Goodreads: The Last Kingdom (The Saxon Stories #1)
Author: Bernard Cornwell
Published: 27th May 2010 (HarperCollins)
Rating: 4/5 (Really liked it)
Official Summary: “The first book in Bernard Cornwell’s epic and bestselling series on the making of England and the fate of his great hero, Uhtred of Bebbanburg.
BBC2’s major Autumn 2015 TV show THE LAST KINGDOM is based on the first two books in the series.
Uhtred is an English boy, born into the aristocracy of ninth-century Northumbria. Orphaned at ten, he is captured and adopted by a Dane and taught the Viking ways. Yet Uhtred’s fate is indissolubly bound up with Alfred, King of Wessex, who rules over the only English kingdom to survive the Danish assault.
The struggle between the English and the Danes and the strife between christianity and paganism is the background to Uhtred’s growing up. He is left uncertain of his loyalties but a slaughter in a winter dawn propels him to the English side and he will become a man just as the Danes launch their fiercest attack yet on Alfred’s kingdom. Marriage ties him further still to the West Saxon cause but when his wife and child vanish in the chaos of the Danish invasion, Uhtred is driven to face the greatest of the Viking chieftains in a battle beside the sea. There, in the horror of the shield-wall, he discovers his true allegiance.” – Goodreads
Review: I wasn’t a huge fan of the tv series, I watched about two episodes then just got bored. Well, I am glad I gave the book ago. Really liked it, how it was done like a journal. You could feel the vibes of an older man sitting in front of a fire, telling you his history. Then at the same time, you feel like you inside his memories, experiencing the same thing he experienced.
It was also really nice to see how his story all began, from near enough the start. The Author knew he was going to make a series so he wasn’t afraid to put a lot of history and backstory to fully fill out the story. The fact that is based on true history is really remarkable.
Excellent review. I too am a fan of the book series and also recommend it over the video series. That was definitely not a time for the faint of heart as the books take the reader through the significant events that shaped England and ultimately the rise of England as a global power.
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I wonder that you gave it only 4 out of 5 stars. It was actually as a result of having read the books that I gave the series a go. You should give it another chance, because despite the slow start, the BBC series gets better as it goes along. Unfortunately, for me, being a major fan of the book series, it makes it difficult for me to forgive the shortcomings on the show.
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I’ve got a few of these books & I’ll be reading the series once I’ve got through the Outlander books; good to know it’ll be worth the wait!! ✨
This is a book that is always getting positive reviews. Glad you liked it better than the TV series.