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The Empty Throne
Cover of The Empty Throne
The Empty Throne
The Warrior Chronicles, Book 8
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The eighth installment of Bernard Cornwell's New York Times bestselling series chronicling the epic saga of the making of England, "like Game of Thrones, but real" (The Observer, London)—the basis for The Last Kingdom, the hit television series.

Britain, early tenth century AD: a time of change. There are new raids by the Vikings from Ireland and turmoil among the Saxons over the leadership of Mercia. A younger generation is taking over.

Æthelred, the ruler of Mercia, is dying, leaving no legitimate heir. The West Saxons want their king, but Uhtred has long supported Æthelflaed, sister to King Edward of Wessex and widow of Æthelred. Widely loved and respected, Æthelflaed has all the makings of a leader—but could Saxon warriors ever accept a woman as their ruler? The stage is set for rivals to fight for the empty throne.

The eighth installment of Bernard Cornwell's New York Times bestselling series chronicling the epic saga of the making of England, "like Game of Thrones, but real" (The Observer, London)—the basis for The Last Kingdom, the hit television series.

Britain, early tenth century AD: a time of change. There are new raids by the Vikings from Ireland and turmoil among the Saxons over the leadership of Mercia. A younger generation is taking over.

Æthelred, the ruler of Mercia, is dying, leaving no legitimate heir. The West Saxons want their king, but Uhtred has long supported Æthelflaed, sister to King Edward of Wessex and widow of Æthelred. Widely loved and respected, Æthelflaed has all the makings of a leader—but could Saxon warriors ever accept a woman as their ruler? The stage is set for rivals to fight for the empty throne.

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About the Author-
  • BERNARD CORNWELL is the author of the acclaimed New York Times bestselling Saxon Tales series, which includes The Last Kingdom, The Pale Horseman, Lords of the North, Sword Song, The Burning Land, Death of Kings, The Pagan Lord, and, most recently, The Empty Throne and Warriors of the Storm, and which serves as the basis for the hit television series The Last Kingdom. He lives with his wife on Cape Cod and in Charleston, South Carolina.

Reviews-
  • Kirkus

    December 15, 2014
    As conspiracies breed in their wake, Lord Uhtred of Bebbanburg and Lady Athelflaed ally to drive invaders from Mercia in Cornwell's (The Pagan Lord, 2014, etc.) eighth in his Saxon series. "In the year of our Lord 911," Alfred the Great is gone. "Alfred had dreamed of uniting the Saxons. That meant driving the Danes out of northern Mercia, from East Anglia, and, eventually, from Northumbria." King Edward now rules Wessex, and Lord Athelred is Edward's reeve in Mercia, but he's been mortally wounded in battle, and it is his wife, Lady Athelflaed, who has "the love of the Mercians." A heroine lost in history's mist, the lady is Cornwell's homage to a warrior, a leader who preserved Mercia against invading Danes and the Vikings encroaching from Ireland. With her lover Uhtred, Athelflaed fights battles across "Englaland"-the best and bloodiest against the Viking lord Sigtryggr-and manipulates the ealdormen (lords) to accept her leadership upon Athelred's death. This novel easily stands alone, with perfectly choreographed battle scenes and political infighting between Athelhelm, Edward's father-in-law, "the richest man in Wessex," and Eardwulf, Athelred's traitorous henchman. The protagonists, and Uhtred's daughter, Stiorra, who flees with Sigtryggr, are perfectly drawn. Other characters shine: the giant Gerbruht and Folcbald, Frisian warriors; Finan, Uhtred's droll second-in-command; and Eadith, Eardwulf's sister, who wins Uhtred's affection and heals him with his vanquished enemy's sword. Despite Cornwell's use of ancient names and places, the lusty, rollicking narrative (accompanied by a map) is totally accessible and great good fun. Cornwell's done it again. New readers: Draw a flagon of ale, and be prepared to find the first seven in the series.

    COPYRIGHT(2014) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Kirkus "This novel easily stands alone, with perfectly choreographed battle scenes and political infighting . .. . The lusty, rollicking narrative.... is totally accessible and great good fun. Cornwell's done it again. New readers: Draw a flagon of ale, and be prepared to find the first seven in the series."
  • Booklist "Excellent . .. Mysticism, history, brutality, muck, and mire combine to splendid effect in this compelling fictional version of the birth of a great nation."
  • Library Journal "Verdict: Once again, Cornwell perfectly mixes the history and personalities of tenth-century England with several doses of battles, trickery, and treachery. Is there a fan of historical fiction anywhere who has not yet read a Cornwell? If so, hook them on this series, and they will knight you."
  • The Times (London) "The Empty Throne is Cornwell's best Uthred tale yet. If there is a throne for writers of this particular type of muscular historical fiction, then Cornwell is firmly wedged in it. And on this evidence, he is not budging."
  • Daily Mail "Cornwell once again shows his acknowledged mastery of fast-paced storytelling, full of exciting incident and an unflinching approach to bloodshed."
  • Mail on Sunday, EVENT Magazine "An effortlessly engaging ride."
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