Early Germanic Book Club discussion

The Last Kingdom (The Saxon Stories, #1)
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The Last Kingdom > Initial Thoughts?

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message 1: by Cynehild, Boc-hæsestre (new) - rated it 4 stars

Cynehild | 3 comments Mod
So what are people thinking so far?

What do you think are primary differences between the Anglo-Saxon and Danish experiences?

What do you think of the description of fighting in the shield-wall? Have you done this in the SCA and do you think the experience compares?

According to Uhtred's upbringing, what marks a successful Danish warrior?


message 2: by John (new)

John Duncan | 3 comments Question 1: I think the biggest difference is their take on the role and deference given to a leader. The Anglo's tended to put a lot more emphasis on genealogy as opposed to ability. Also the idea that leaders are not exempt from questioning by their subordinates. I feel that Danes appeared much more welcoming of input from others where the Anglo's are top down.


message 3: by John (new)

John Duncan | 3 comments Question 2: have not done it in the SCA. But I have heard similar descriptions from those who have participated in that type of fighting


message 4: by John (new)

John Duncan | 3 comments Question 3: I would say reputation is the primary measure by which a Danish warrior is judged.


Kharakhan Saran | 1 comments Just finished the first book. It was good enough, that I'm interested in reading the next one in the series.

At least, based on how the author writes this, the Ango-
Saxons are more interested in how God views this, and the Danes in how much gold and silver they can acquire.

The shield wall sounds super brutal. I have fought in one. Don't want to do it again. But, it was nothing to what he described. Mainly because we don't allow lower leg blows, etc.

Successful Danish warrior is denoted by arm rings. Lots of arm rings.


message 6: by Laurie (new) - added it

Laurie | 1 comments Cynehild wrote: "So what are people thinking so far?

I have not finished the book yet, but I already want to read on to the next book. I am finding the book to be very informational in regards to how the Anglo-saxons lived and their thoughts on war compared to the Danes.

What do you think are primary differences between the Anglo-Saxon and Danish experiences?

In the Anglo-Saxon experience, their lives revolved around the church, and they were indebted to the king. When it came to war, all landowners were obligated to join up with the army when the king sounded the war cry.

The Danes I felt lived a more leisurely and open-minded life. They gave their loyalty to the Earl or Thane that was successful in gaining gold and silver, along with other valuables such as food, horses, and farm lands.

What do you think of the description of fighting in the shield-wall? ..."


While I am not a fighter/warrior, I have heard tales from those that were involved in a shield-wall. The description in the book was very detailed and gave you an idea of how it felt to be in one. I definitely see the advantage of fighting in a shield-wall.


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