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The Last Kingdom

(The Last Kingdom #1)

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  79,823 ratings  ·  4,410 reviews
This is the story of the making of England in the 9th and 10th centuries, the years in which King Alfred the Great, his son and grandson defeated the Danish Vikings who had invaded and occupied three of England’s four kingdoms.

The story is seen through the eyes of Uhtred, a dispossessed nobleman, who is captured as a child by the Danes and then raised by them so that, by t
Paperback, 351 pages
Published January 3rd 2006 by Harper Paperbacks (first published October 4th 2004)
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Pascalean The battles are more to-the-point than GoT, which tends to labour the descriptions of death. It moves along at a much faster pace too, as much as I lo…moreThe battles are more to-the-point than GoT, which tends to labour the descriptions of death. It moves along at a much faster pace too, as much as I love GRRM's books they can get boring with the constant tangents into every single minor character's life story. TLK keeps in depth characterisation to the important characters :)(less)
Anna Yes. I have just read book 1 and it goes from Uhtred - the hero - aged 10 to mid twenties. There are a number of key events that set up the future, bu…moreYes. I have just read book 1 and it goes from Uhtred - the hero - aged 10 to mid twenties. There are a number of key events that set up the future, but also it is a historical novel, so it runs chronologically.(less)

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Jan 02, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have a Booktube channel now! Subscribe here:

Uthred, son of Uthred, it’s finally time for me to read your story in its prose form.

I am no stranger to Bernard Cornwell’s work, ever since John Gwynne recommended me The Warlord Chronicles trilogy—which I finished and loved—to read, I was already a fan of his books; even though I haven’t read any of his other books yet. Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten the chance to read his other books. Seeing that I’m fully caught
Aug 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone looking to escape
A Review That Has Very Little to Do with This Book:

Sometimes you need a lot of book. You know what I mean.

Those Fridays you come home, lie down on the couch, and resolve not to come back until Sunday afternoon. You have vetoed faces and the spoken word. The phone will remain unplugged except for the ordering of something greasy.

On these Fridays you have two options: dissolve into a self-pitying, gelatinous blob or turn to a lot of book.

You are not without survival skills. You put stock in the
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
$1.99 on Kindle today 6-10-17

BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List






I am Uhtred, son of Uhtred, and this is the tale of a blood feud. It is a tale of how I will take from my enemy what the law says is mine. And it is the tale of a woman and her father, a king.

He was my king and all that I have I owe to him. The food that I eat, the hall where I live, and the swords of my men, all come from Alfred,
"My name is Uhtred. I am the son of Uhtred, who was the son of Uhtred and his father was also called Uhtred. My father’s clerk, a priest called Beocca, spelt it Utred. I do not know if that was how my father would have written it, for he could neither read nor write, but I can do both and sometimes I take the old parchments from their wooden chest and I see the name spelled Uhtred or Utred or Ughtred or Ootred, and I look at the deeds which say that Uhtred, son of Uhtred, is the lawful and sole ...more
Sean Barrs
Jan 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Last Kingdom, by Bernard Cornwell, is a triumph of a novel; it is historical fiction at its finest. Uhtred’s story is as fantastic as it is gripping, and most importantly it feels realistic. It’s like I’ve read a chapter of a man’s life that could have existed, that could have been a part of history. His character is just that well written.

The book begins with an aged Uhtred narrating his life to the reader. He is full of a life’s wisdom and a warrior’s experience as he tells the adventures
May 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The story begins in England in the 9th century with young Uhtred of Bebbanburg. He’s born a Christian Saxon, but from a young age is raised by pagan Danes. This dispossessed Ealdorman grows into a fierce warrior and eventually is torn between two identities. His main goal is to regain his father’s homeland, but there are many steps to be taken on his journey.

