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Death of Kings

(The Last Kingdom #6)

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  21,612 ratings  ·  972 reviews
The master of historical fiction presents the iconic story of King Alfred and the making of a nation. As the ninth century wanes, England appears about to be plunged into chaos once more.

For the Viking-raised but Saxon-born warrior, Uhtred, whose life seems to shadow the making of England, this presents him with difficult choices. King Alfred is dying and his passing thre
Hardcover, 335 pages
Published September 29th 2011 by HarperCollins Publishers
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Sunnerhi It is historical fiction. It is set at the turn of the 10th century C.E. It transports the reader back in time, but the characters stay put. It is not…moreIt is historical fiction. It is set at the turn of the 10th century C.E. It transports the reader back in time, but the characters stay put. It is not a ginormous book--just over 200 pages (ebook form). (less)

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Average rating 4.31  · 
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Jeffrey Keeten
Dec 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
”Alfred looked dead already. Indeed, I might have thought him a corpse if he had not pulled his hand away from Osferth, who was in tears. The king’s long face was pale as fleece, with sunken eyes, sunken cheeks, and dark shadows. His hair had thinned and gone white. His gums had pulled back from his remaining teeth, his unshaven chin was stained with spittle, while the hand on the book was mere skin-covered bones on which a great ruby shone, the ring too big now for his skeletal finger. His brea ...more
Sean Barrs
Sep 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This series gets better with age. Over the years Uhtred has fought in countless battles and he has slain a countless number of people. He has led warriors, and even armies, all in the name of Alfred the Great, and now Alfred is dying; he is old, sick and full of bitter regret. On his death bed he tries one more time to unify England under the banner of Wessex, and, as ever, Uthred must lead this final unrewarding attempt.

But, is it too late?

Indeed, despite this last ditch attempt, Alfred’s en
Check out my review for this fantastic book on Grimdark Magazine at: Grimdark Magazine

Death of Kings, the continuation of Uhtred of Bebbanburg’s tale is another roaring and shield-wall frenzied addition to The Saxon Chronicles. Writing that is as sharp as Wasp-Sting, dialogue that makes even the sternest of nun’s laugh, Uhtred’s band will leave you itching to read more.

“There are seasons of our lives when nothing seems to be happening, when no smoke betrays a burned town or homestead and few tea
Jason Koivu
Feb 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
These books make me wanna go !!!

In an England ravaged by Danes, as marvelously and meticulously laid out by Bernard Cornwell in his The Last Kingdom series, an English lord with Danish roots finds himself often at odds with which side to side with.

Here in book six Death of Kings, the English king who's ruled since the beginning of the series finally kicks the bucket and now the new kid gets to sit in the big boy chair...and the new kid is shitting his br
May 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone keen on blood and gore but able to cross their legs
Recommended to Mark by: W H Smith
A few days ago I was sent the following joke.

'A girl, no better than she should be, goes to the local council to gain some help. She has ten sons and when asked their names she says
"Nathan, Nathan, Nathan, Nathan etc ". The official asks her 'Isn't that a bit confusing ?'. 'No', she says 'It makes my life so much easier. I just go out into the street and say 'Nathan, time for bed' or 'Nathan, time for supper' and in they come. Simple as that'.

'But what happens if you want to speak to one individ
Feb 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Man, how do i love Uthred: he is in an interesting age right now , most of the famous warriors"if not all of them|" are already dead at this period of time and he has become a legend feared and envied by all and a target for all the young warriors seeking fame , gold and glory , but Uthred's experience shows itself : knowing when to slaughter and when to hold back, when to be bold and when to be cautious helps him in this fantastic novel...
Jan 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
I thought I had run out of steam with Uthred and King Alfred and their wars against the Danes in 9th century England. But the BBC America mini-series production of “The Last Kingdom” was so tasty and fabulous, I got hungry for Cornwell’s writing again. So glad I did. This one was so satisfying, up there with the thrills of the first one of the series.

Uhtred, who was born into Saxon nobility in Northumberland but kidnapped and raised a Dane, continues to serve the Christian king of Wessex. He ha
Algernon (Darth Anyan)
Apr 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015

Bernard Cornwell is a prolific author, and usually reliable to deliver a solid historical novel with clearly sketched battle scenes and heroic deeds of valor, yet not all things are created equal and I have come to appreciate some of his stuff more than others. The Saxon Chronicles are at the top of my preference list, together with his Arthurian epic (The Warlord Saga). And Death of Kings may be the best of the Saxon books published yet.

