Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > New Bernard Cornwell book Reply to topic
This is a standard topic Go to page 1, 2  Next 
Author Message
Jared Smith




Location: Tennessee
Joined: 10 Feb 2005
Likes: 1 page

Spotlight topics: 3
Posts: 1,532

PostPosted: Wed 24 Dec, 2008 2:30 pm    Post subject: New Bernard Cornwell book         Reply with quote

I just bought a new paperback book "Sword Song" by Bernard Cornwell. I thought some might be interested in looking out for his latest book during their 2008 Christmas holiday break shopping. The inside cover says it is released in paperback copyright 2009. The subject matter is Danish (Viking) - England conflict in 885 A.D. I expect it will be well worth $14 U.S. in exchange for the quality of the writing and story. (Will update after having a few hours to read into it.)

Previous books, often well received by others here, included such titles as "The Archer's Tale", "Againcourt", the British regimen officer Sharp series, Saxon series, and many other fictional tales are inspired through historical research, although, the character and plot is generally fiction adventure. Normally I find it difficult to stop reading his tales when it is seriously time to go to bed.

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
View user's profile Send private message
Jim S.




Location: La Antigua Guatemala
Joined: 17 Dec 2007
Likes: 5 pages

Posts: 57

PostPosted: Wed 24 Dec, 2008 2:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Cornwell's "Sword Song" is indeed an excellent read. As are the three books proceeding it in the SAXON TALES series - "The Last Kingdom", "The Pale Horseman" and "Lords of the North". I have read these several times and enjoy the story of the life of the main character, Uhtred Uhtredson immensely. Cornwell almost makes one feel like they are there. Am looking forward to the next installment, hopefully in 2009 ! A "big-bellied, bushy-bearded tale" indeed !
View user's profile Send private message
J.D. Crawford




Location: Toronto
Joined: 25 Dec 2006

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,606

PostPosted: Wed 24 Dec, 2008 2:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I really enjoyed Sword Song and Cornwell's other tales of Utred the Danish-raised Saxon. Also Azincourt was very good. Cornwell has a great way of spinning a military adventure yarn without getting sentimental about the characters. Pretty good on the history too, at least from my meager vantage point.

By the way if you like that series, you would probably like Tim Severin's Viking series placed about a century later. It's somewhat less bloody and more Medieval travelogue in tone.

-JD
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Gavin Kisebach




Location: Lacey, Wa US
Joined: 01 Aug 2004

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 650

PostPosted: Wed 24 Dec, 2008 3:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I really loved the first book The Last Kingdom, except for this part, which made me groan:

Quote:
Ealdwulf finished the blade by hammering grooves that ran down the center of each side. He said they helped stop the sword from being trapped in an enemy's flesh. "Blood channels," he grunted.
Confused

I read that and thought gosh, he needs to join myArmoury before he writes any more books.

There are only two kinds of scholars; those who love ideas and those who hate them. ~ Emile Chartier
View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
Jared Smith




Location: Tennessee
Joined: 10 Feb 2005
Likes: 1 page

Spotlight topics: 3
Posts: 1,532

PostPosted: Wed 24 Dec, 2008 5:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I felt that he did a much better job of describing the archer/ bowmen's skills and traditions for making and using their longbows.
Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
View user's profile Send private message
Harold R.





Joined: 02 Feb 2006

Posts: 76

PostPosted: Wed 24 Dec, 2008 9:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've read the Archer's Tale, Vagabond, and Heretic.
I've also read the other three books in the series of Sword Song and just ordered Sword Song from amazon last week. Shoud show up just after Christmas. Big Grin
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Brian Moffatt




Location: Scotland
Joined: 03 Nov 2007

Posts: 23

PostPosted: Thu 25 Dec, 2008 2:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Try Bernard Cornwell's "Warlord Trilogy" i.e. The Winter King, The Enemy of God, Excalibur, its the best thing I've read about Arthur. All the family fought over the books as they came out. Seasons Greetings from Scotland, Brian Moffatt
View user's profile Send private message
Antonio Lamadrid





Joined: 17 Apr 2008

Posts: 91

PostPosted: Thu 25 Dec, 2008 3:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I like the "Arthurian Trilogy" better than the "Saxon Stories" (and Cornwell does too, in fact they are his favourite books). Derfel was not only a mighty warrior, but he also had a softer and more humane side, that Uhtred lacks. Derfel would have never killed ten people the speedy way just for making "trade-unionist" complains (Sword Song). I found it easier to relate to him than to Uhtred. It could be said, though, that Uhtred's portrayal of a warrior is much more realistic.

