In the middle years of the ninth-century, the fierce Danes stormed onto British soil, hungry for spoils and conquest. Kingdom after kingdom fell to the ruthless invaders until but one realm remained. And suddenly the fate of all England—and the course of history—depended upon one man, one king.
From New York Times bestselling storyteller Bernard Cornwell comes a rousing epic adventure of courage, treachery, duty, devotion, majesty, love, and battle as seen through the eyes of a young warrior who straddled two worlds.@goodreads
ME THINKS THERE'S GOING TO BE SPOILERS!
I am Uhtred, son of Uhtred, and this is the tale of a blood feud. It is a tale of how I will take from my enemy what the law says is mine. And it is the tale of a woman and her father, a king.
He was my king and all that I have I owe to him. The food that I eat, the hall where I live, and the swords of my men, all come from Alfred, my king, who hated me.
This story begins long before I met Alfred. It begins when I was ten years old and first saw the Danes.
I thought this book was magnificent! I heard about if from some friends on GR awhile back and have the series listed in my notebook to read, but it was put by the wayside like so many other books. Then one night I got to see an episode of The Last Kingdom on BBC with my best friend while we were on the phone and he said the books are better. I'm like, "What Books?" and he proceeded to tell me about the books I already heard about and have listed in my handy notebook. I promptly put the first book on my Amazon Christmas Wish List and my friend promptly bought it, and here we are, a book that I have missed out on for so long. I loved it! I loved it! I loved it! I have the second book on the way and hope to get the rest SOON!
I find some books very hard to read or understand and get lost in translation. I was afraid that would happen with this book, but that is not the case. No, I can't remember all of the names or how to spell them, but I do that in any book... what I mean is... I wasn't lost... I understand all the author was trying to convey! I think this author is brilliant in the way he writes a story. I loved learning some of the history, even though some of the characters are fictional, it's still a wonderfully told story! This only makes me want to read more into the history that is factual in the book.. anyhoo.. moving on.
When Uhtred was ten-years-old, the Danes came and attacked England. Uhtred and his family had a fortress in Begganburg. The Danes took some places around Uhtred's home. Then some peeps and Uhtred's father all got together to duke it out with the Danes at a place called Eoferwic and things didn't go so good for the Saxons. Uhtred lost his father that day and was taken by the Danes, Uhtred was made a son of Ragnar the Fearless for his heroic effort in trying to attack Ragnar.
You have to love that, "NOW YOUR MY SON AND GET THE HELL OFF MY HORSE!" ↑
Uhtred grew to love Ragnar because he was kind to him, taught him things, was proud of him when he did great things. He was so unlike Uhtred's real father who seemed to be a cranky, non-caring father.
I liked Ragnar. I liked him so much more than I had liked my father. I should, by rights, be dead, yet Ragnar had saved me and Ragnar spoiled me and he treated me like a son, and he called me a Dane.
Uhtred grew up learning how to fight and he was so smart, this boy was so very smart and he was even smarter as he grew. He seemed to know what to do and say from a small child.
There is a female character in the book I loved, her name is Brida. She wasn't a Dane either, but she lived with them and grew up with Uhtred. They were best friends, warriors, lovers. She is fierce in the book and I like her!
I have to mention that Uhtred gets his own sword made and names her Serpent-Breath. He says in the book that he still has her and this is him telling this as an older man. Uhtred also helped make his own saxe which he called Wasp-Sting because she was short :) What can I say, I thought that was cool!
The author writes such beautiful pieces in the book, not just blood and guts and this and that, here is an excerpt of some of the way he describes things.
Ships on the winter Temes. Ships sliding past brittle reeds and leafless willows and bare alders. Wet oar blades shining in the pale sunlight.
I don't know, maybe it's just me, but I loved how he wrote things like that, the words seemed to flow like the water.
There were a lot of things happen in just this first book. Some really sad things, some good things. I can only image what happens in the other books. At one point Uhtred fights for Alfred, he gets married, has a son. And carries on trying to get back to his home and take over his rightful place.
Meanwhile, he takes a bath.. sorry.. I couldn't help myself.
I will say it again, I loved this book. It kept my interest from the very beginning and I did not find one point that was boring, it did not drag at any point. Kudos to Bernard Cornwell for making such a wonderful series. On that note, I will leave you with a large excerpt and parting scenes....
Mildreth was well. She was safe. She had not been raped. She wept when she saw me, and I took her in my arms and wondered that I was so fond of her, and she said she had thought I was dead and told me she had prayed to her god to spare me, and she took me to the room where our son was in his swaddling clothes and, for the first time, I looked at Uhtred, son of Uhtred, and I prayed that one day he would be the lawful and sole owner of lands that are carefully marked by stones and by dykes, by oaks and by ash, by marsh and by sea. I am still the owner of those lands that were purchased with our family's blood, and I will take those lands back from the man who stole them from me and I will give them to my sons. For I am Uhtred, Earl Uhtred, Uhtred of Bebbanburg, and destiny is everything.
AMAZON LINK TO THE BOOK: