The Last Kingdom
By: Bernard Cornwell
Rating: 4 Star
Bernard Cornwell is the author behind the popular series of Sharpe books and in 'The Last Kingdom' he turns his attention to the 9th Century United Kingdom in the midst of the Viking invasion.
This book is Part 1 of a new series that is set in the age when the Vikings were battling the Saxons for control over what would eventually become the United Kingdom.
The story is centred around Uhtred, a young boy who grows up during this period of upheaval and experiences his life events from both the Saxons and Danes perspectives.
If you have ever read a Cornwell novel before you'll expect a huge amount of research to have gone into this tale and this book certainly delivered on that. There are maps to guide you through the plot, a reference list of old English place names, and at the back of the book a list of reference texts that he used to create the story.
In summary, the tale of Uhtred is the main fictional element of the book, set against a series of real documented historical events.
I really enjoyed this book. Cornwell creates a fantastically realistic world that you explore with Uhtred. The locations, buildings, and characters are all richly described and the dramatic events of the time ensure that the plot moves forward at a fast pace.
I'm really looking forward to the next book of this series.