Cait • A Page with a View's Reviews > The Last Kingdom

The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell
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it was amazing
bookshelves: historical, celtic-saxon-norse

I've been staring at this book on my shelf for several years and finally just picked it up after liking the show on Netflix. I reallllly wish I would've read it sooner! The writing totally pulled me in and I read the whole thing in one sitting.

Uhtred is a Northumbrian boy who's taken and raised by Danes, so he's a bit confused over his loyalties and identity. The story was told from the POV of his older self looking back on his life, but somehow managed to sound like both an older man and young boy at the same time. Uhtred's personality really came through in the narration and I absolutely loved his character! His frank views were hilarious.

And I truly have no idea why I'm so obsessed with this time period because it's not like it would've been particularly fun for me to live back then as a woman (even though I'd like to pretend everyone was a shieldmaiden). The women in this book are mostly there to get raped, be sold as wives, bear a lot of sons before the age of 17 (or die trying), and/or do endless manual labor:
Every woman had to spin and weave. Ragnar reckoned it took five women or a dozen girls a whole winter to spin enough thread to make a new sail for a boat, and boats were always needing new sails, and so the women worked every hour the gods sent. They also cooked, boiled walnut shells to dye the new thread, picked mushrooms, tanned the skins of the slaughtered cattle, collected the moss we used for wiping our arses, rolled beeswax into candles, malted the barley, and placated the gods."

This book was so much more than what I was expecting, though. Yes, it's a lot of Viking raids, death, and battle... but the complex characters felt refreshingly authentic. I loved how the book didn't romanticize the time period, yet didn't dwell on any brutality for shock value either. It felt more like an honest account of a character's life then.

If you're into Vikings, medieval Britain, or historical fiction (or just liked the Netflix show) then I definitely recommend this!!
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Reading Progress

January 24, 2016 – Shelved
December 31, 2017 – Started Reading
December 31, 2017 –
January 1, 2018 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-3 of 3 (3 new)

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message 1: by Veridiana (new) - added it

Veridiana Ferreira I've only just started watching the series and it's pretty intense! hahah Great review!

message 2: by Kelly (new)

Kelly Haven't read any of the books, but I do enjoy the TV show. The 3rd series should apparently be shown over here in the UK late 2018, so I think it'll be on Netflix around then too. :)

message 3: by Rachael (new) - added it

Rachael Neiberding I really enjoyed the show on Netflix and have wanted to read this ever since season 1. Your review is the nudge I need to finally get my hands on this book :)

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