• The King in the North

  • The Life and Times of Oswald of Northumbria
  • By: Max Adams
  • Narrated by: Hamilton McLeod
  • Length: 15 hrs and 16 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (13 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The magisterial biography of Oswald Whiteblade, exiled prince of Northumbria, who returned in blood and glory to reclaim his birthright.

A charismatic leader, a warrior whose prowess in battle earned him the epithet Whiteblade, an exiled prince who returned to claim his birthright, the inspiration for Tolkien's Aragorn.

Oswald of Northumbria was the first great English monarch, yet today this legendary figure is all but forgotten. 

In this panoramic portrait of Dark Age Britain, archaeologist and biographer Max Adams returns the king in the North to his rightful place in history.

©2013 Max Adams (P)2020 W F Howes
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic Reviews

"A triumph – a Game of Thrones in the Dark Ages." (Tom Holland)

What listeners say about The King in the North

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  • Ms N York
  • 12-29-20

Great book but really annoying narration

I downloaded this audiobook because I had read extracts of the visual text online and was very impressed with it, so I thought I'd use one of my credits to listen to it. The sample text sounded okay, but not long into the reading I got really annoyed with the narrator's mispronunciation of Scottish place names. It's a matter of basic courtesy when pronouncing names of places to find out how the residents pronounce them, and despite the narrator's Scottish name, anyone living in Scotland or familiar with Scottish place names would be extremely surprised to hear his rendition of them. I don't pretend to be Scottish (I was born in West Africa and brought up mostly in England with received pronunciation) but I have now lived and worked in Scotland for over 25 years and I do at least know how Scottish place names should be pronounced, even if my Glaswegian husband laughs uncontrollably when I try to use Scots words. I've given up listening to this audiobook and will buy the hard copy when I can afford it, so that I can enjoy it properly.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-01-21

Narrator Inserts His Own Offensive Political Views

along with his...uhm...'unusual' pronunciation of both Old English and Modern English words and even modern British place names ('Sutton Ho', really?). I spent the first couple of chapters wondering WTF 'Jessies' were. There is of course no 'correct' pronunciation of Old English, but in my years of studying OE i have never heard 'gesith' so pronounced . In the end I had to check in a hard copy of the book. I am grateful I don't speak any of the ancient Brythonic languages nor have the modern Gaelic because I dread to think what this narrator might make of them.
More worrying still was when he felt the need to 'correct' or interpolate what the author had written. You may not agree with Max Adams calling 'Derry' 'Derry' but it is not your place to correct it to "London Derry"..save that for Lodge meetings!
People, go listen to appalling software narration programme , KrisDyer2.0, ruining "The First Kingdom" and you'll agree Max Adams should insist on narrating his own works.
As to the 'story' itself, I shall edit this review when I have finished the hard copy.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Christine
  • 12-18-20

I’ve been waiting for a book like this

There aren’t many books on this period in audible format, so I was pleased when this popped up. It gives a lovely overall description of Northumbrian life in the ‘Dark Ages’, bringing together much of the scarce information available. Read by a soothing grandfatherly narrator!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Chris
  • 12-09-20

Boring

Rambling and really hard to follow. Totally lost interest in the story, there is a premise but he's struggled to get it over.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jess O'Brien
  • 04-25-22

Narrator is Terrible

Can't pronounce basic words, often unintelligible. Had to return and will buy hard copy.

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  • Jon lanģley
  • 03-11-21

brilliant and highly informative

excellent background research leading up to a real gem of a biography. I had scant knowledge of Oswald before, but now see his pivotal role in our nation's history. This book does for facts what the excellent Bernard Cornwell does for fiction. The atmosphere set perfectly, and the narrator helped set the scene so very well too. I have yet to read Max Adams Adams other work, but the First Kingdom is definitely next on my list . I thoroughly enjoyed this book strongly recommend it.