The first book in a brand new series, The Last Kingdom is set in England during the reign of King Alfred. Uhtred is an English boy, born into the aristocracy of ninth-century Northumbria. Orphaned at ten, he is captured and adopted by a Dane and taught the Viking ways. Yet Uhtred's fate is indissolubly bound up with Alfred, King of Wessex, who ...
The first book in a brand new series, The Last Kingdom is set in England during the reign of King Alfred. Uhtred is an English boy, born into the aristocracy of ninth-century Northumbria. Orphaned at ten, he is captured and adopted by a Dane and taught the Viking ways. Yet Uhtred's fate is indissolubly bound up with Alfred, King of Wessex, who rules over the only English kingdom to survive the Danish assault. The struggle between the English and the Danes and the strife between christianity and paganism is the background to Uhtred's growing up. He is left uncertain of his loyalties but a slaughter in a winter dawn propels him to the English side and he will become a man just as the Danes launch their fiercest attack yet on Alfred's kingdom. Marriage ties him further still to the West Saxon cause but when his wife and child vanish in the chaos of the Danish invasion, Uhtred is driven to face the greatest of the Viking chieftains in a battle beside the sea. There, in the horror of the shield-wall, he discovers his true allegiance. The Last Kingdom, like most of Bernard Cornwell's books, is firmly based on true history. It is the first novel of a series that will tell the tale of Alfred the Great and his descendants and of the enemies they faced, Viking warriors like Ivar the Boneless and his feared brother, Ubba. Against their lives Bernard Cornwell has woven a story of divided loyalties, reluctant love and desperate heroism. In Uhtred, he has created one of his most interesting and heroic characters and in The Last Kingdom one of his most powerful and passionate novels.
This was my first Bernard Cornwell book. I am now on number 3 in the Saxon series with 4 and 5 waiting for me. Adventure reading at its best. The time is 9th century England, a period I know little about which makes it all the better. I look forward to reading a lot more Cornwell.
Apr 10, 2009
Good book, but not quite as good as some of the Templer books I have read.
Mar 12, 2008
Historical Fiction at its best
I have read many of Bernard Cornwell's books and my DNA analysis indicated I am descended from the Danes and Vikings that attempted to subjugate the island of Britain, therefore I was taken by this book and as always found his books to be a real page turner with enough history in with the fiction to make the story very believable.
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