“Bernard Cornwell is one of the kings of historical fiction — his Richard Sharpe novels, about a British soldier in the Napoleonic wars, and Grail Quest series have captivated audiences in the United Kingdom and United States. His new book, The Burning Land — the latest in his series The Saxon Tales — is currently on the bestseller list. NPR's Neal Conan talks with Cornwell about the ninth century, writing historical literature and the new PBS series based on his Sharpe novels.”The interview, and phone-in questions from American listeners, ranges across all of Cornwell’s books from the Dark Ages to the American Civil War. At 17 minutes it’s well worth a listen online or you can download it direct.
As it turns out I’ve just finished reading the latest in his Arthur series: “The Burning Land” which I received as a Christmas present. So it was interesting to hear Cornwell say there are four more books in the series!
I have to say that he had better get his thinking cap on as this book, the fifth in the series, was a little predictable. An enjoyable romp but I detected the beginnings of a pattern.
You can judge for yourself as NPR have posted the first few pages of chapter one online. I’ll be buying the next one in the series in the hope that the pattern doesn’t become a formula. How’s that for commitment?
If you’ve not read any of the Arthur series before then you’re best starting with “The Last Kingdom” which is the first in the series. It’s a really ripping yarn with bloody and exciting battle scenes that truly evoke the period.