Warriors of the Storm (The Saxon Stories #9) by Bernard Cornwell

28694409Warriors of the Storm (The Saxon Stories #9) by Bernard Cornwell
Publisher/Year: Harper, 2016
Format: Paperback
Pages: 298
Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟



A fragile peace reigns in Wessex, Mercia, and East Anglia. King Alfred’s son, Edward, and formidable daughter, Æthelflaed, rule the kingdoms. But all around, the restless Northmen are mounting raids.

Uhtred of Bebbanburg, the kingdoms’ greatest warrior, controls northern Mercia, but forces are gathering against him. Northmen allied to the Irish, led by the fierce warrior Ragnall Ivarson, are soon joined by the Northumbrians, and their strength could prove overwhelming. And with Uhtred’s own daughter married to Ivarson’s brother, who can be trusted?

In the struggle between family and loyalty, between personal ambition and political commitment, there will be no easy path. But a man with a warrior’s courage may be able to find it. Such a man is Uhtred, and this may be his finest hour.


What I thought

At this point, it’s pretty evident that I love these stories in this series, so I’ll try to keep it pretty short. I won’t say that this series is faultless. It isn’t, and neither is this installment. I could delve into all that, but I’m not going to. Suffice it to say that despite any faults, I just love these books, and Warriors of the Storm was no exception. It was another romping good adventure! I’ve seen some people say that these books can be read as standalones, but I disagree. I have become so attached to these characters over the series, especially Uhtred. Without giving anything away, I will say that I was sad to see the final fate of one of the series’ original characters.

I am hopeful that the next book will see Uhtred going to retake Bebbanburg. And I hope that Finan will continue to play a bigger role in the story–I LOVED his part in this book! I will truly never tire of following these characters.

Now, it’s time for book #10, the last Uhtred story I can get my hands on for now.

The Empty Throne (The Saxon Stories #8) by Bernard Cornwell

25816779The Empty Throne (The Saxon Stories #8) by Bernard Cornwell
Publisher/Year: Harper, 2016
Format: Paperback
Pages: 296
Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟



Britain, early tenth century AD: a time of change. There are new raids by the Vikings from Ireland and turmoil among the Saxons over the leadership of Mercia. A younger generation is taking over.

Æthelred, the ruler of Mercia, is dying, leaving no legitimate heir. The West Saxons want their king, but Uhtred has long supported Æthelflaed, sister to King Edward of Wessex and widow of Æthelred. Widely loved and respected, Æthelflaed has all the makings of a leader–but could Saxon warriors ever accept a woman as their ruler? The stage is set for rivals to fight for the empty throne.


What I thought

Even though, by now, I know what to expect when I pick up a Bernard Cornwell book, I am STILL constantly finding SO MUCH enjoyment out of these stories. The general framework of the plot may be similar, but Uhtred’s antics never fail to amuse me.

This book’s “version” of Uhtred was one of my favorites, so far. He’s getting older, he’s getting grumpier, but he is like a grizzled, wily old man. His cleverness always surprises me. I also loved seeing him play the father role for young Uhtred and for Stiorra. Speaking of Stiorra, she is becoming a favorite for me. She is definitely 50% Gisela, 50% Uhtred.

I’ve said it before, and I’m sure I’ll say it again: I loved this series to pieces. With this book finished, I’m starting to feel a little sad that we’re almost caught up with the series. From the sounds of it, thought, it doesn’t sound like Cornwell plans on ending the series any time soon. So, for now, I guess at least I have 3 more books to look forward to.

On to book #9…

Leaves by David Ezra Stein


Leaves by David Ezra Stein
Publisher/Year: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 32
Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Summary (from Goodreads)

It’s a young bear’s first autumn, and the falling leaves surprise him. He tries to put them back on the trees, but it doesn’t work. Eventually, he gets sleepy, and burrows into the fallen leaves for a long nap. When he wakes up, it’s spring and there are suddenly brand-new leaves all around, welcoming him. Graceful illustrations and a childlike main character offer the perfect way to talk to children about the wonder of the changing seasons.

What I thought

Although I don’t read them very often, I am not ashamed to admit that I enjoy a good picture book now and then. I feel like I am very much a child at heart, and sometimes, I really, truly wish I could return to the days of simple childhood.


This book.

I thought this way a very sweet and simple story, accompanied by vibrant illustrations, that tells of a little bear learning about and coming to terms with the changing of seasons. Admittedly, I don’t think this was the most memorable picture book I’ve ever read, but I still found it enjoyable. With just a touch of silliness, I loved the sense of wonder the little bear had for the world around him. On another note, while the illustrations had to grow on me, I appreciated their simplicity which would naturally appeal to children, and I LOVED the color palette. Each season was perfectly depicted.

Overall, while this may not have been my favorite picture book ever, I still think it was lovely and that it would be a worthy addition to any young child’s library.