The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell is an excellent introduction to historical fiction. This book is relatively short and very event focused. We follow Uhtred, a prince from Northumbria(northern Britain), that gets taken captive by the Danish invaders. Uhtred comes to love his Danish captors and gets completely integrated into their way of life. As Uhtred ages, he must decide between the man he was born into or the man he has become. We follow Uhtred and his Danish invaders as they take control of the majority of England. This is a story of a man that is pulled in two directions by two very different loyalties.
There is a slight learning curve at the beginning of this book because a lot of the names are similar in sounding. Also, it is highly helpful to have the map available when you read this book. I started this book as an audiobook and switched to physical/audio. As soon as I switched to the physical book, with the map, I started to enjoy it much more.
If you want to give historical fiction a try and are interested in early medieval Britain and the Viking invaders, give this book a try. The author’s purpose in this series is to give us an overall picture of King Alfred the Great of England. Alfred basically saved England from complete annihilation. The character we follow, Uthred is a fictional character. I am looking forward to more Bernard Cornwell books.
16/25 Possible Score
Plot – 3(Good)
Characters – 3(Good)
World Building/Setting – 4(Strong)
Writing Style – 4(Strong)
Heart & Mind Aspect – 2(OK)