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Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Pale Horseman (The Saxon Chronicles Series #2) by Bernard Cornwell



Slow start, sizzling end

Published by HarperCollins in 2006
384 pages


First and foremost - Boo to the publishers of this book for not clearly labeling that this paperback book is part of a trilogy. Sure, it's clear if you carefully look at the extremely long list of Cornwell's books inside the front cover, but I was holding my 15 month old while using my Christmas gift card and I really did not have the luxury of perusing through every page in the book store!

On to the book -
Bernard Cornwell

Despite not having read the first book, Cornwell does an admirable job of catching the reader up to where the action is in book two. However, he then goes meandering a bit. The story sort of sidles along until the Danes invade again and then it's a real action story. Cornwell's battle descriptions are top-notch. Perhaps only topped by Pressfield's Gates of Fire - but not by much.

The Pale Horseman is saddled with one of the most worthless maps I've ever seen in a book. Most of the cities, towns and forts Cornwell mentions are not on the map - perhaps he assumes a strong familiarity with English geography, but that is a rather big assumption for a book sold in the United States. Still, the book is quite enjoyable. I'll be looking for the sequel.

I give this one 4 stars.

This book can be found on Amazon.com here: The Pale Horseman.


Reviewed on January 21, 2007.

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