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The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell

The Last Kingdom (2004)

by Bernard Cornwell

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,556892,355 (3.96)96
  1. 30
    The Winter King by Bernard Cornwell (Donogh)
    Donogh: As you rooted for the British against the Saxons in Cornwell's 'The Winter King', so shall you root for the Saxons agains the Danes in Cornwell's 'The Last Kingdom'
  2. 20
    Eaters of the Dead by Michael Crichton (mcenroeucsb)
  3. 00
    The Outlaw Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick (caimanjosh)
    caimanjosh: Elizabeth Chadwick strikes me as providing the female perspective on medieval England, while Bernard Cornwell provides a decidedly masculine perspective. Both authors succeed in writing highly entertaining historical fiction with a strong sense of the time period. If you like one, it's definitely worth trying the other.… (more)

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English (81)  Spanish (2)  French (2)  Danish (1)  Finnish (1)  Swedish (1)  Czech (1)  All languages (89)
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Awesome! ( )
  fbswss | Jul 13, 2016 |
Great historical narrative at a crucial point in English history, the struggle between Saxon and Dane, Christianity and pagan in the 9th century.
  cryptext | Jun 18, 2016 |
I had this book on my TBR for several months but only got to it after watching the first season of the TV series on BBC. The book is a detailed account of the battle for England in the late 800s between the Danes (Vikings, Norsemen, etc) and King Albert. The story follows Uhtred Ragnarson a Saxon who was captured by the Danes when he was 10 and raised as a son by Ragnar. Uhtred struggles with his upbringing as a Dane and love for Ragnar and the love of his ancestral home Brabbenburg in Northumbria.

Note for those interested in both the TV series and the book - The first season of the TV series extends beyond Book 1. ( )
  bhabeck | Jun 5, 2016 |
Engaging and well-researched fictional account of an English boy taken prisoner by the Danish Vikings and raised in their ranks. Uhtred, a young earl and hungry for adventure and glory, loves his new life with his Viking kidnappers. But destiny has other plans for Uhtred, and eventually he finds himself fighting for the English under King Alfred. "The Last Kingdom" references the fact that Alfred is king of Wessex, the last kingdom in England to hold against the Viking invaders. The book is the first in a series, and introduces the characters and landscape on the brink of a turning point in English history.

My issue with Bernard Cornwell books is that they relegate women to background roles, usually with little agency and few spoken lines. It's Cornwell's perogative to not have female narrators or main characters (maybe some of his books do, but not the ones I've read), but he just seems clueless as to women's roles and contributions in the different periods of history in which he writes. The character of Brida in this book was the exception to the rule, but even her character seemed two dimensional and that what was supposed to be good about her was that she acted like a man. Women are either whores or victims of rape, and the casual way he describes violence against them is disturbing. Yes, I know it was a "different time" back then, but don't tell me that rape was any less awful, or people experienced it differently. ( )
  Tess_Elizabeth | May 12, 2016 |
Honestly the whole Viking thing has never really interested me; horned helmets, nude berserkers, raping, pillaging etc, but having read Cornwell before and needing a historical fiction fix, I decided to take the plunge with The Last Kingdom, and it was amazing. Pure enjoyment!

Uhtred son of Uhtred, has this glorious, inclusive first person narration of his past, always drawing you into his story with little comments and ruminations about his thoughts and feelings on the happenings within the storyline. It was like sitting beside the hearth with an old friend, ale in hand, as he tells the story of his youth. I was so at ease with his gruff warriors voice, compelled to listen. I haven't been this captivated with a first person natrative in a very long time.

It was definitely filled with raping and pillaging, you can't get away from the history, but the reader is let into the Northman's world to see they aren't just brutal killers, they are human. They are husbands, fathers, likeable, funny and incredibly emotional.. And they never wore horned helmets! Praise Odin..

Sometimes, you just need to settle down to a good, well told yarn. You don't need to speculate or do mental gymnastics to try and piece the story together, it's just beautifully written, well thought out and the plot line is captivating enough to keep you on the edge of your seat. And hey, there's no need to worry too much about the future of the world, because you already know what happens!

I can't wait to settle back down with Uhtred, and listen to more of his Saxon's tale.. This review was originally posted on Book Frivolity ( )
  BookFrivolity | Apr 23, 2016 |
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The Last Kingdom is for Judy, with love. Wyrd bið ful āræd.
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My name is Uhtred.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
In the middle years of the ninth century, the fierce Danes stormed onto British soil, hungry for spoils and conquest. Kingdom after kingdom fell to the ruthless invaders until only one realm remained. Suddenly the fate of all England--and the course of history--depended upon one man, one king.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060887184, Paperback)

In the middle years of the ninth-century, the fierce Danes stormed onto British soil, hungry for spoils and conquest. Kingdom after kingdom fell to the ruthless invaders until but one realm remained. And suddenly the fate of all England—and the course of history—depended upon one man, one king.

From New York Times bestselling storyteller Bernard Cornwell comes a rousing epic adventure of courage, treachery, duty, devotion, majesty, love, and battle as seen through the eyes of a young warrior who straddled two worlds.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:01:07 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

In the middle years of the ninth century, the fierce Danes stormed onto British soil, hungry for spoils and conquest. Kingdom after kingdom fell to the ruthless invaders until only one realm remained. Suddenly the fate of all England--and the course of history--depended upon one man, one king.… (more)

» see all 9 descriptions

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