2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
After the Grail Quest, Cornwell returns to England's early history with the Last Kingdom, 12 Feb 2008
The novel's ninth century setting encourages immediate comparison with his finest work, The Winter King, but in truth the two books are very different. The forlorn tone of his Authurian masterpiece is not present, though the formula remains the same, 1st person narrative as the novel's main character, Uhtred, looks back over his early life and his initial meetings with Alfred.
The novel is packed with Cornwell's trademark blow by blow battles, his skill as a novelist forces you to stand shoulder to shoulder in the Shieldwall and experience the excitement, feat and exhiliration of early medieval conflict.
The character of Uhtred is not dissimilar to Derfel Cadarn, the tale beginning when he is a boy and documents his trials and tribulations as he grows to become a warrior. There are plenty of other interesting characters, Danish warrior kings, Ealdormen, priests and the unusually hard to like Alfred. I am interested to see where Cornwell goes with his characterisation of England's greatest monarch and hero, Alfred, the only English king to be granted the title, Great.
A good start to a new series, but for me it lacks that emotional attachment of the Warlord Chronicles. The plot kept me interested to the end, as do all his novels, and it was fantatsic to see this excellent author writing about my home town (Wareham) in one of his novels.
I would also recommend, if you missed reading Tino Georgiou's masterpiece--The Fates, go and read it. I look forward to the next installment of this series and would recommend the volume to those who have enjoyed his books in the past and to anyone who enjoys a good tale.