April 6, 2012

Author Spotlight: Bernard Cornwell

That time again to do another author / series spotlight. After mentioning George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series (which the HBO series Game of Thrones is based on); Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time; and Brandon Sanderson's brand-new Stormlight, I had uncovered another author and series I wish to recommend.

The author's name is Bernard Cornwell, and I'd first heard of him while I was at the bookstore, and I saw that his novel Azincourt was brand new in paperback (the store often announces or places certain titles in a section when something is new to paperback). The cover art drew me in, as did the font etc; and of course I read the summary, which interested me. I thought 'I'll have to remember this'; but sadly, didn't once I got home.

Not too long ago, George R.R. Martin posted on his website a conversation he had with Cornwell (if you want to read said convo... http://georgerrmartin.com/news.html ) which I read, bookmarked and enjoyed. But recently, I was at the bookstore again, this time to browse the author's section to see what books of his are out there, and see what he had to offer. I use the internet to find out when a tv show airs, when a movie is released, how many / what books are in a series, but I also enjoy going to the bookstore and looking at the various editions of books. Check out Tolkien under fantasy in your book store to see what I mean. Anyway, I saw that his newest book, Death of Kings (I recognized the art from Martin's site, as he had uploaded the book's cover.) was in paperback form. Browsing through the copy, I had discovered that it was the sixth, and newest, book in his Saxon Stories series, one of the many he has.

The cover, the synopsis, and Martin's conversation have led me to put Bernard Cornwell on my radar. Of course I have a massive reading list, though rest assured Cornwell, you've been added to it.

So what are the Saxon Stories about? Well, Bernard Cornwell is a historic fiction writer, not 'fantasy'. His Saxon Stories novels take place in 9th century Britain; and deal with Alfred the Great, the Danes, and of course the Saxons. I didn't read too much into it, because I want the books to be as 'fresh' to me as possible. If you're interested in reading them, or looking further, the series goes (in order of course):

The Last Kingdom
The Pale Horseman
The Lords of the North
Sword Song
The Burning Land
Death of Kings

Cornwell has stated that he'll do 7 or 8 stories total in the Saxon Stories series. Also worthy of note, is his Warlord Chronicles:

Winter King
Enemy of God
Excalibur [finale]

Oh yeah, and that series is about King Arthur.
Bernard Cornwell's official site is http://www.bernardcornwell.net/  

Also, I've updated my Amazon wishlist: http://www.amazon.ca/gp/registry/registry.html?ie=UTF8&type=wishlist&id=334OHARFDHZKQ

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