Saksernes Fortællinger #1 Det Sidste Kongerige
Title: The Last Kingdom
Series: The Saxon Stories
Author: Bernard Cornwell
Published in English: 2004
Dansk titel: Det sidste kongerige
Dansk Udgivelsesår: 2006
Finished Reading: Februar 2020
Genre: Historical & Historical Fiction
This is my personal review without spoilers of the actual plot.
This is the 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 book was magnificent! I saw some of the television series and felt disappointed with it. Luckily, shortly thereafter I found out that it was a book series and read that it was much better. This really is a needle in a haystack, I knew off the books from the stores, but never what they were about, but my god it’s worth every minute of your time if you find the era of Vikings interesting. Already prepared the second book and anxiously awaiting being able to start the book.
Books in this genre tend to become hard to understand or even confuse you, but this book had you focused and entertained and I understood everything the author was trying to convey. Cornwell truly is a genius when it comes to writing a story and I learned a lot of history. It really makes you want to continue the series!
My favorite character was Ragnar though, he was truly unique and alongside Uhtred, they make one hell of a book.
The first person narration has a good flow making it easy to connect with the characters and you feel like you’re a part of the story rather than just a bystander with a book in your hand. You can almost feel the ocean breeze and smell the green grass.
I don’t think any review will do the book justice – I’ve never read anything remotely similar to this, and it’s no wonder Cornwell has made such a big name for himself. I was never bored, not at any point in the story, when I really god into the story I was gone for hours, captured by this superb story.