The Last Kingdom

The Last Kingdom

A Novel

Large Print - 2005 | 1st ed
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The first installment of Bernard Cornwell's bestselling series chronicling the epic saga of the making of England, "like Game of Thrones, but real" (The Observer, London)--the basis for The Last Kingdom, the hit BBC America television series.

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 the Great, 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 is finally forced to choose sides. 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 enchanting 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.

Publisher: New York : HarperCollins Publishers, c2005
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780060530518
0060530510
Branch Call Number: x Large Print Coll
Characteristics: 333 p. : map ; 24 cm

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baniyabishan
Jul 07, 2017

This is, by far the best historical fiction series ever! The Saxon Chronicles is masterfully crafted by a wonderful and gifted storyteller, Bernard Cornwell. A must read!

ChristchurchLib Jun 23, 2016

When Danish raiders kill his family, ten-year-old Uhtred becomes the captive, and later the adopted son, of Viking warlord Ragnar, who has conquered three out of the four existing Anglo-Saxon kingdoms (including Uhtred's home of Northumbria). Yet despite his admiration and affection for Ragnar, Uhtred longs to reclaim his rightful lands and title as the Earl of Bebbanburg. His conflicting loyalties come to the fore when he encounters Alfred of Wessex, the future King Alfred the Great. Set in ninth-century England, The Last Kingdom is the 1st book in Bernard Cornwell's Saxon tales series, which continues with The Pale Horseman.

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jaybird443
May 31, 2016

This is a very entertaining historical fiction novel. I watched the BBC series on netflix which was really well done. I'm looking forward to reading the next book!

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SilvanafromChester
May 16, 2016

I'm waiting to read The Last Kingdom and feel sure that it will be a superlative read as all of Cornwell's books have been for me so far. His grittiness and reality are quite amazing. I put him and Jack Whyte (Dream of Eagles saga) on the same level. Both writers of epic historical tales. If only I`d been taught history in this manner. Oh and I LOVE that much of his pre-medieval story lines mention my home town in England.. I can picture the places that he describes...MESMERISING..

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cguy64
Feb 15, 2016

I listened to the audiobook version over a decade ago, but want to say that it is far superior to the recent BBC TV adaption. Uhtred's thoughts, missing in the BBC version, are priceless. I also highly recommend listening to the audio version of the series as the readers add texture and bring the lead character, accurately described below as a delightful curmudgeon, to life. After reading the author's bio on his website, I realized there is a lot of Cornwell in Uhtred. Saxon tales is terrific series about a time that not many authors write about.

t
tjdickey
Jan 20, 2016

A reviewer for a later book in the series calls this good reading for those who "find contentment ... in clanking swords and battlefield carnage." Couldn't agree more, and the main character is a delightful curmudgeon...

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IV27HUjg
Sep 28, 2014

Interesting comments. What I find of his books is the research he's put into each. It's not just crude, rude, foul for the sake or lack of better language. It was a brutal time according to all historical records. The Saxon series depict 9/10 C Britain invasions & I felt best read in order. As pointed out by most historians, history is written by the victors & passed down (inaccurately) to the glory of the victor. I have not liked the 2013 Pagan Lord as a rehash of previous books. 2014 The Empty Throne is yet to hit the shelves. Apparently one either loves or hates the series. Visiting Bamburgh area I'm glad to have read about it first - awesome.

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gregp52
Dec 21, 2013

This was my first Cornwell book and thank God, he'd already written four more in the series when I discovered it. Devoured them all in rapid succession and can say without doubt this is my all time favorite historical fiction series. Fantastic characters, historical accuracy, and the flat-out best battle scenes I've ever encountered. Cornwell puts you right in the middle of that shield wall and it's not pretty, but utterly compelling. Yes, it's realistically gory, sexually graphic, this is hard R-rated stuff. If you don't like that sort of thing, don't come knocking on this door. Uhtred rules!

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Cindis
Oct 20, 2013

The life and times of everyone in the 9th century was crude and rough living. The fact that Cornwell has written a book about those times to match the era is a credit to him and I don't think he deserves the "sadist" label "soblessed59" has credited him with. Realistic, interesting true to the life and times of the people and their situations "yes" to all of that but sadistic? I think not. I have to agree with "bunzer" if it was so offensive to your senses 'soblessed59' why did it take you 3/4's of the book to decide to stop reading it.
Cornwell is a credit to his art and I've ready almost all of the Sharpe fictional history stories he's written and am starting on the others. I'd recommend his reading to anyone. The squeamish should stick with books that stimulate their intellect and leave out any of the actual details of the way people were really treated and/or punished in the early years. Dan Brown wrote one book that I know of and it was good but Bernard Cornwell has written a library of good some bordering on excellent books that would fill a small library. I don't think there is any comparison between the two and I'm not sure how Mel Gibson came into the discussion!

bunzer Jul 16, 2013

It always amuses me when someone has to force himself to read a book almost to its very end before deciding that it is so offensive that he simply can't go on.

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