A new Bernard Cornwell book is always a must read, and The Flame Bearer, the latest in the Last Kingdom series is no exception.
Our 'hero' Uhtred is now based in Northumbria, where his son-in-law Sigtryggyr rules. Northumbria is under pressure from the Saxon kingdoms of Wessex and Mercia, who aim to create England, and the Scots from the North.
Uhtred is besieging his family home of Bebbanburg, held by his cousin. He has to abandon the siege to support Sigtryggyr and successfully foils an attempt by a Wessex nobleman to break the truce. This buys a year or two for Northumbria, but more importantly, time for Uhtred to capture Bebbanburg.
Being Cornwell, this is no simple siege. We have the Scots, Norse raiders, a mad Bishop and the West Saxons all playing a role. They all come together in an epic final battle at the Bebbanburg fortress.
No expletives are too extravagant to describe any Cornwell book. He is the master of historical writing and this title is up to his very high standards.