What a breathless, fast-paced book.
Sword song – you can guess here will be battles. And as the sub-title says, this is the battle for London. It opens a few years after the previous book, and Uthred is happily married and happily building up a fortress on the Temes – for King Alfred, who he still can’t stand. Then one of the Danish merchants tells him that more Sword Danes have come from Francia and pretty soon Lundene will be under Danish rule, and that tends to spread. So with fate and battle-joy treachery all around, the battle is on.
There are a few places where Uthred says “now I’m old but I remember how it was to be twenty eight and strong… ” or “now the poets sing for my new wife’s god but when I come into the room the poets sing proper songs about warriors.”
Uhtred is happily married, and Uthred’s wife is very happy with him. He watches the King’s daughter Aethylflaed get married to a brute. They Aethylflaed gets a major plot twist of her own, and it starts off predictable and ends off amazing.
Minor nitpick: Too many people named “Aethyl___” because the word means Noble. So all the upper class want that in their kid’s names.
The next book in the series is on my to read list.