Bernard Cornwell’s series on the unification of England continues with the eleventh installment in the Saxon Tales series – War of the Wolf. It is as gripping and hard to put down as the previous ten books.
As I have written in previous reviews of Cornwell’s books, he is a master storyteller that is hard to beat. Cornwell’s plots flow easily from one event to the next. The writing is superb. The character development is excellent even with new characters being introduced with each book.
Cornwell always seems to find a more vile villain with each passing book. Each one has tried to take something from Uhtred or prevent him from achieving some goal – all have failed. Uhtred’s latest foe Skoll is set on becoming the new King of Northumbria. Skoll is assisted by a cleric and a band of wolf-warriors, men high on hallucinogens in battle.
One of the book’s greatest strengths is Cornwell’s graceful aging of Uhtred. Uhtred is leaning more on his experience and wisdom than on his brute strength. Although he is still strong, he is aging and it is harder to go into battle. Cornwell is showing more of Uhtred’s physical weaknesses – he is getting wounded more frequently and more easily. It is a refreshing look at a beloved character getting older.
War of the Wolf is another great book in the Saxon Tales series.