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The first installment of Bernard Cornwell’s 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 BBC America 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.
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BERNARD CORNWELL is the author of the acclaimed New York Times bestselling Saxon Tales series, which includes The Last Kingdom, The Pale Horseman, Lords of the North, Sword Song, The Burning Land, Death of Kings, The Pagan Lord, and, most recently, The Empty Throne and Warriors of the Storm, and which serves as the basis for the hit television series The Last Kingdom. He lives with his wife on Cape Cod and in Charleston, South Carolina.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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