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The Lords Of The North
(Bernard Cornwell)

The Lords Of The North is a masterpiece of historical fiction based around real events in the Anglo-Saxon and Viking England of 878. Uhtred, the dispossessed heir of a Northumbrian lord, was captured as a boy by Viking raiders and raised as the pagan son of the Viking jarl, Ragnar. Having entered the service of the pious and scheming King Alfred as a means to settle old scores and reclaim his birthright, Uhtred is disillusioned by the King's lack of generosity after Uhtred's assistance in the victory over the Danes at Ethandun. Wessex is now free from Viking influence, and Uhtred travels north to seek out his old enemy, Kjartan, the murderer of his adopted Viking father, Ragnar. But the north is in chaos and Uhtred finds himself without allies in a dangerous land of rebellion and fear. Betrayed by the pretender to the throne of Northumbria, Uhtred is enslaved on a ship to Iceland. Beyond all hope, he is rescued by the Viking Ragnar Ragnarsson, his adopted brother, who has formed an unlikely alliance with King Alfred. The King's motives are unclear, but it would seem that Uhtred has not yet outlived his usefulness, and is now given leave to accompany Ragnar Ragnarsson in an attempt to storm the stronghold of Dunholm, an impregnable fortress in the north where the murderer Kjartan awaits.

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