The “Last Kingdom”, otherwise known as The Warrior Chronicles or the Saxon Stories is a series of novels by British author Bernard Cornwell. The first novel in the series was the 2004 Published “The Last Kingdom” from which the series of novels takes its name. Set in the ninth and tenth century Britain, it tells the story of Alfred the Great from the perspective of Uhtred of Bebbanburg, a man born to a Saxon lord, captured, and brought up as a Dane.
Order of The Saxon Stories Series
|1||The Last Kingdom||2004|
|2||The Pale Horseman||2005|
|3||Lords of the North||2006|
|5||The Burning Land||2009|
|6||Death of Kings||2011|
|7||The Pagan Lord||2013|
|8||The Empty Throne||2014|
|9||Warriors of the Storm||2015|
|10||The Flame Bearer||2016|
The novels take place during the period when the Danes had conquered all but one of the English kingdoms. It tells of the rise of England as a united nation on the British Isles as a result of efforts of Alfred the Great. After accepting that it would be impossible to drive out the Danes, Alfred enlists the services of the protagonist Uhtred the Bold, to help forge an England.
“The Last Kingdom” the first novel in the series tells the story of Uhtred Ragnarson the son of the Lord of Bebbanburg whom the Danes capture as an eleven year old. He is raised as a Dane where he is taught to be a warrior in the mold of his adopted countrymen. Uhtred is forced to join King Alfred of Wessex when his adopted father is killed and the Danes place the blame on him.
Even as he serves King Alfred of Wessex, he has no love for the man who he sees as a weakling, being too pious and soft when compared to the savagery of the Vikings. However, his alliance with Alfred holds the key to his ambitions to recover Bebbanburg, his ancestral heritage taken away from him by his uncle. It is a compelling story that demonstrates the exceptional storytelling skills of Cornwell that have been recognized with a BBC TV series based on the novels.
THE LAST KINGDOM BOOKS INTO TV/MOVIES
The BBC adapted the Last Kingdom series of novels into a TV series by the same name in 2014. The series premiered on BBC Two in the UK and BBC America in October 2015. The first season was produced by BBC Two, and BBC America, while the second season was a Netflix production. Stephen Butchard wrote the screenplay in the series starring Alexander Dreymon as Uhtred of Bebbanburg.
BEST THE LAST KINGDOM BOOKS
The Last Kingdom: The thrilling adventure of the first novel “The Last Kingdom” is deemed one of the best novels in The Last Kingdom series of novels. Telling the story of a time when Christian England came under the attack of the pagan Danes, it is one of the most accurate depictions of what it was to live at the time of the forging of a new England.
The Flame Bearer: The tenth novel in the Last Kingdom series is another highly regarded novel. Britain is experiencing an uneasy calm after the Mercians have taken back lands held by Danes in Northumbria and the West Saxons have defeated the Danes in East Anglia. Northumbria ruled by Sigtryggr, Bebbanburg’s son in law has signed a truce with Æthelflæd of Mercia. The fragile calm now gives Uhtred the opportunity to launch his campaign to retake Bebbanburg his ancestral fortress. But it will not be easy as the West Saxons attack from the South and the Scots from the North, meaning he has to defeat them first before he can move against Bebbanburg.
Warriors of the Storm: The ninth novel in the series is another excellent novel in The Last Kingdom series of novels. Despite the fragile peace in East Anglia, and Wessex under Edward the late King Alfred’s son, the threat of the Northmen now allied to the Irish still looms large. Uhtred is still determined to take back the fortress of Bebbanburg, but in the clash between Viking and Saxon his loyalty to England will come into doubt time and again.
OTHER BOOK SERIES YOU MAY LIKE
Many fans of The Last Kingdom series of novels will find the “Raven” series of novels by Giles Kristian to be just as good. These novels follow the life of Osric an apprentice to an old carpenter captured by the Vikings and made part of a brotherhood, who live for glory and plunder. The Last Kingdom fans also love the “Emperor” series of novels by Conn Iggulden. These historical fiction novels are about the life and time of Julius Caesar, and the coming of age of ancient Rome, including the intrigues, passions, decadence, and bloodshed that forged the empire.