Author: Bernard Cornwell
Genre: Historical fiction
The Pagan Lord tells the tale of Uhtred, a renowned Saxon warrior, at a turning point of British history when the Danes and Saxons battle for control of the country itself while Christianity battles with the Old Norse Gods for supremacy in the hearts of men.
I initially picked it up because a) there is a sword on the cover and despite knowing better I tend to judge a book by its cover and b) according to George Martin of Game of Thrones fame, it has the ‘best battle scenes of any writer…past or present’. This endorsement intrigued me for two reasons; I think Martin’s fighting scenes are pretty good anyway and because I know that battle descriptions area point of weakness in my own writing. Even after finishing the book, I cannot say for sure whether they are the best battle scenes but they are very good; well rendered, engaging and focus on the right details. As for the book overall, I really enjoyed the plot and its setting in a brutal time of history not usually explored however the first person narration put me off a bit. This is probably just a personal thing, I am not a fan of first person.