Besides the Arthurian books had very good supporting characters (Merlin, Arthur, Guinevere), and I think Uhtred carries all the weight of the series on his shoulders.


The thing I like most of Cornwell is how he recreates the ethos of a Dark Age warrior, better than any other reader I have read. Two examples of this, the first one a reflection of Uhtred, I think (not sure) from The Lords of the North:

"All my life I have followed the path of the sword. Given a choice I would rather draw a blade than settle an argument with words, for that is what a warrior does."

And the second, an excerpt from The Pale Horseman, when he refuses to walk away from a duel to the death with the seemingly unbeatable Steapa.
Leofric tells him:
" 'You could have walked away.'
'And men would have called me a coward.' I said. And that too was the truth, that a man cannot step back from a fight and stay a man. We make much in this life if we are able, but only one thing survives us. Reputation. I could not walk away."


On the negative side, as Gavin pointed out, a few times his research is lacking, something the vast majority of his readers will not notice, but for the few of us that do, it is a (minor) nuisance.

I do not know if this happens to you too, but when I make comments on inaccuracies in films and novels, most people tell me that they just do not care. And they may be right, after all Hollywood is about making films and money, not documentaries and research.


I also liked Tim Severin's "Viking Trilogy". Good read, with lots of information about Norse mythology. I would have prefered Thorgils to be a little bit less mystical, though.
View user's profile Send private message
Alex Spreier




Location: Central Oregon
Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Likes: 2 pages

Posts: 82

PostPosted: Thu 25 Dec, 2008 10:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I love Bernard Cornwell's writing. I own the Archer's Tale series and all of the Richard Sharpe series, both of which I have re-read multiple times. He is definitely in my top 5 of fantasy/historical fiction authors.
View user's profile Send private message
Ted Parolari




Location: Tennessee
Joined: 22 Jan 2008

Posts: 29

PostPosted: Thu 25 Dec, 2008 6:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think I've read all the books he's written with the exception of his detective novels. I started reading his books with the Archer's Tale Series and was hooked. I read the Sharpe Series last summer! What an amazing writer!!!
View user's profile Send private message
Jared Smith




Location: Tennessee
Joined: 10 Feb 2005
Likes: 1 page

Spotlight topics: 3
Posts: 1,532

PostPosted: Fri 26 Dec, 2008 1:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Having read it, i now readily recommend this book and will pass it on to a friend.
I started reading the "Sword Song, Battle for London", around dinner time (5 PM.) I could not put it down, and was sad to reach the end of the tale around 3 A.M.

The Anglo born,Dane raised character, Uhtred is very believable (human, fallible, plausible degree of luck, but bold and battle lusty like a Conan type figure), and the background historical events and front maps were impressive. Even if the plot and relationships are purely fictionalized, I will remember the historical event and central figures involved in the defense of London now.

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
View user's profile Send private message
J.D. Crawford




Location: Toronto
Joined: 25 Dec 2006

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,606

PostPosted: Fri 26 Dec, 2008 1:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gavin Kisebach wrote:
I really loved the first book The Last Kingdom, except for this part, which made me groan:

Quote:
Ealdwulf finished the blade by hammering grooves that ran down the center of each side. He said they helped stop the sword from being trapped in an enemy's flesh. "Blood channels," he grunted.
Confused

I read that and thought gosh, he needs to join myArmoury before he writes any more books.


Another error in the first or second book was the assertion that Viking age blades could stab through mail but not hack through it. I would say he got it backwards. (Although some will debate the cutting part, I really cannot see a spatulate-tipped type X penetrating though a mail hauberk into the belly.)
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
Likes: 7 pages

Posts: 2,229

PostPosted: Fri 26 Dec, 2008 2:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Both is very unlikely but he describes his blade in the first book more tapered then other blades so it is more likely that he would manage to pierce it then cut it. I think that was before his duel with Steapa, right?
View user's profile Send private message
James Aldrich




Location: Green Bay WI
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 112

PostPosted: Fri 26 Dec, 2008 2:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

At the risk of spreading gossip, I recall reading an article or interview with Cornwell in which he professed with some pride his ignorance of weapons and his reliance on the unsubstantiated advice of friends in such matters. It seemed to me that he found it somehow suspect to display a knowledge of the implements of death and destruction and that the consequent inaccuracies were of no import to his art.

AMDG
JSA
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Harold R.





Joined: 02 Feb 2006

Posts: 76

PostPosted: Fri 26 Dec, 2008 4:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Luka Borscak wrote:
Both is very unlikely but he describes his blade in the first book more tapered then other blades so it is more likely that he would manage to pierce it then cut it. I think that was before his duel with Steapa, right?


