The Last Kingdom Book Summary - The Last Kingdom Book explained in key points

The Last Kingdom summary

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The Last Kingdom is a historical fiction novel by Bernard Cornwell that follows the story of Uhtred of Bebbanburg, a Saxon nobleman captured and raised by Vikings. Set during the Viking invasions of England, it explores Uhtred's quest for identity and his role in the creation of a united England.

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    The Last Kingdom
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    The Rise of Uhtred of Bebbanburg

    In The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell, we are transported to the 9th century, a time when England was divided into several warring kingdoms. The story begins with the invasion of the Danes, who capture the young Uhtred of Bebbanburg, a Saxon nobleman. Uhtred is raised by the Danes, and he grows to love their way of life, adopting their language, customs, and even their gods.

    Uhtred's loyalty to the Danes is tested when he is accused of murdering his adoptive father, Ragnar the Fearless. He escapes and seeks refuge in the kingdom of Wessex, the last Saxon stronghold against the Danes. Here, he meets Alfred, the future King of Wessex, who recognizes Uhtred's potential and enlists him in his service.

    Uhtred's Struggle for Identity

    Uhtred's loyalty is divided between his Saxon birthright and his Danish upbringing. He is torn between his allegiance to Alfred, who represents the Christian Saxon cause, and his love for the Danish way of life. Uhtred's internal conflict is further complicated by his desire to reclaim his ancestral home, Bebbanburg, which was usurped by his uncle in his absence.

    Despite his personal struggles, Uhtred proves himself a formidable warrior and a cunning strategist. He plays a crucial role in several battles against the Danes, earning the respect of his enemies and allies alike. However, his loyalty to Alfred is constantly questioned, and he faces betrayal and treachery from within Wessex's court.

    The Battle for England

    As the story progresses, the Danes launch a series of devastating attacks on Wessex, threatening to overrun the last Saxon kingdom. Uhtred, torn between his divided loyalties, must make difficult choices to protect his people and his own interests. He participates in several key battles, including the Battle of Ethandun, a decisive victory for Alfred that marks a turning point in the war against the Danes.

    Despite his contributions to the Saxon cause, Uhtred's relationship with Alfred remains strained. The king views Uhtred with suspicion, considering him a pagan and a potential threat to his rule. Uhtred, in turn, feels unappreciated and undervalued, leading to further conflict between the two.

    The Last Kingdom's Conclusion

    In the closing chapters of The Last Kingdom, Uhtred's loyalty to Alfred is put to the ultimate test. He is accused of treason and forced to flee Wessex, leaving behind his wife and child. Despite his exile, Uhtred remains determined to reclaim Bebbanburg and avenge his father's death.

    In conclusion, The Last Kingdom is a gripping historical fiction that vividly portrays the tumultuous period of England's early history. Through Uhtred's journey, we witness the clash of cultures, the brutality of war, and the struggle for power. The novel sets the stage for a series of further adventures, as Uhtred continues his quest to reclaim his birthright and navigate the treacherous political landscape of medieval England.

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    What is The Last Kingdom about?

    The Last Kingdom (2004) is a historical novel by Bernard Cornwell that takes place during the early 10th century. It follows the story of Uhtred of Bebbanburg, a Saxon nobleman who is captured by the Danes and raised as one of their own. The book delves into the political and military struggles between the Saxons and the Danes, as Uhtred finds himself torn between his loyalty to his birth country and the people who raised him.

    The Last Kingdom Review

    The Last Kingdom (2004) by Bernard Cornwell is a captivating historical novel set in 9th century England. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • With its unforgettable characters, it brings to life an epic tale of war, loyalty, and survival in a time of conflict and change.
    • The book's detailed and vivid descriptions transport readers to a different era, immersing them in the sights, sounds, and emotions of the story.
    • Through its gripping plot and intense battle scenes, the book keeps readers on the edge of their seats, ensuring that it is anything but boring.

    Who should read The Last Kingdom?

    • History enthusiasts who are curious about the Viking invasion of England
    • Fans of historical fiction with vivid descriptions of battle and political intrigue
    • Readers who enjoy following the journey of a complex and charismatic protagonist

    About the Author

    Bernard Cornwell is a prolific historical fiction author known for his captivating storytelling and meticulous research. With a career spanning over four decades, Cornwell has written numerous bestsellers, including the Sharpe series, the Warlord Chronicles, and the Saxon Stories. His works often explore the tumultuous periods of British history, bringing to life the battles, politics, and characters of the past. Cornwell's dedication to historical accuracy and his ability to create compelling narratives have earned him a dedicated global fan base.

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    The Last Kingdom FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Last Kingdom?

    The main message of The Last Kingdom is the struggle for power and identity in 9th-century England.

    How long does it take to read The Last Kingdom?

    The reading time for The Last Kingdom varies depending on the reader's speed. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is The Last Kingdom a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Last Kingdom is a captivating historical fiction with compelling characters and intense action. It's definitely worth reading.

    Who is the author of The Last Kingdom?

    The author of The Last Kingdom is Bernard Cornwell.

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