The law says I own that land, and the law, we are told, is what makes us men under God instead of beasts in the ditch. But the law does not
May 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourite-books
An outstanding novel set in England during medieval times in the year 866 AD. The author introduces real historical figures; Guthrum the Unlucky, Ubba the Horrible, and Ivar the Boneless, all fearless Dane warriors’ intent on taking over the English kingdoms. They arrive in their magnificent ships outfitted with rich colorful shields, finely carved prows, sterns with ominous dragons and serpents, and mastheads painted with bold eagles. A frightening sight for many townspeople who flee their home ...more
I had no idea what I was getting into when I read this book. I'd never read Bernard Cornwell. All I knew was that it was a book about Vikings.

Anyway, I absolutely loved it! And I became a permanent Bernard Cornwell fan. I think Uhtred is one of my favorite characters of all time. Yes he’s mean, arrogant, and a bit of an antihero, but he’s a full blooded character, and I felt like I really got to know him.

This book goes through Uhtred’s childhood as a Saxon raised by the Danes, and after readin
Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~
Aug 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Actual Rating: 4.5 Stars


Weird thing I noticed upon rereading, I could’ve sworn Uhtred’s phrase was “Fate is inexorable.” But on this read through the narrator said “Fate is all.” and “Fate is everything.” Now I’m wondering if the phrase has been edited in the audio version?
James Tivendale
In The Last Kingdom, we follow Uhtred. son of Uhtred who is the Ealdorman of Beddanburg by birthright. In the first-person perspective, Uhtred tells us his tale and throughout The Last Kingdom, he presents his formative years from a youth, through his teenage years to the time that he becomes a man.

During the prologue, Danes attack the outskirts of Beddanburg. Uhtred's brother is murdered by a Dane called Ragnar the Fearless. The Saxons retaliate in a pitched battle, during which 9-year-old Uht
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chelsea Humphrey
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chelsea by: Leigh Kramer
Shelves: library
Whomp Whomp WHOMP. Review to come.
William Gwynne
Feb 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed, historical
“That was in the year 867, and it was the first time I ever went to war.
And I have never ceased.”

I finally began my journey into The Saxon Stories. I cannot fathom what has taken me so long to delve into The Last Kingdom. I love Bernard Cornwell’s writing, and I love the concept for this tale.

This is one of those rare occasions where I have watched the adaptation before reading the book. But, no worries, this did not take away from the experience. The disparity been book and program is large, w
Athena Shardbearer
I am Uhtred, Earl Uhtred, Uhtred of Bebbanburg, and destiny is everything.

Love, all I feel is love for this book. It's like an epic love story but for a man who fought for what was rightfully his.

Love, noun. Pronunciation: luhv

A feeling of strong attachment induced by that which delights or commands admiration; preëminent kindness or devotion to another; affection; tenderness; as,

the love of brothers and sisters.
Of all the dearest bonds we prove
Thou countest sons' and mothers' love
Jason Koivu
Feb 04, 2012 rated it liked it
The Last Kingdom is the beginning of Bernard Cornwell's take on the Alfred the Great story. The series starts in the year 866 and follows the son of a lesser Saxon lord, whose father is killed. The boy loses his inheritance and is raised by the Danes, who are threatening to overrun all of what will one day be called England.

The boy, who comes to be called Uhtred, prefers the ways of the Danes, especially their freedom and their gods, over the Saxons and their pious Christian priests. The book l
Dana Ilie
Aug 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great book!
I promise to review as soon as possible
Aug 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was good but I had some problems with it, nothing major or about the story but rather the way it's told. Review to come. Maybe. ...more
Dec 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
„Wyrd bið ful ãræd.“ – „Fate is inexorable.“

I had a super long review written for this series but I deleted the document accidentally so let me share with you at least some major points to explain my reasons for loving this series so much:

* Astonishing storytelling skills. Bernard Cornwell brought 9th and 10th century England alive for me.

* Unforgettable narrator. Uhtred of Bebbanburg is unapologetic and ruthless yet lovable and admiration worthy character with brilliant military strategic m
Will M.
Jun 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Will by: Markus
*Update 10/11/15
There are two episodes out already for The Last Kingdom! I had no idea they were adapting this whole series into a TV series. Will have to read the next novels really soon.


I've been a huge history fan ever since I was young. Especially Greek, Roman, and Egyptian history. I've never really read or watched other histories like UK, American, Russian, Asian, etc. Lately though, I've been wanting to read more of UK and Russian, so I was pretty excited to read this.

This was a
TS Chan
Jun 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Aside from the tales of King Arthur and Ken Follet's Pillars of the Earth, I did not have much exposure to historical fiction, and definitely not one with this much historical accuracy. I was made aware of Bernard Cornwell's Saxon Stores through the reviews of fellow readers on Goodreads whom I share similar taste in books with. The main impetus that nudged me to finally pick up this book among my long list of to-be-read was in fact History Channel's Vikings, as I didn't even know that this book ...more
Dec 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
what an unexpected joy this book has been, man i did not think it could be this good, Uthred is undeniably a very well written and a very very well liked character , and what a gripping story , i watched the TV show and it was excellent but it left out a lot and they changed many things so I'm very glad i read this book .... ...more
Mar 29, 2011 rated it it was ok
I will just review this book but what I say will count for all the books in the Saxon Chronicles.

These books are good for people who want viking themed adventure that is not too difficult or rewarding. While the plot is engaging it is not brilliant. The characters are not really developed or very exciting and most people seem to be quite one dimensional. The characters are either blood thirsty, greedy, pious, or manipulative. While some of them are generated from historical figures no one really
Hana Zakova
Aug 20, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Asolutely loved it. I went to the library and randomly picked a book. It was The Pale Horseman, and I realized it was second part of Ulthred's life, so I went back and got this first part out. I love England and so I loved those 3 books. (now waiting for another to come out. There must be 4 book.) It's the same feeling like waiting for Harry Potter books to come out. ...more
One of the best historical fictions I've ever read. With my five star reviews, the ones that are short or have no reviews are the books I liked best. I'm unable to put into words how much I loved it. ...more
Dec 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Apparently I've never reviewed this- which is stupid, because I tell everyone I can to read it.

But- It's $1.99 on the U.S. Kindle store today!

Disregard the 4 star rating, the series as a whole gets 5 stars.
“Destiny is all. And now, looking back, I see the pattern of my life’s journey. It began in Bebbanburg and took me south, ever southward, until I reached the farthest coast of England and could go no farther and still hear my own language. That was my childhood’s journey. As a man I have gone the other way, ever northward, carrying sword and spear and ax to clear the path back to where I began. Destiny.

Rating, 5 stars.


“We came shrieking from the half-light. We were a nightmare in the dawn
Jan 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
great historic novel, catchy description of battles, historical background and life of the vikings, went to Sweden after I read this novel...
rating: 5.5/5

Love, love, love it! An English boy gets captured by the Danes/Vikings. He is raised by his captor, Ragnar, as a son whom he grows to love like a father. But fate is peculiar and when Uhtred can't deny his English roots anymore he goes to battle under King Alfred's banner against the invading Danes.

It is funny, intense, bloody, passionate, gritty, witty, dark, sarcastic and, did I already mention, funny. I just couldn't not fall in love with Uhtred, the boy who went foolishly chargi
Mar 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great historical fiction read! Based on true historical events, the story revolves around a young lordling who is kidnapped in one of the many Viking invasions of old England.

It was a bit slow in a few places, but overall a very good read.
David S Meanderings)
Oct 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
“Laughter in battle. That was what Ragnar had taught me, to take joy from the fight.”

Thank you to HarperAudio for this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

I already had an experience in this series, its characters, and the story through the TV show, so starting The Last Kingdom gave me nostalgia and a sense of coming home. This is one of my favorite periods in history and Bernard Cornwell does a fantastic job of depicting this time where Kings reigned, danes raided, and you had to fight t
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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 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)
  • Death of Kings (The Saxon Stories, #6)
  • 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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