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The first installment of Bernard Cornwells bestselling series chronicling the epic saga of the making of England, like Game of Thrones, but real (The Observer, London)the basis for The Last Kingdom, the hit BBC America television series.
This is the excitingyet little knownstory of the making of England in the 9th and 10th centuries, the years in which King Alfred the Great, his son and grandson defeated the Danish Vikings who had invaded and occupied three of Englands four kingdoms.
The story is seen through the eyes of Uhtred, a dispossessed nobleman, who is captured as a child by the Danes and then raised by them so that, by the time the Northmen begin their assault on Wessex (Alfreds kingdom and the last territory in English hands) Uhtred almost thinks of himself as a Dane. He certainly has no love for Alfred, whom he considers a pious weakling and no match for Viking savagery, yet when Alfred unexpectedly defeats the Danes and the Danes themselves turn on Uhtred, he is finally forced to choose sides. By now he is a young man, in love, trained to fight and ready to take his place in the dreaded shield wall. Above all, though, he wishes to recover his fathers land, the enchanting fort of Bebbanburg by the wild northern sea.
This thrilling adventurebased on existing records of Bernard Cornwells ancestorsdepicts a time when law and order were ripped violently apart by a pagan assault on Christian England, an assault that came very close to destroying England.