The Last Kingdom (The Last Kingdom Series, Book 1) by Bernard Cornwell

The Last Kingdom (The Last Kingdom Series, Book 1)

By Bernard Cornwell

  • Release Date: 2005-10-03
  • Genre: Historical
Score: 4.5
From 132 Ratings
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The first book in a brand new series, The Last Kingdom is set in England during the reign of King Alfred.

Uhtred is an English boy, born into the aristocracy of ninth-century Northumbria. Orphaned at ten, he is captured and adopted by a Dane and taught the Viking ways. Yet Uhtred's fate is indissolubly bound up with Alfred, King of Wessex, who rules over the only English kingdom to survive the Danish assault.

The struggle between the English and the Danes and the strife between christianity and paganism is the background to Uhtred's growing up. He is left uncertain of his loyalties but a slaughter in a winter dawn propels him to the English side and he will become a man just as the Danes launch their fiercest attack yet on Alfred's kingdom. Marriage ties him further still to the West Saxon cause but when his wife and child vanish in the chaos of the Danish invasion, Uhtred is driven to face the greatest of the Viking chieftains in a battle beside the sea. There, in the horror of the shield-wall, he discovers his true allegiance.

The Last Kingdom, like most of Bernard Cornwell's books, is firmly based on true history. It is the first novel of a series that will tell the tale of Alfred the Great and his descendants and of the enemies they faced, Viking warriors like Ivar the Boneless and his feared brother, Ubba. Against their lives Bernard Cornwell has woven a story of divided loyalties, reluctant love and desperate heroism. In Uhtred, he has created one of his most interesting and heroic characters and in The Last Kingdom one of his most powerful and passionate novels.


'Cornwell is a virtuoso of historical fiction.' Sunday Telegraph

'Bernard Cornwell is a literary miracle. Year after year, hail, rain, snow, war and political upheavals fail to prevent him from producing the most entertaining and readable historical novels of his generation.' Daily Mail

'Cornwell's narration is quite masterly and supremely well-researched.' Observer

About the author

Bernard Cornwell worked for BBC Television for seven years, mostly as a producer on the Nationwide programme, before taking charge of the Current Affairs department in Northern Ireland. In 1978 he became editor of Thames Television’s Thames at Six. Married to an American, he now lives in the United States.


  • Great stuff!

    By noelmcc7
    Brilliant. Cornell never lets me down.
  • Loved it!

    By Tylenc
    Couldn't put it down!
  • Too good

    By Pablo997
    Worked my way thru most of the Sharpe series many years ago and was thrilled to find this gem. There's nothing better than to have just finished a great read knowing there's more to come.
  • Captivating Read

    By macite
    The Last Kingdom was a great read that I thoroughly enjoyed. The story engaged me from the start and I found the book hard to put down. Bernard’s writing style makes for an easy and engaging read. I felt connected with the characters, and always wanted to keep reading to find out what would happen next. After completing the first five books of A Game Of Thrones, I have been looking for a new series to read as I wait for the next novel. I feel that my expectations of a series had increased, and the few novels I have read since did not live up to my new expectations. It was as part of my search that I happened upon this book by chance when browsing through the iBook store, and I am very happy I did. For me, this book is at least on par with A Game of Thones, and I have purchaced the next book in the series with high expectations. I would be happy to recommend this book for anyone interested in historical/fantasy novels.
  • Interesting

    By Centenarychick
    Rather gory at times but an interesting historical story nevertheless which keeps readers intrigued with each new development.
  • Pearla

    By Pearla/2333
    Such an amazing author!!!