’s excellent. I’m going to have to hunt down the rest of the series, since I only have one more to read shelfed.
After finishing this series, if I am lucky enough to get the last books, I’ll be watching the television series. Can’t wait, but I rather read the books and then watch the series, rather than what I tend to do, watch the amazing television adaption (The Vampire Diaries) for instance, and end up not even wanting to read the second book, since it’s so bad in comparison.
The writing is excellent. If I had the talent to write as Cornwell does, I’d be one hell of a lucky girl, honestly this man is a gift to the world of literature. Don’t ever stop writing. I’ll take my leave; the third book is laying here right next to me, such a temptress.