Sword Song is my favorite book so far in the Saxon Chronicles. At first I didn't love the series. Ultred is not a good guy; he is brutish. But as he matures you can see him trying to do the right thing rather than just what he wants to do.
Also, there's a twist in the plot that I just didn't see coming and don't worry I won't give anything away, but I absolutely loved the plot in this book.
Definitely, one of my favorite historical fiction series.
This is Book 4 of the Saxon Chronicles.
It is now 885. Britain is in a state of relative peace as the treaty between the northern Danes and the southern Brits has reached a state of equilibrium. Uhtred finds some measure of happiness for himself, some sense of stability, and, even in his own heart, his own small share of peace.
But this is Britain and lasting peace is hard to come by. The city of London is now under siege from a new horde of Danish invaders and, once again, Uhtred must decide which side will feel the devastating bite of his legendary swords.
Even four books into the series, Cornwell still manages to make Uhtred's character just as likable, loyal, and determined as he is cruel, wavering in his allegiances, and uncertain of his purpose. The only things that remain consistent about Uhtred are his underlying hatred of Alfred and his continued refusal to give up his pagan beliefs. Uhtred's moral dilemma of being a Dane or a Britain does not grow stale throughout the series, although that could happen very easily at the hands of any other author. On the contrary, Cornwell manages to keep Uhtred's indecision as fresh and keen as the edge of his blades.
Uhtred is steadily growing into the good guy that you love to pull for, the guy you are thrilled to have on your side. And yet in the back of your mind, you cannot help but ask how long that loyalty will last, how far he is willing to go for the greater good. This series continues to improve with every book, with every new enemy that Uhtred must face, with every inner demon that he must confront, with every new ally that joins his warband.
This book, as well as the series as a whole, makes for an amazing reading experience. This is exactly what historical fiction is supposed to be.