The Last Kingdom Audio CD – Audiobook, Oct 4 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Bestseller Cornwell leaps back a millennium from his Richard Sharpe series to tell of the consolidation of England in the late ninth century and the role played by a young (fictional) warrior-in-training who's at the center of the war between Christian Englishmen and the pagan Danes. (Most of the other principal characters—Ubba, Guthrum, Ivar the Boneless and the like—are real historical figures.) Young Uhtred, who's English, falls under the control of Viking über-warrior Ragnar the Fearless when the Dane wipes out Uhtred's Northumberland family. Cornwell liberally feeds readers history and nuggets of battle data and customs, with Uhtred's first-person wonderment spinning all into a colorful journey of (self-)discovery. In a series of episodes, Ragnar conquers three of England's four kingdoms. The juiciest segment has King Edmund of East Anglia rebuking the Viking pagans and demanding that they convert to Christianity if they intend to remain in England. After Edmund cites the example of St. Sebastian, the Danes oblige him by turning him into a latter-day Sebastian and sending him off to heaven. Uhtred's affection for Ragnar as a surrogate father grows, and he surpasses the conqueror's blood sons in valor. When father and adopted son arrive at the fourth and last kingdom, however, the Danes meet unexpected resistance and Uhtred faces personal and familial challenges, as well as a crisis of national allegiance. This is a solid adventure by a crackling good storyteller.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
An acknowledged master of rousing battlefield fiction as evidenced by his crackling Richard Sharpe series, Cornwell also deserves praise for his mesmerizing narrative finesse and his authentic historical detailing. Here he introduces a new multivolume saga set in medieval England prior to the unification of the four Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of Northumbria, East Anglia, Mercia, and Wessex. Weakened by civil war, Northumbria is invaded by the fearless Danes, and Uhtred, the rightful heir to the earldom of Bebbanburg, is captured by the enemy. Raised as a Viking warrior by Ragnar the Terrible, his beloved surrogate father, Uhtred is still torn by an innate desire to reclaim his birthright. Fighting as a Dane but realizing that his ultimate destiny lies along another path, he seizes the opportunity to serve Alfred, king of Wessex, after Ragnar is horribly betrayed and murdered by Kjartan, a fellow Dane. Ever watchful and ever practical, Uhtred awaits his chance to settle the blood feud with Kjartan and to seize Bebbanburg from his treacherous uncle. Leaving his hero suspended on the threshold of realizing his desires, Cornwell masterfully sets up his audience for the second volume in this irresistible epic adventure. Margaret Flanagan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Uhtred moves between the Christian world of Alfred the Great and the pagan world of the Danes. By belonging to neither world, and to both, Uhtred is perfectly placed to take the reader into the conflict for the last of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. The story is narrated by Uhtred in his old age and paints a quite different picture of King Alfred (the Great).
This is a struggle between different civilizations, cultures and values. Neither side has a monopoly on righteousness, or on evil. Be warned: if bloodthirsty battle makes you squeamish, this book may not be for you. For myself, I've found a new hero in Uhtred.
Read it, enjoy it - and then read the next in the series!
The Last Kingdom is the first volume of Cornwell's Anglo-Saxon series, which is set during the 9th-century. It focuses on the conquest of English kingdoms by the Danes and its opposition by Alfred the Great.
I have enjoyed this book immensely. Through its engrossing story, the reader learns a lot about the Danish and Anglo-Saxon societies of this period, especially on their respective religions, political motives, social hierarchic systems and the strengths and weaknesses of their warfare structures. It provides the perfect balance between entertainment and instructive material I am looking for in a historical fiction novel.
The story follows Uhtred, a young, disposessed lord of Northumbria as he seeks his revenge amidst the ever-changing landscape of Anglo-Saxon England. Lots of action, and lots of history, a must for readers of historical fiction.
This book is one of the better historical fiction novels I've read in recent times. I've been on a fantasy binge, but I decided to try something a little to the side of what I usually read (GRRM, Rothfuss, etc). This book was a great surprise! The narrator is a fascinating character and the first person POV is used extremely well in showing the contrast between the way the Danes and the English think. I look forward to reading the second novel in the series.
The Book pulled at my emotions from Sad to Love to revenge. Gritty raw combat the likes of you don't read much, maybe in the likes of Druss or the Death Dealer and RRMartin. There is special place for Pagans here also especially those that have been scorned by Christianity.
The Characters have real emotions and depth, you see into there Soul...Read it and Love it.
Last Kingdom has a great pace, a healthy amount of period-appropriate violence, historical insights, and clever dialog. The characters and the setting disrupt the traditional emotional responses of; hate the bad guy, love the good guy. Things aren't simple and black and white, and i found that engaging.
Most recent customer reviews
Quelle excellente série ! Dès les premières pages on est passionnés par l'histoire. Un livre qui nous fait voyager dans le temps ! Read morePublished 3 hours ago by Rachel Binet
Excellent book, very pleased, I sent it has a gift.
I'm very happy with Amazon purchases and hope to continue to be happy with Amazon in the future.
The foundation of the anti-hero is forged in this gripping tale of torn loyalties. A must read for the historical fiction lover. Loved every sentence paragraph and chapters. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Jackie Hunter
One of the few series I have actually read multiple times. You get so involved with the characters and can't put the book down. Read morePublished on Oct. 14 2013 by diomedesbc
I have to admit I do enjoy a good Cornwell adventure. I read for pleasure, and Cornwell delivers every time. Read morePublished on Aug. 22 2013 by Derek Armstrong
Very enjoyable read and easy to read as well. I am now continuing to read the complete series of the saga of Uhtred. Read morePublished on April 26 2013 by Patrick