Title: Warriors of the Storm
Author: Bernard Cornwell
First published October 8, 2015
304 pages, Paperback
Bernard Cornwell’s latest installment in The Saxon Tales series, Warriors of the Storm, picks up where the previous book left off. King Edward and Aethelflaed rule over a fragile peace in the kingdoms of Wessex, East Anglia, and Mercia, with Uhtred of Bebbanburg as their greatest warrior.
But when the Northmen, led by the fearsome Viking Ragnall Iverson and allied with the Irish, invade the North and threaten to take over Northumbria, Uhtred must choose between his loyalty to his family and his oath to protect his people. As the clash between the Vikings and the Saxons spreads, Uhtred must make difficult decisions that will impact the future of his corner of Northumbria and the fate of England.
With his unwavering determination and impressive fighting skills, Uhtred will stop at nothing to defend his home and secure the future of his people. But at what cost?
This thrilling novel will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the very end.
About the Author
Born in 1944 in London, Bernard Cornwell’s father was a Canadian airman and his mother was English and a member of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force. He was adopted and raised by the Wiggins family, who belonged to the strict Protestant sect known as the Peculiar People, which forbade frivolity and medicine.
After leaving them, Cornwell changed his name to his birth mother’s maiden name.
Cornwell attended Monkton Combe School and the University of London before working as a teacher. He tried to join the British armed forces multiple times but was rejected due to his myopia.
He then worked for BBC’s Nationwide and later became head of current affairs at BBC Northern Ireland. He joined Thames Television as the editor of Thames News and moved to the United States after marrying an American in 1980.
Unable to obtain a green card, he began writing novels as it did not require a work permit.
As a child, Cornwell was a fan of C.S. Forester’s novels about fictional British naval officer Horatio Hornblower during the Napoleonic Wars but noticed the lack of novels about Lord Wellington’s campaign on land. To support himself, Cornwell decided to write a series about a rifleman named Richard Sharpe involved in most major battles of the Peninsular War.
His first two novels, and , were “warm-up” novels, and he eventually published his third novel, , about the Siege of Badajoz.
Cornwell co-wrote a series of novels with his wife Judy under the pseudonym “Susannah Kells.” He published a Revolutionary War novel called in 1987 and was approached by a production company to adapt his Sharpe series for television. He wrote a prequel featuring Spanish characters, , and a series of Sharpe television films starring Sean Bean followed.
Cornwell’s latest work, , follows an archer who participates in the Battle of Agincourt during the Hundred Years War. It is not related to his previous novel, The Grail Quest, or any of its characters.
In 2006, he was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire.
Bernard Cornwells Warriors of the Storm is the ninth book in his bestselling Saxon Stories series, published on October 8, 2015. The historical fiction book follows the journey of Uhtred of Bebbanburg, a warrior born in Northumbria during the ninth century.
Set in England, the novel explores the conflicts and political tensions between the Saxons, Danes, and Norsemen. Cornwells writing style is characterized by rich descriptions, fast-paced action, and attention to historical details.
In Warriors of the Storm, Uhtred is tasked with leading Wessexs army in a battle to defend their kingdom from the vengeful Danish warrior, Harald Bloodhair. As the battle ensues, Uhtred faces betrayal from his own allies, as they seek to undermine his efforts and claim glory for themselves.
Alongside battles and political maneuvers, the novel delves into Uhtreds personal struggles as he grapples with his loyalty to Wessex and his thirst for reclaiming his birthright in Northumbria. One of the strengths of Warriors of the Storm is Cornwells ability to create realistic and engaging characters.
Uhtred is a complex protagonist, driven by a desire for vengeance, yet capable of displaying empathy and compassion. The supporting characters are also well-developed, with their own motivations and personalities that add depth to the story.
The historical details in the novel are also impressively researched, with Cornwell providing authentic insight into the societal norms, battles, and politics of the time period. However, the pacing of the novel could be a potential weakness.
While the battles scenes are thrilling and well-written, there are moments where the story seems to drag or feel repetitive. Additionally, some readers may find the violent and graphic depictions too intense.
Overall, Warriors of the Storm is an excellent addition to the Saxon Stories series. Fans of historical fiction, especially those interested in the Anglo-Saxon and Viking era, will thoroughly enjoy Cornwells masterful storytelling.
The novels themes of loyalty, honor, and betrayal are universal and relevant even in todays society. I highly recommend this book for anyone looking for a gripping, action-packed, and immersive read.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.