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The Last Kingdom (2005)

by Bernard Cornwell

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Saxon Chronicles (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,7471502,329 (4)160
This is the exciting - yet little known - story of the making of England in the 9th and 10th centuries, the years in which King Alfred, his son and grandson defeated the Danish Vikings who had invaded and occupied three of England's four kingdoms. The story is seen through the eyes of Uhtred, a dispossessed nobleman, who is captured as a child by the Danes and then raised by them so that, by the time the Northmen begin their assault on Wessex, Alfred's kingdom and the last territory in English hands, Uhtred almost thinks of himself as a Dane. He certainly has no love for Alfred, whom he considers a pious weakling and no match for Viking savagery, yet when Alfred unexpectedly defeats the Danes and the Danes themselves turn on Uhtred, he has to decide which side he is on. By now he is a young man, in love, trained to fight and ready to take his place in the dreaded shield wall. Above all, though, he wishes to recover his father's land, the magical fort of Bebbanburg by the wild northern sea. This thrilling adventure - based on existing records of Bernard Cornwell's ancestors, depicts a time when law and order were ripped violently apart by a pagan assault on Christian England, an assault that came very close to destroying England altogether.… (more)
Recently added byGBCS_Lib, Rini55, ashergabbay, TamoP
  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. 30
    Eaters of the Dead by Michael Crichton (mcenroeucsb)
  3. 00
    Lords of the White Castle 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)
  4. 00
    The King of Athelney by Alfred Duggan (themulhern)
    themulhern: King Alfred books. But Duggan's is the drier, for sure.
  5. 00
    Killer of Men by Christian Cameron (al.vick)
    al.vick: Very different historical period and place, but very similar story type and story telling style
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» See also 160 mentions

English (138)  Spanish (3)  Czech (2)  French (2)  German (1)  Swedish (1)  Finnish (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (149)
Showing 1-5 of 138 (next | show all)
Honestly..... I fell in love with the story and how one person's destiny was portrayed. I COULDN'T stop listening to the book. I did do audiobook and I wasn't disappointed. Great voice acting and as I said great story. ( )
  jdesjardins | Oct 9, 2023 |
Good start. Bernard Cornwell is always reliable as a storyteller. ( )
  infjsarah | Sep 28, 2023 |
I loved this book. I had watched the TV series, so I was familiar with the characters and setting already. I really enjoyed spending more time with these characters and am looking forward to spending time with some characters that have yet to be introduced.

The writing is very straightforward, almost history bookish, which I like. The first half of the book is a little slow going since Uhtred is still a child. There is a lot of telling, not showing but that changes when Uhtred becomes old enough to participate in the things happening around him.

It was super fun guessing the modern placenames from the old timey spelling. Some were easier than others. Lundene->London versus Eoferwic->York.

This was an all-around good time and while I'm sad that the show has ended, I'm glad that I now have the books. ( )
  LynnMPK | Aug 27, 2023 |
Deeply evocative & granular fictionalisation of Viking-age Britain, with remarkably first-rate style & prose. Clear liberties with actual history, but Cornwell has always been vocally upfront about that &, more essential, these liberties are somewhat fewer - or certainly less damaging - than one might fear for the spectacular immersive quality of the story. Overall, far better & more instructive than expected, a pleasant surprise.

*Audio note* One of my rare audiobook reads; I was in great luck with the voice actor - Jonathan Keeble - who was sensational. ( )
  SkjaldOfBorea | Jul 30, 2023 |
IMO the show is WAY better. The book isn’t bad, it’s just written more like an overview than a novel. I would have liked a lot more dialogue and character development. That may come in later books in the series, but I’m fine not reading any more and just watching the show again. Cornwell did manage to create a fantastic basis for an amazing show, and for that I applaud him. ( )
  veewren | Jul 12, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 138 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Cornwell, Bernardprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cerutti Pini, DonatellaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gibbons, LeeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Glover, JamieNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Keeble, JonathanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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People/Characters
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Epigraph
Dedication
The Last Kingdom
is for Judy, with love

Wyrd bið ful āræd
First words
My name is Uhtred. I am the son of Uhtred, who was the son of Uhtred and his father was also called Uhtred.
Quotations
Destiny is everything.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
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Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

This is the exciting - yet little known - story of the making of England in the 9th and 10th centuries, the years in which King Alfred, his son and grandson defeated the Danish Vikings who had invaded and occupied three of England's four kingdoms. The story is seen through the eyes of Uhtred, a dispossessed nobleman, who is captured as a child by the Danes and then raised by them so that, by the time the Northmen begin their assault on Wessex, Alfred's kingdom and the last territory in English hands, Uhtred almost thinks of himself as a Dane. He certainly has no love for Alfred, whom he considers a pious weakling and no match for Viking savagery, yet when Alfred unexpectedly defeats the Danes and the Danes themselves turn on Uhtred, he has to decide which side he is on. By now he is a young man, in love, trained to fight and ready to take his place in the dreaded shield wall. Above all, though, he wishes to recover his father's land, the magical fort of Bebbanburg by the wild northern sea. This thrilling adventure - based on existing records of Bernard Cornwell's ancestors, depicts a time when law and order were ripped violently apart by a pagan assault on Christian England, an assault that came very close to destroying England altogether.

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