The Last Kingdom

Book Briefly Noted, Title The Last Kingdom Series, Author Bernard Cornwell, Rating 3.5,

The Last Kingdom Series

Bernard Cornwell

Briefly Noted

Books in the The Last Kingdom series:
The Last Kingdom
The Pale Horseman
Lords of the North
Sword Song
The Burning Land
Death of Kings
The Pagan Lord
The Empty Throne
Warriors of the Storm
The Flame Bearer
War Of The Wolf

Bernard Cornwell's The Last Kingdom series, ever growing, takes place around the reign of King Alfred the Great of England, and describes the forging of Saxon and Norse territories into the the fledgling nation of England. It is generally solid historical fiction, in that it fleshes out a historical era with care, and adds a somewhat plausible adventure story to liven up the slow turn of historical events. The main character, Uhtred of Babbenburg, like, say, Little Big Man of the Wild West, experiences and absorbs all of the main cultures of the time, providing a sturdy historical vehicle for Cornwell's tales.

Carrying a story through nine-plus books is a nearly impossible task in some ways, though; it is difficult to avoid some repetition of character traits and themes.  Cornwell’s effort was good enough to keep me interested in following the ongoing series, and gave me overall what I was seeking:  some extended understanding of the role of Germanic tribes in English history, and an amusing distraction.

Recommended by my brother Craig, who also loves historical fiction that is reasonably rooted in history.

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Pocket Review, Title The Last Kingdom, Studio Carnival Film & Television, Rating 4.0,

The Last Kingdom (2015)


Pocket Review

BBC has started to dramatize this series of novels, with it’s excellent The Last Kingdom production. They have distilled the story to its most dramatic elements without sacrificing the underlying history.

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