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The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell

The Last Kingdom (2004)

by Bernard Cornwell

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,323752,716 (3.96)88
  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 (68)  Spanish (2)  French (2)  Danish (1)  Swedish (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (75)
Showing 1-5 of 68 (next | show all)
I received this book from Goodreads first-reads, thank you!

The cover edition is dedicated to the TV series which I haven't seen yet, but it does work and the story seems more personal for me. This is my first book read by the author and I am glad that I like the story so much to give fully 5 stars.

The plot is surprising with it turns and story plotline, the set is between Danish and English, aka viking time. For me it is not the very first story to be read about Vikings, but more from Scandinavian -Norwegian /Swedish aspect in history and history-fiction. The book is about a boy who nearly gets killed at the point where he has seen his father go into the battle and die, taking the sword and attacking the enemy by himself...only to face the sword given by his dad is not a real sword to fight...Luckily the destiny plays a role and the opponent doesn't kills him, instead takes him with and from then on... The little boy is about to discover what means to have a dad in nowadays interpretation, someone who shows example of caring dad, keeping family traditions and teaching him how to live within their customs, testing but awarding...Its up to a boy to grow up and take sides, up to a man to follow his heart and home and take decisions. ( )
  ilonita50 | Nov 8, 2015 |
Great romping, stomping readable historical fiction at its best.
Powerful storytelling, plenty of detail, whether correctly researched or imagined from the available evidence, and a well realised central character make this easy and fun reading. To paraphrase:
‘A skald?’ ‘A scop, you would call me. A poet, a weaver of dreams, a man who makes glory from nothing and dazzles you with its making. And my job now is to tell this day’s tale in such a way that men will never forget our great deeds.’
Great deeds indeed. ( )
  CarltonC | Oct 16, 2015 |
Excelente romance histórico sobre o início da construção da actual Inglaterra e dos ataques sofridos no século X às mãos dos Dinamarqueses e da sua ferocidade pagã. O autor adiciona aos factos históricos uma personagem fascinante de um saxão raptado por um chefe Dinamarquês Ragnar e educado nos modos deles que depois se revela guerreiro importante para ser usado pelo futuro Rei Alfredo o Grande nas batalhas decisivas contra os Dinamarqueses. Foi uma experiência verdadeiramente entusiástica no romance histórico de alta qualidade. ( )
  bruc79 | Jul 31, 2015 |
Lot's of action, however the story is told in first person and that limits the development of the other characters. It is a page turner and I pushed to the ending. ( )
  arning | Jul 27, 2015 |
I’ve heard much good about Bernard Cornwell’s historical fiction, but I’ll have to say that I was a bit disappointed with this book. Although I find the history and the details interesting, the story is about as dry as dust. The characters are so poorly developed that I don't care about any them. Uhtred, aside from achieving heroic status while he was yet a teenager, is most impressed by whoever he’s standing next to. He goes whichever way the wind blows him—and who does he worship and adore? The man who slaughtered his family.

The priests are all milksops and weasels.

King Alfred the Great (who the author took care to reduce from a status of inherent nobility to one of sinful degradation) acted whiney and arrogant in the meetings Uhtred had with him, but seemed fairly intelligent at a distance.

The women in Uhtred’s life get scant mention, which makes it unconvincing when he puts on his battle gear to go rescue one of them. He has no principles to support his action. In fact, his entire purpose for existence seems to be centered on hacking people to death.

There is plenty of action, almost entirely centered around gory battles, and lots of description about the countryside. The conflict—Danes taking over England—takes the center stage. Minor conflicts, such as that of King Egbert in Wessex, exist only to showcase the might of the Danes, and don’t carry much emotional weight either way. Uhtred’s personal conflict, which might be his inability to make his own decisions, gains some ground in the final chapters, but doesn’t offer much satisfaction. Granted, this is the first book in a series and one can hope that the reader will eventually be brought to care one way or the other...

After an uninspiring beginning, the writing style was good enough to keep me turning the pages (if you don’t mind run-on sentences), but when I had to put the book down it was some time before I picked it up again. Idle curiosity prompted me to discover how it ended—which was exactly how it began: uninspiring.
( )
  RobinLythgoe | Jul 6, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 68 (next | show all)
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The Last Kingdom is for Judy, with love. Wyrd bið ful āræd.
First words
My name is Uhtred.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

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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