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The Last Kingdom (The Saxon Chronicles Series #1) Paperback – January 3, 2006
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Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
King Alfred, (later known as "The Great") is portrayed as an over pious but clever King of Essex. While Alfred is not a well-liked King, he is an intelligent one and soon comes to bind Uhtred to his cause against the Danes.
The brutally descriptive battle scenes are exciting and repellant at the same time. Battles and wars are not described here as glorious and heroic circumstances but as what they really were, brutal, bloody, and often times fatal.
This title was an excellent read and I just couldn't put it down many times at night. I've read it until the wee hours of the morning. I believe this is the best BC title I have ever read to date, even though I haven't read any of the Sharpe's novels (that era and place settings are not of interest to me). I highly recommend this novel to anyone interested in early English (Saxon) history and/or Alfred the Great (and in the upcoming series, his descendants).
The year is 866 A.D. The island is not yet united and the Danes raid and conquer at will. Cornwell's device is Uhtred, the 10 year old son of a minor chieftain, who is taken by the Danes, raised in the Viking ways of war and accepted as a Viking warrior.
A priest becomes the medium through which the boy grows into a man and meets Alfred, the King who will take the first major steps in uniting England.
Cornwell's story is well plotted, his characters are delightfully rich and his history both interesting and fascinating. A wonderful read.
The book tells the tale of the Danish invasion of Britain in the ninth century through the eyes of Uhtred, a Northumbrian ealdorman who is orphaned at age ten and sees his patrimony stolen by an uncle. Raised by his Danish captors, he grows into an accomplished warrior while grappling with conflicting loyalties and religious convictions. Don't start this book if you have something else that needs to be done quickly, since you may find that you can't do anything until the last page is turned.
Well, there's mad old George III, who lost the Revolutionary War. That's one. And Henry VII, everyone remembers him. After that, there's King James, who we recall from his version of the Bible, and the one who gave up his crown to marry the American woman, and the one who got his head chopped off.
After them, and maybe Richard III from the Shakespeare play, the collective memory (at least on this side of the Atlantic) goes a bit dim.
But only one of those Kings of England who we really don't know or remember was named "the Great," and that was Alfred, who ruled from 871 to 900, back in the days when the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle was on the bestseller list, at least for people who could read. Bernard Cornwell thinks we should know more about Alfred and his times, which is why he has written THE LAST KINGDOM. That should be enough of a recommendation for anyone.
Cornwell is the author of the bestselling Richard Sharpe series, which follows the adventures of a hard-charging British soldier during the Peninsular Campaign. Although Sharpe is a great character by himself, one thing he serves to do is to illustrate the greatness of Lord Wellington --- the commander of the British forces in Spain, and Sharpe's own patron. Wellington (at least as portrayed by Cornwell) is far too stiff, aloof and unlikable to ever be the hero of his own tale, and Sharpe ably stands in.
The same trick is tried in THE LAST KINGDOM, with a twist. The first-person narrator here is Uhtred, who is the son of a minor lord of Northumbria. As a child, he is captured by a raiding pack of Danes that are "going Viking," or raiding the coast.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I read this after watching The Last Kingdom series on Netflix. Great story that is even better in writing than on screen.Published 13 hours ago by Amazon Customer
After watching the whole first season of this in one day I had to buy the books. The first book is even more detailed and action filled than the show which kept you wanting more. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Julie Foster
I started reading Cornwell back with Richard Sharpe. I have followed several of his shorter series as well. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Shane C. Pruyne
I love the books. I love the show. The costumes, hair, makeup, sets and acting are great. This show should really get more attention than it currently does. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Valerie