The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell
(The Saxon Chronicles)

78%

9 Critic Reviews

No one delves into history and comes back with a humdinger of an action-packed and fact-filled story as he does.
-Blog Critics

Synopsis

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.

 

About Bernard Cornwell

See more books from this Author
Bernard Cornwell, “the reigning king of historical fiction” (USA Today), is the author of the acclaimed New York Times bestseller Agincourt; the bestselling Saxon Tales, which include The Last Kingdom, The Pale Horseman, Lords of the North, Sword Song, and, most recently, The Burning Land; and the Richard Sharpe novels, among many others. He lives with his wife on Cape Cod.
 
Published March 17, 2009 by HarperCollins e-books. 384 pages
Genres: History, War, Literature & Fiction, Business & Economics, Action & Adventure. Fiction
Bestseller Status:
icon29
Peak Rank on Mar 25 2012
icon1
Weeks as Bestseller
Bookmark Counts:
1
Want to Read
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for The Last Kingdom
All: 9 | Positive: 7 | Negative: 2

Kirkus

Excellent

Cornwell’s no-fail mix of historic tidbits and good-humored action makes the usually gloomy ninth century sound like a hell of a lot of fun.

Read Full Review of The Last Kingdom (The Saxon C... | See more reviews from Kirkus

Guardian

Below average
on Oct 16 2004

It is difficult not to view this as portentous...The Last Kingdom will represent a renewed role as national icon - or just the last gasp.

Read Full Review of The Last Kingdom (The Saxon C... | See more reviews from Guardian

Blog Critics

Excellent
on Feb 16 2008

No one delves into history and comes back with a humdinger of an action-packed and fact-filled story as he does.

Read Full Review of The Last Kingdom (The Saxon C... | See more reviews from Blog Critics

Book Reporter

Good
on Dec 30 2010

...none of this explains the appeal of THE LAST KINGDOM so much as these three words, which are all you need to know about the book. Vikings are cool.

Read Full Review of The Last Kingdom (The Saxon C...

Entertainment Weekly

Good
on Jan 24 2005

...after this dip into the Dark Ages, we want to go back.

Read Full Review of The Last Kingdom (The Saxon C...

Boston.com

Good
on Feb 01 2005

In historic period and emotional complexity, this is arguably a more broadly imagined world than Bernard Cornwell has offered in his 36 previous novels.

Read Full Review of The Last Kingdom (The Saxon C...

Nights and Weekends

Good

I recommend this book to anybody who’s looking for a good adventure story.

Read Full Review of The Last Kingdom (The Saxon C...

Large Print Reviews

Excellent
on Apr 04 2005

The Last Kingdom provides a fascinating glimpse into this tumultuous period of English history. I've long been a fan of Cornwell's Sharpe Novels, and I was not disappointed in this ninth-century offering!

Read Full Review of The Last Kingdom (The Saxon C...

Reviewing the Evidence

Below average

As much as I enjoy reading historical crime fiction, I had a lot of difficulty with THE LAST KINGDOM, as it did not fully engage my attention.

Read Full Review of The Last Kingdom (The Saxon C...

Reader Rating for The Last Kingdom
87%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 1196 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review

Reader reviews & activity

User Review

Pete Herner 23 Jun 2013

Rated the book as 1.5 out of 5

Deborah Anne Atwood

Deborah Anne Atwood 3 Dec 2015

Added the book to want to read list

×