Cornwell, Bernard The Last Kingdom

ISBN 13: 9780007149919

The Last Kingdom

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9780007149919: The Last Kingdom

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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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.

From AudioFile:

In Northumbria in the ninth century, 10-year-old Uhtred is adopted by the victorious Danes after they kill his father. He is trained to be a warrior by King Alfred. Uhtred fights first on the side of the Danes, but eventually he must choose where his loyalties lie as he grows to adulthood. Tom Sellwood is outstanding in this performance, not only in his rendering of the myriad character voices, but also in his ability to re-create the atmosphere of the time period. The battle scenes are so realistic that listeners will feel themselves part of the "shield wall," the preferred military formation of that period. With lots of blood and guts, raping and pillaging, the authenticity is hard to deny. Fortunately, this is the start of a series by Cornwell, and if we're lucky, Sellwood will narrate them all. S.S.R. © AudioFile 2005, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine

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Cornwell, Bernard
Published by Harper Collins (2005)
ISBN 10: 0007149913 ISBN 13: 9780007149919
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