Alfred the Great is on his death bed, his long illness
Mar 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Uhtred of Bebbanburg loves nothing more than defeating his enemies in battle. In his older age he's added something new to his game: Deceit. Misdirection. Manipulation. Magic.

"For some reason I thought of Ludda and how he had told me that all magic is making someone think one thing while, in truth, another is happening. 'You make them watch your right hand, lord,' he told me once, 'while your left is picking their purse.'"

Reading Uhtred was fun as usual. In his 40's still kicking ass. I particul
Scott  Hitchcock
3.5*. Still good but my least favorite of the first 6 books and #5 was my favorite.
Executive Summary: Another solid entry in this series. Uthred's adventures continue to entertain.

Full Review
I find myself quickly catching up on this series. These books always seem to go by so quickly. They aren't exactly short, but they tend to be far shorter than many of the doorstopper fantasy books I favor. I will say that much like The Last Kingdom, this did feel like part of a book.

That isn't to say this book comes to an abrupt ending, but much is left unresolved, and I suspect The Pa
Aug 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
Another super instalment in the Saxon Series. Probably lacking a little of the twinkle and sparkle that I want from this series, especially since I had read The Burning Land right before Death of Kings and it served up all the twinkle and sparkle that a girl like me could need.
Rockin' ending though.

May 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Death of Kings by Bernard Cornwell is the 6th book in the Saxon Stories series. Uhtred’s epic continues! It is King Alfred’s dream to have one united England under one king and one God. That means the Danes must either submit or leave. However, Alfred is dying. He has always been ill but it is obvious that his time has come. He is worried about the future and needs to be assured that Uhtred will take the oath for his son, Edward. Uhtred wants to reclaim his home, Bebbanburg and he believes that ...more
Paula Lofting
Feb 17, 2012 rated it really liked it

The blurb: The 6th book in the Uhtred series. As usual, Uhtred is at odds with most of his fellow countrymen, hunted by the Danes that he admires and banished to an impoverished estate in Mercia. His only ally is his lover Aethelflaed, Lady of the Mercians and King Alfred's daughter. When the King dies, Uhtred is compelled as usual to swear another oath and this time he pledges to serve his old King's son, Edward, the new king and ensure that Edward's cousin, Aethelwold, his cousin, does not get
Apr 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
I spent a lot of time being frustrated with the kings and hoping they all die. I thought this book was well crafted - various plotlines connected well, and it introduced yet another secondary character that I really like!
Sep 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, middle-ages
So yeah, these are still good. I've pretty much run out of ways to say "these books are still good" in the beginning of these reviews without actually saying it so I figured I'd just actually say it. This one was a bit different in vibe from the others, though. It's hard to pin down exactly what made it stand out from the other so much. It seemed darker, mostly due to the whole Alfred thing. Also the whole "cave witch" scene rivaled the talking corpse from Sword Song in terms of creepiest scenes ...more
Mar 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ah, another historical action novels from one of my guilty pleasures, Bernard Cornwell. I know, it's not literature but it sure is fun. I've heard him called the greatest living historical novelist. That might be true if we insist on the "living" qualification. While his books are always grand action-adventures of male fantasy, he's not quite Patrick O'Brian.

This latest addition to the chronical of Uhtred, the Saxon warlord is a delightful departure from the usual Cornwell style. The grand, spla
Kate Quinn
Dec 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The sixth installment in the adventures of Uhtred of Bebbanburg, impatiently awaited and worth the wait. This one has a more thoughtful tone than the others, since it hinges on everyone waiting to see when Alfred the Great will die, and whether they will be able to survive the attack that will surely come from the Danes afterward. Their best hope of keeping Alfred's fragile kingdom together is Uhtred, but will Alfred's young successor trust him? Uhtred snaps and snarls and swears at priests, del ...more
Lee Broderick
Aug 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Uhtred is back. Without giving away plot spoilers though, the book occupies awkward territory. We know it's the penultimate book in the series and the entire novel reads like a build up to that climax. Which it is; a cruel trick to play on us readers and I can only hope that the final volume arrives a little more quickly than this episode did.

