Slow start, sizzling end
Published by HarperCollins in 2006
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 -
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.