An airman being captured by Vietnamese in Truc Bach Lake, Hanoi in 1967. The
airman is future Senator John McCain who spent over five years being tortured in a Vietnamese prison camp. Donald J. Trump recently mocked his service.
Ok, I’ll own up to it. I’ve been a lot into English
historical fiction in recent years. Favorite authors include Bernard Cornwell
- 10th century (The Saxon Chronicles),Sharon Kay Penman - (12th century The Plantagenet series),and Hilary Mantel - (16th century (The Thomas
Cromwell Trilogy).This month it was The
Pagan Lord by Cornwell….
Alfred the Great is dead and Edward his son reigns as king. The Kingdom of Wessex survives but peace is
tenuous at best. The Danes in the north, led by Viking Cnut Longsword, stand
ready to invade and will never rest until all of England is theirs.
Uhtred, once Alfred’s great warrior but now out of favor
with the new king, must lead a band of outcasts north to recapture his old
family home, that great Northumbrian fortress, Bebbanburg.
Loyalties are transitory for some and every Saxon kingdom is drawn into the
bloodiest battle yet with the Danes; a war which will decide the fate of every
king, and the entire English nation.
Uhtred, the hero and narrator of the Saxon series, is a
fascinating mixture of divided loyalties and internal contradictions. Born a
Saxon, he was raised by Danes and has the temperament of a genuine Viking. He
disdains the “nailed god” of the Christians and favors older gods, such as
Thor, whose symbol (a hammer) Uhtred carries with him everywhere. He served
Alfred loyally and effectively but never really liked or sympathized with him.
Uhtred’s one overriding ambition is to recover the Northumbrian fortress of
Bebbanburg, which was stolen from him years before.They called this era The Dark Ages for a
reason. Nobody writes the twists and turns, the chaos and battle scenes as
well as Cornwell. When Untred winds down
the Saxon Chronicles we can even see a small light at the end of the tunnel.
The birth of England….
I am a not so recently retired social studies teacher and basketball coach. Still hunting birds though now with a camera instead of a gun.
Nature devotee, dog lover, birder, gardener and semi-retired all around outdoor adventure seeker.
Troutbirder II is my alter ego. He loves books and history and is an opponent of unnecessary, unplanned and unending "preemptive wars". A former moderate Republican, he spent the Bush II years gradually converting to "yellow dog" Democrat. He is now somewhat unhappy with the Democrats abandonment of unions and cozying up to Wall Street. This is promoting a gradual drift towards Democratic Socialism though he remains "flexible...