Continuing the outstanding success of The Last Kingdom, The Pale Horseman is the second installment of Bernard Cornwell’s fantastic series, following the fate of Alfred the Great ,and the forging of Britain.
It is the lowest time for the Saxons. Defeated comprehensively by the Vikings who now occupy most of England, Alfred and his very small group of surviving followers retreat to the trackless marshlands of Somerset. There, forced to move restlessly to escape betrayal or detection, using the marsh mists for cover, they travel by small boats from one island refuge to another, hoping that they can regroup and find some more strength and support.
Only Uhtred remains resolute. Determined to discover the enemy's strategies, he draws once again on his Viking upbringing, and attempts to enter the Viking camps. His plan is to become accepted by their leaders, and to sit in their councils and uncover their plans. But once there, the attractions of his many friends among the Vikings coupled with his disillusion with the Saxons' leadership and anger at Alfred's criticism of his own conduct, draws him back again to his allegiance to the Vikings.
The Pale Horseman, an even more powerful and dramatic book than The Last Kingdom, brings both Uhtred and the Saxons' dilemmas vividly to life.
Praise for The Pale Horseman:
‘Bernard Cornwell is a literary miracle. Year after year, hail, rain, snow, war and political upheavals fail to prevent him from producing the most entertaining and readable historical novels of his generation.' Daily Mail
'Cornwell's narration is quite masterly and supremely well-researched.' Observer
‘It is stirring stuff, and few writers are better qualified than Cornwell to do justice to the excitement of the times…Ninth-century Britain and a master of storytelling – it is a marriage made in heaven.’ Sunday Telegraph
‘Cornwell’s mastery of historical sources and his aptitude for battle scenes is well established…the language, and particularly the dialogue, is raw and unarchaic, rich in insults and Anglo-Saxon expletives.’ Times Literary Supplement
About the author
Bernard Cornwell worked for BBC Television for seven years, mostly as a producer on the Nationwide programme, before taking charge of the Current Affairs department in Northern Ireland. In 1978 he became editor of Thames Television’s Thames at Six. Married to an American, he now lives in the United States.