I've read three of the books and at this time, I can't find my copy of The Last Kingdom, but I do remember reading something about that.
I think it was when he didn't have the option of using his own sword and had been forced to use an unfamiliar one. Uthred commented that he knew he had made a poor choice - picked one that wasn't going to be quick enough.
This did make sense to me. Given the fact that a handmade weapon will by definition, be one of a kind, it made sense that some swords would be "better" than others.

James Aldrich wrote:
At the risk of spreading gossip, I recall reading an article or interview with Cornwell in which he professed with some pride his ignorance of weapons and his reliance on the unsubstantiated advice of friends in such matters. It seemed to me that he found it somehow suspect to display a knowledge of the implements of death and destruction and that the consequent inaccuracies were of no import to his art.


IIRC, there are sections in at least some of his books where Cornwell explains some of the innaccuracies. I think there is one at the end of Vagabond and I'm looking at the one in The Archer's Tale right now.
Maybe the guy isn't an expert on everything (or for all the more I know, maybe he is) but that at least shows that he makes an effort to tell the "truth" along with the story.
And he's an awesome story-teller!
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Eric McHugh
Industry Professional



Location: Crown Point, IN
Joined: 17 Aug 2003
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 404

PostPosted: Sun 28 Dec, 2008 9:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I love these books too, but as a swordmaker, I have to admit Cornwell irritates me to no end. I mean some simple fact checking would have taken care of some of this silliness. The part that really got may hair up (and I don't have the exact quote) was when Uthred put his sword and scabbard on his back so that he could fight better in the shield wall. Uggh! Thank you Hollywood for more silliness that has some how become fact to so many.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Harold R.





Joined: 02 Feb 2006

Posts: 76

PostPosted: Sun 28 Dec, 2008 10:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Eric McHugh wrote:
I love these books too, but as a swordmaker, I have to admit Cornwell irritates me to no end. I mean some simple fact checking would have taken care of some of this silliness. The part that really got may hair up (and I don't have the exact quote) was when Uthred put his sword and scabbard on his back so that he could fight better in the shield wall. Uggh! Thank you Hollywood for more silliness that has some how become fact to so many.


Yep.
Anyone who'e ever owned a sword or even just looked at the mechanics of the human body can see that it's easier to draw anything from a crossdraw position than it would be to try to draw from your back.
I don't think it would even be possible for most of us to draw a 30" blade from over the shoulder.

FWIW, I just read Sword Song - almost all of it in one night.
Seemed like a pretty good read and I like Uthred's character developement. Seems to me that he is maturing. I'll keep reading them.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
Likes: 7 pages

Posts: 2,229

PostPosted: Mon 29 Dec, 2008 4:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

[quote="Harold R."]
Luka Borscak wrote:
Both is very unlikely but he describes his blade in the first book more tapered then other blades so it is more likely that he would manage to pierce it then cut it. I think that was before his duel with Steapa, right?


I've read three of the books and at this time, I can't find my copy of The Last Kingdom, but I do remember reading something about that.
I think it was when he didn't have the option of using his own sword and had been forced to use an unfamiliar one. Uthred commented that he knew he had made a poor choice - picked one that wasn't going to be quick enough.
This did make sense to me. Given the fact that a handmade weapon will by definition, be one of a kind, it made sense that some swords would be "better" than others.

I checked, the part with mail piercing was before his first duel with Steapa. He sad that because Steapa is well armoured he has no chance of wounding him with cuts and that he should somehow thrust through mail. He wounded him twice through mail, but lightley.
View user's profile Send private message
Eric McHugh
Industry Professional



Location: Crown Point, IN
Joined: 17 Aug 2003
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 404

PostPosted: Mon 29 Dec, 2008 4:11 pm    Post subject: Don't get me wrong...         Reply with quote

I believe the good aspect of these books outweigh the bad aspects. Uthred's character is well developed and I do like how he has evolved.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Harold R.





Joined: 02 Feb 2006

Posts: 76

PostPosted: Tue 30 Dec, 2008 11:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Luka Borscak wrote:
I checked, the part with mail piercing was before his first duel with Steapa. He sad that because Steapa is well armoured he has no chance of wounding him with cuts and that he should somehow thrust through mail. He wounded him twice through mail, but lightley.


I think the part I was thinking of was farther on in the book, after Uthred and Steapa had done some traveling together and started becoming friends.

I really wish I could find that damn book!
It's probably right next to my MS 1.33 book...
Which is to say that they're both in an extremely safe location - so safe that even I don't know where they are!
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > New Bernard Cornwell book
Page 1 of 2 Reply to topic
Go to page 1, 2  Next All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2018 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum