Warriors of the Storm by Bernard Cornwell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Series: The Last Kingdom (Book #9 of 13)
Genre: Historical fiction
Pages: 325 pages (Kindle edition)
Published: 8th October 2015 by HarperCollins
Warriors of the Storm has violence, funny moments, and an engaging turn of events.
I’m close to the end now. Warriors of the Storm is the ninth book in The Last Kingdom series by Bernard Cornwell, and this marked my first uncharted territory with the series. All the previous eight books have been adapted into the TV show, and I have to admit that many shocking moments were obviously lost in my reading experience. In this novel, Uthred is now more than 50 years old, and this doesn’t mean he lost his edges with battle; experiences have built him to be the lord of war, and this volume featured him at his most violent and expertise. The storytelling structure is still familiar to the previous eight books; a new enemy appeared, priests acting like crap, but eventually, they need Uthred to save them again. However, there were several events I totally didn’t see coming, and I’m thankful for them as they increased the stakes in the narrative.
“An enemy sees his attackers laughing? It is better than all the insults. A man who laughs as he goes into battle is a man who has confidence, and a man wit hconfidence is terrifying to an enemy.”
And speaking of violence exhibited by Uthred earlier, Warriors of the Storm do feature some of the most ruthless and gory scenes of the series so far. The hatred between the Danes and Christians was so powerful, and it seemed like back then, there was nothing that could bridge the gap between them. Warriors of the Storm also built the character of Finan and Aethelstan further; seeing Uthred’s interaction with these two characters was probably my favorite part of this installment. If there’s one thing that I didn’t really enjoy in this novel, it did feels a bit like filler. To be fair, this has been the case for the past few books as the story written is slowly progressing Uthred’s journey towards retaking Bebbanburg; remember, the narrative from the first book is being told through Uthred in his old age.
“He sounded pathetic and he knew it, but he had been driven to this humiliation by love. A woman can do that. They have power. We might all say that the oath to our lord is the strong oath that guides our lives, the oath that binds us and rules all the other oaths, but few men would not abandon every oath under the sun for a woman. I have broken oaths. I am not proud of that, but almost every oath I broke was for a woman.”
Warriors of the Storm was another great book in the series. I don’t have much else to say; if you’ve read the previous eight books, then you know what you’re getting into here. The ending of this novel did make me excited to read Flame Bearer in September, and I must say that I’m curious about what Cornwell wrote in the remaining four books. From what I’ve read so far, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of Uthred’s story left to tell. Maybe the next one will have Uthred finally retake Bebbanburg? We’ll see.
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