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Summary

The Last Kingdom is set in the England of the ninth and tenth centuries. These were the years when the Danish Vikings had invaded and occupied three of England's four kingdoms, and when King Alfred, his son, and grandson, fought back and won the freedom of the country again.

The story is seen through the eyes of Uhtred, a dispossessed English nobleman. Captured as a child and raised by the Danes, he now finds his allegiances divided. But the one thing he knows is that he wants to recover his father's land, the fort by the wild northern sea that we now know as Bamburgh.

Bernard Cornwell is a master of historical fiction and this new series, looking with a fresh light at Alfred the Great, his kingdom, and his legacy, will be as outstanding and as popular as the Grail Quest and the Warlord Chronicles.

Click here to see all the titles in our Bernard Cornwell collection.
©2004 Bernard Cornwell (P)2004 HarperCollins UK

Critic reviews

"Cornwell is a virtuoso of historical fiction." ( Sunday Telegraph)
"Cornwell's narration is quite masterly and supremely well-researched." ( Observer)
"Bernard Cornwell is a literary miracle. Year after year, hail, rain, snow, war, and political upheavals fail to prevent him from producing the most entertaining and readable historical novels of his generation." ( Daily Mail)

What listeners say about The Last Kingdom

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

If only I'd realised.

A great listen but missing a bit of je ne sais pas. Then I looked carefully - this was an abridged version with no full length ones available. In fact the series appears to have some in the abridged and some in the unabridged. Audible you have missed a trick.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

The Last Kingdom

Incredibly well-researched as usual, Bernard has drawn upon Saga material, Norse alliterative poetry, Alfredian Prose and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles to conjure up a credible early medieval world of personal relationships, differing social and cultural values, the conflicts created by the Danes' need for new land, and the clash of religions - the new and already dogma-bound christianity versus the highly personalised and individual beliefs of the pagan world of the Norse. A cracking good tale with superb authentic background detail from this master storyteller. As they say, 'vitud er enn, eda hvat?'

6 people found this helpful

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Brilliant and brutal!

I really enjoyed The Last Kingdom. The description of the battle scenes and the pace at which the narrator tells the story really built the excitement, tension amd brutality of battle. I like stories about Vikings and Odinn and was trying to place the ancient town and city names in present day England as I listened. I am keen to get started on the second book. I think this has been made into a Netflix show which I havent gotten around to watching yet but hope to soon.

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Fantastic adventure!

A truly great start to a magnificent saga. I look forward to the rest of the adventures.

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Engaging and breath taking

Brilliant. Great story and well read. I absolutely loved every minute of this audio book.

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Brilliant

Really love the book very well Narrated, I am looking forward to the next book.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Simply the best!

I have read all the Sharpe books and thought they couldn't be beaten but I adore the Saxon chronicles. Both Sharpe and Utred share the same gritty, lack of respect for authority, impulsive stupidity and the love of a good fight! This is the first of the series explaining the origins of Utred, his upbringing by the Danes and his contact with Alfred the Great. As with all this series, the story twists and turns until you are sure he is done for, but ultimately Utred wins through with fair measures of luck, skill and violence. (Hope I haven't ruined the plot for you!)

While events do seem to be largely based on historical fact, there is also a fair bit of artist's licence in the detail.

I heartily recommend the whole series. I don't know how many times I have listened to them. I can''t wait until the next and probably the final book in the series, Pagan Lord.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

One of the best books I have read.

I have to say the Bernard has done it again, this is a stunning book. He just keeps on producing thes books that take into another world. Keep them comming.

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Profile Image for kmagar
  • kmagar
  • 16-03-12

Parts missing

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This is an interesting novel but there are parts missing, and almost an entire chapter at the end. It probably does not make much difference for the story but it makes one wonder how much more is missing.