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The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell
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The Last Kingdom (2004)

by Bernard Cornwell

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2,121603,090 (3.96)65
  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)
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Showing 1-5 of 54 (next | show all)
I wanted to say that I didn't like this book. Really, I did want to say that. But I can't. Yet, at the same time, I can't say I loved the book. It gave me so many mixed feelings that I ended up giving it four stars when I originally wanted to give it three stars.

I wish I could say the overall story was boring and nothing interesting seemed to happen, but I can't. At first you even think that the story never goes forward and all you read is what's going on with the world. It's a world in war and a boy is telling you what he sees and boy, that is annoying. But then one completely unexpected event happens. And the another. And another. And another. And another. That's when you realize that you're halfway through the book and you're... actually enjoying what's going on. Boy, you'll soon notice that you're actually curious to know what's about to happen, even if the story seems to get stuck in the description of the scenarios.

Next, I wanted to say that the characters are plain and not well developed. But then, I started to like the briefness and subtlety of their actions and words. They're not ones to talk too much, but they're actually very easy to like. They are somewhat predictable, yet there is "something" in them that makes you like them, be it Ragnar's fatherly words or Brida's wise-ass replies. After a while, even Uhtred's naïvety started to look kinda charming.

This is a confusing book. So hard and, at the same time, so easy to like. Maybe not something I look forward to re-read, but definitely something that gave me a hell of a good time while it lasted. ( )
  aryadeschain | Aug 26, 2014 |
A rollicking tale and satisfying read. Solid Cornwell. I'm looking forward to the sequels. ( )
  MarysGirl | Aug 22, 2014 |
I like this story better than the Sharpe series, and it's almost as good as his pleasant Stonehenge novel. The dispossessed Northumbrian, created, I'm sure with Sean Bean in mind, roaming the desolate landscape of England when Wessex was the last holdout against the Danes, is a fine vessel for Cornwell's ideas. It is a fine adventure novel.
It was copyright in 2005. ( )
  DinadansFriend | May 28, 2014 |
This is the second time I have read The Last Kingdom and I still find it to be a great book. I think Bernard Cornwell is one of the best writers of historical novels with adventures added into the mix writing today. ( )
  Philip100 | Dec 10, 2013 |
The story opens in 866 and continues through to 877. Uhtred, the main character, is captured by a Danish invader called Ragnar. Ragnar is impressed by Uhtred's bravery, as Ragnar was a great warrior, whereas Uhtred was a ten-year-old boy who took him on in battle. Thus the English boy is raised by a Dane. He grows to love Ragnar as a father and he is in turn loved as a son.

As Uhtred grows up he learns the Danish ways and Danish language whilst remaining on occupied English soil. But as he nears manhood his natural affection for his own country becomes more prominent. He ends up torn between fighting for the Danes and fighting for the English. He appears confused as to what and who he actually is, stating at one point that he feels loyal to the last person he converses with.

This was my first sample of a Bernard Cornwell novel and I must admit I'm impressed with his writing style. He has done a great amount of research for this tome. He includes a note at the end detailing which characters were real and which events actually took place. This is the first in a series of novels and I will definitely read book two. ( )
  PhilSyphe | Dec 8, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 54 (next | show all)
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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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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:20:23 -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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