Thursday, April 28, 2011

Book Reviews #19

The Last Kingdom - Bernard Cornwell

Set in 9th century Britain with Danelaw spreading throughout England, the Danes being determined to have this green and pleasant land for themselves.

This is the first in a series that follows the rise of King Alfred the Great through the eyes of a 10 year old boy, Uhtred, as the boy is captured by the Danes and almost becomes a Dane himself before somehow being drawn back to the service of his English King.

Uhtred is treated by his captor almost as a son and as he grows older is used by both sides almost as a pawn. Uhtred's ulitmate personal goal is always to regain ownership of the family lands that his uncle has taken over, but Uhtred is aware that if he allows the Danes to take the castle to give him 'ownership' then he will always be their puppet and so this part of the story has to wait until another book or so into the series I'm sure.

I do enjoy Cornwell's writing, Azincourt had me entranced a couple of years ago, then I read some of the Sharpe books, they are also very good, but after a couple they become a bit too formulaic and so in this series I'm able to enjoy the writing and the story and as I'm a complete ignoramous when it comes to English history (or any history come to that) I get to brush up on my history too. I shall have to download a few more and see how far Uhtred goes.

No comments: