Does the fact that the The Last Kingdom
inaugurates yet another series from Bernard Cornwell fill you with anticipation--or trepidation? His immensely popular Sharpe novels are, of course, the bedrock of the authors popularity. But when readers learned that he was to abandon the redoubtable Sharpe for a Grail Quest series, there were those who invoked the if isnt broke, why fix it? rule. However, when Cornwell proved himself equally adept at conjuring a world of knights and savage combat, his Grail Quest series (the first book of which was Harlequin
) soon established itself as another Cornwell winner.
And heres yet another series from the protean writer. Do we really need it? Yes, we do--its a safe bet that The Last Kingdom will prove that the author is seemingly capable of beginning an endless run of new novel sequences. As well as the impeccably plotted narrative, Cornwell has other fish to fry here: nothing less than a totally fresh look at a historical figure we think we know: Alfred the Great. Cornwells protagonist is Uhtred, caught in the conflict between the Danes and the English in the ninth century. He is born into the English aristocracy, but loses his parents at the age of ten and is raised in Viking fashion by a Dane. When massacres reign down on both sides, Uhtred is torn between his loyalties--and when his family disappears, a reckoning with a Viking chieftain is in the offing.
Behind all this is the King, Alfred: complex, conflicted, and by no means the figure that the conventional history books render him. All of the customary Cornwell virtues are fully on display here.--Barry Forshaw
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
‘This has all the bloodiness, betrayal, bravery and honour that we’ve come to expect from Cornwell.’ Sunday Express
‘It is stirring stuff, and few writers are better qualified than Cornwell to do justice to the excitement of the times…Ninth-century Britain and a master of straightforward storytelling – it is a marriage made in heaven.’ Sunday Telegraph