Uhtred has some fun along the way, but is mostly chasing shadows through the book, and it's always a little disappointing to figure things out before the h
Sep 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
4 Stars for Death of Kings. Uhtred is back in form after the last 2 books on the series where I thought he just meandered aimlessly. Uhtred is the man with a plan in this chapter. Alfred finally kicks the bucket--after so many episodes on the "death bed". Seriously, Alfred was like a parody of a Shakespeare play, he's he's well...he's he's alive... Edward becomes king but can he keep the crown? Some great new characters show up here and Cornwell's treatment of Christians and ...more
The Norns carved out a drama-filled historical plot better than any author could. So Cornwell's brilliant writing is just a cherry on top of a fascinating and complex historical ice cream sunday. As with others in this series, it doesn't disappoint. Actually, it does the opposite and makes me squee in laughter and tense up from the drama in equal parts.

Alfred is dying... Or is he? There he goes... wait, sorry, still alive. For how long? And will this mean war, again? An end to the tentative and
Aug 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oath breakers and crossing sides to suit best… can no one be trusted? Except our true hero, Uhtred, who saves them yet again. ‘The Saxon Stories’ continues to impress. Absolutely love the setting, the characters, and the intrigue. Cornwell shows his mastery of British history and of the medieval arts of war. He is also an able and careful writer and leaves no loose ends. What else can I say about these books that I haven’t already?
Jun 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
I LOVE this series. Really! A lot! This book is the 6th one in the Saxon Stories series by Bernard Cornwell. I love the way this author writes the story and how he stretches out his characters. I have enjoyed seeing Uhtred grow up.

This book had a lot of death and war in it. So did other books in the series, but this one seemed like it was all about that one thing. I missed Uhtred's antics as well as those of King Alfred. Basically, I missed the "relationships" in this one. I've also recognized
Oct 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I decided to give “Death of Kings” five stars, simply because I was just so happy to read about Uthred again. What can I say, I just love his character. I must admit though, this book isn’t as good as Pale Horseman by a long shot. But of course, that one was simply my fav. This book seemed to end somewhat abruptly, so I can see where some reviewers might have felt cheated.

There are so many things I love about Bernard Cornwell’s writing. One is that he captures the time period so well. I feel li
Nov 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Once again, Bernard Cornwell has provided me with a page turner that simply cannot be put down. Uhtred is probably one of my favourite anti-heroes, with his gruff demeanor, love of battle and hatred and disdain for the church, whats not to love?

As always, Bernards story resides within historical fact, with the death of King Alfred and the succession of his son King Edward the Elder eventually making battle with the Danes, with the backdrop of Aethelwolds revolt included. I love these books beca
May 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Uhtred is old, and he doesn't know why he's ended up where he has. Uhtred is in love with the dying King's married daughter. Uhtred is clever, and a good strategist. Uhtred stabs a bunch of people in the face, neck, thigh, groin. Uhtred gets rained on. Uhtred's house burns down. Uhtred profanes a nunnery. Uhtred expresses skepticism at the provenance of saintly relics. Uhtred thinks his son is a pansy.

Recommended for anyone interested in Uhtred.

Oct 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Well, Uhtred is in trouble, Alfred's death and that only made things worse so far. Really fantastic series, wonderful plot an enjoyful series. But it looks like the 10th volume has just been release and not sure it is the last one...mmmmmm... will continue reading and thanking Cornwell for creating this adventures, very illustrative, enthralling and heart wrenching sometimes.
Mark Harrison
More battles for Uthred as he keeps Wessex safe from the Danes. The book is a bit of a watershed given what happens and felt a little slow compared to others in the series. Still a decent tale and sets up the rest of the series nicely.
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Cornwell was born in London in 1944. His father was a Canadian airman, and his mother, who was English, a member of the Women's Auxiliary Air Force. He was adopted and brought up in Essex by the Wiggins family, who were members of the Peculiar People, a strict Protestant sect who banned frivolity of all kinds and even medicine. After he left them, he changed his name to his birth mother's maiden n ...more

Other books in the series

The Last Kingdom (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • The Last Kingdom (The Saxon Stories, #1)
  • The Pale Horseman (The Saxon Stories, #2)
  • Lords of the North (The Saxon Stories, #3)
  • Sword Song (The Saxon Stories, #4)
  • The Burning Land (The Saxon Stories, #5)
  • The Pagan Lord (The Saxon Stories, #7)
  • The Empty Throne (The Saxon Stories, #8)
  • Warriors of the Storm (The Saxon Stories, #9)
  • The Flame Bearer (The Saxon Stories, #10)
  • War of the Wolf (The Saxon Stories, #11)

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