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4.4 out of 5 stars
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 20 December 2015
Okay, I'll admit it, I only started reading this after seeing Series 1 of the TV series recently. I haven't read any Bernard Cornwell before, just watched the Sharpe series because it starred Sean Bean... and what a treat I have in store! The joy of discovering a new writer :)

If you're as unfamiliar with the author's work as I am, you'll want to know if it's as good as the TV, right? YES, yes, it is, it's even better. I love the way Cornwell writes, so simply that it just flows along. I adore Uhtred already, and reading this made me long to live in the Dark Ages even more than I always have done. Most of all, of course, it made me want to be a fearsome warrior. Not a warring West Saxon (although I did like Leofric), but a brave man of the shield wall, of Ragnar's tribe!

The Last Kingdom is educational about the times, with some processes described in intricate detail. If the book was written by an unknown author and the 'rules of writing' crew got their hands on it, they'd say these were 'information dumps', or something, or that the writer was being self-indulgent and eager to stick all his research into the book rather than weaving it into the story unobtrusively, but who cares; it was fascinating, because if you're a truly talented writer you can pull anything off, and anyone who wants to know more about life in these times could learn as much from this as any history book about the people of the Dark Ages.

If you've seen the TV series recently you'll remember the bit near the end when the Danish ships are burnt; in the book it's riveting, I read it about three times. I've just downloaded the second book and think I may just have to have a little look now...
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 16 July 2016
This review is for the Unabridged Audio Book.
After watching The Last Kingdom on DVD which was a recent purchase, I wanted to see how close the series
came to the original novel by Bernard Cornwell. There were some slight differences, but I was not disappointed.
Being the sort of chap who likes to listen to a book whilst doing chores or DIY around the home, I decided to buy
this, the first full book in the series as an audio version. It is excellent.

Jonathan Keeble brilliantly narrates the story of Uhtred of Bebbanburg (Bamburgh). The young Northumbrian
Saxon boy who is kidnapped, enslaved and then adopted by the Viking warrior chief Earl Ragnar.
We follow Uhtred's early years, his young manhood and the yearning to return to life as an Ealdorman on the coast
of Northumbria and his involvement and disputes with King Alfred and the Saxon kingdom of Wessex.
The narrator is very good, giving a voice to all of the characters in the novel with clarity and purpose in about 13
hours of listening.

Published by HarperCollins in 2014.
11 CD's unabridged.
13 hours listening time.
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on 30 April 2017
This took me some time to get into. I normally like romance so this would not
Have been the type of book i would normally read. It has been very interesting especially the historical references that i wasnt really aware of. Its been an adventure to explore these invaders and natives the way they have been described in the book.
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on 19 May 2017
An excellent opening to this series by the master writer of historical fiction, Bernard Cornwell.
This was my first book about this period of history and I enjoyed it on 2 levels.
First it is a great work of fiction and secondly it is evidently extremely well researched and so it educates the reader about King Alfred the Great, the Viking invasion the Danes and their respective cultures. The writing is of a very high standard containing some excellent description which adds so much to the book, elevating the reading experience.
I did not find it an easy or quick read but it enthralled me, so it will not be too long before I commence reading the next instalment.
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on 19 December 2016
Ive got the tv series and saw them first. The books are much more detailed and if you loved the tv series you will love these books.
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on 22 May 2017
I was drawn to read this book having enjoyed the TV series. I know that's the wrong way round but having said that I intend to continue with the rest of the series because Bernard Cornwell's writing is so much better that the story as told on the TV and there is so much more by way of plot and characterisation. Having said that , I couldn't help but hear the actors voice in my head as I was reading. His accent suits the character so well. I have now purchased the following 3 books in the series. Must be good.
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on 19 May 2017
Book arrived promptly, as described. Loving it so far!
Came to the book(s) via the wonderful BBC tv series having never read any Cornwell before (despite also being a fan of the Sharpe dramas). I really like the detail in the book and it's very interesting to hear what's going on in Uhtred's head, and to get all the background of his childhood which was largely ignored in the show. I'm pretty sure I will be going on to read all the books in the series.
Meanwhile, I have recommended this one for my book group, and hope they enjoy it as much as I am.
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on 9 May 2017
Not Cornwell fan but came to these books from the tv series,exciting,atmospheric,well characterised,a genuinely enjoyable read from cover to cover.
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on 7 May 2017
Excellent watched the series on tv, as I live in Durham (Dunholm) I can identify with the areas.Very well written totally engrossing
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on 14 May 2017
Have been fascinated by programme on TV and now thoroughly enjoying well investigated historic stories giving an idea of what could have happened at a time from when not much real history has survived.
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