Stephanie Dray's Reviews > The Last Kingdom

The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell
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's review
Oct 12, 2011

bookshelves: books-set-in-medieval-times, historical-fiction
Read from October 11 to 12, 2011

I should have loved this book. It's extremely well-written, insanely well-researched, and set in a time period I knew nothing about, therefore, had no pre-conceived notions or expectations. In spite of this, I had to force myself to finish it and will not continue with the series. I'm not sure what the problem was. Our hero is some kind of sociopath, but those who know my tastes in fiction know that this is no impediment to my enjoying a book. In fact, I often like a book more if it stars some kind of horrible and compelling protagonist. Uhtred is neither horrible nor compelling. He's not introspective about the challenges and changes in his life--he kind of just goes with the flow of blood. He's far more interested in the (constant) battles than he is in his relationships with just about anyone. And since I don't care at all about battles, I didn't care about almost anything that happened in this book. My attention did perk up every time he interacted with his King, the man who would keep England England. I wanted to know more about that--but we never even got close. This felt, to me, like it was skimming over the surface of a great story but never dipped below the surface. I'm pretty sure that I'm just not the target audience for this book, which seems to have been aimed squarely at men. Which is sad, because this is my first Bernard Cornwell book and I wanted to love it very badly. I'll have to try something else of his.
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Reading Progress

10/11/2011 page 100
27.0% "Brilliantly written so why am I not loving this more?"

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Michael I agree on the surface...Uhtred grows up a lot. You should give the rest of the series a chance.

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