The Last Kingdom (Saxon Tales)

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9780060887186: The Last Kingdom (Saxon Tales)

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.

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Product Description:

Read by Jamie Glover.

HarperCollins are delighted to announce that this bestselling, favourite author, following the triumphant conclusion to the Grail Quest series with the publication of Heretic, has embarked on a new medieval series.

The Last Kingdom is set in the England of the ninth and tenth centuries. These were the years when the Danish Vikings had invaded and occupied three of England's four kingdoms, and when King Alfred, his son and grandson fought back and won the freedom of the country again.

The story is seen through the eyes of Uhtred, a dispossessed English nobleman. Captured as a child and raised by the Danes, he now finds his allegiances divided. But the one thing he knows is that he wants to recover his father's land, the fort by the wild northern sea that we now know as Bamburgh.

Bernard Cornwell is a master of historical fiction and this new series looking with a fresh light at Alfred the Great, his kingdom and his legacy will be as outstanding and as popular as the Grail Quest and the Warlord Chronicles.

Review:

Does the fact that the The Last Kingdom inaugurates yet another series from Bernard Cornwell fill you with anticipation--or trepidation? His immensely popular Sharpe novels are, of course, the bedrock of the author’s popularity. But when readers learned that he was to abandon the redoubtable Sharpe for a Grail Quest series, there were those who invoked the ‘if isn’t broke, why fix it?’ rule. However, when Cornwell proved himself equally adept at conjuring a world of knights and savage combat, his Grail Quest series (the first book of which was Harlequin) soon established itself as another Cornwell winner.

And here’s yet another series from the protean writer. Do we really need it? Yes, we do--it’s a safe bet that The Last Kingdom will prove that the author is seemingly capable of beginning an endless run of new novel sequences. As well as the impeccably plotted narrative, Cornwell has other fish to fry here: nothing less than a totally fresh look at a historical figure we think we know: Alfred the Great. Cornwell’s protagonist is Uhtred, caught in the conflict between the Danes and the English in the ninth century. He is born into the English aristocracy, but loses his parents at the age of ten and is raised in Viking fashion by a Dane. When massacres reign down on both sides, Uhtred is torn between his loyalties--and when his family disappears, a reckoning with a Viking chieftain is in the offing.

Behind all this is the King, Alfred: complex, conflicted, and by no means the figure that the conventional history books render him. All of the customary Cornwell virtues are fully on display here.--Barry Forshaw

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 203 x 135 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. The first installment of Bernard Cornwell s New York Times bestselling series chronicling the epic saga of the making of England, like Game of Thrones, but real (The Observer, London)--the basis for The Last Kingdom, the hit television series. This is the exciting--yet little known--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 the time the Northmen begin their assault on Wessex (Alfred s kingdom and the last territory in English hands) Uhtred almost thinks of himself as a Dane. He certainly has no love for Alfred, whom he considers a pious weakling and no match for Viking savagery, yet when Alfred unexpectedly defeats the Danes and the Danes themselves turn on Uhtred, he is finally forced to choose sides. By now he is a young man, in love, trained to fight and ready to take his place in the dreaded shield wall. Above all, though, he wishes to recover his father s land, the enchanting fort of Bebbanburg by the wild northern sea. This thrilling adventure--based on existing records of Bernard Cornwell s ancestors--depicts a time when law and order were ripped violently apart by a pagan assault on Christian England, an assault that came very close to destroying England. Bookseller Inventory # ABZ9780060887186

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 203 x 135 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. The first installment of Bernard Cornwell s New York Times bestselling series chronicling the epic saga of the making of England, like Game of Thrones, but real (The Observer, London)--the basis for The Last Kingdom, the hit television series. This is the exciting--yet little known--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 the time the Northmen begin their assault on Wessex (Alfred s kingdom and the last territory in English hands) Uhtred almost thinks of himself as a Dane. He certainly has no love for Alfred, whom he considers a pious weakling and no match for Viking savagery, yet when Alfred unexpectedly defeats the Danes and the Danes themselves turn on Uhtred, he is finally forced to choose sides. By now he is a young man, in love, trained to fight and ready to take his place in the dreaded shield wall. Above all, though, he wishes to recover his father s land, the enchanting fort of Bebbanburg by the wild northern sea. This thrilling adventure--based on existing records of Bernard Cornwell s ancestors--depicts a time when law and order were ripped violently apart by a pagan assault on Christian England, an assault that came very close to destroying England. Bookseller Inventory # ABZ9780060887186

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 208 x 132 mm. Brand New Book. In the middle years of the ninth-century, the fierce Danes stormed onto British soil, hungry for spoils and conquest. Kingdom after kingdom fell to the ruthless invaders until but one realm remained. And suddenly the fate of all England--and the course of history--depended upon one man, one king.From New York Times bestselling storyteller Bernard Cornwell comes a rousing epic adventure of courage, treachery, duty, devotion, majesty, love, and battle as seen through the eyes of a young warrior who straddled two worlds. Bookseller Inventory # LVN9780060887186

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