Defeated comprehensively by the Vikings, Alfred and his Saxon followers seek refuge in Athelney, a tidal swamp and all that is left of Alfred's kingdom.
Uhtred still thinks of rejoining his Danish foster brother and the victorious Vikings, but he finds a growing respect for the stubborn leadership of Alfred, to whom Uhtred's support is essential if the Saxon strength is to be rebuilt and battle joined with the enemy.
Don't miss the rest of Bernard Cornwell's literary masterpieces.
©2006 Bernard Cornwell; (P) BBC Audiobooks LTD
The sequel to "The Last Kingdom" is just as excellent as the first volume and the narrator is phenomenal : priests, monks, warriors, and kings all come alive (really alive : close your eyes and you can touch them...). The combination of a good book and a great narrator is what makes audiobooks so much fun and it doesn't get better than this !!!
I just can't wait for the next volume to be released...
The quality of the narration is done exceptionally well. The story itself makes me want to learn a lot more about my history. It makes one wonder about so many other aspects of history and where we could be with even ever so slightly different outcomes.
One more time!
An excellent book read by an excellent reader.
What could possibly be better!
Semi retired Manager in the Home Improvements industry. Interested in photography and video, arts and crafts, walking, railways and computing.
Uhtred's story continues. Do you! have the guts to stand next to him in the shield wall. Where does his allegiance lie, with the Danes or the Saxons, can past loyalties survive. Plenty of Dark Age battles with buckets of gore. Excellent historical based novel.
Yes, in this case I think the audiobook version worked better for me than the print version would have done. Usually I prefer the print version but all 6 of these audiobooks were excellent despite several different readers. Actually, my main complaint was the 2 of the series were abridged and this greatly diminished my enjoyment - it always does!
I love reading and listening to books, especially fantasy, science fiction, children's, historical, and classics.
I really liked the audiobook of The Last Kingdom, Bernard Cornwell???s first novel in his Saxon Chronicles! It has vivid details of life among the Danes, authentic-feeling depiction of 9th century battle, a complex Alfred (pious, learned, and manipulative), and an honest and conflicted first person narrator, Uhtred the pagan Saxon warrior. And Tom Sellwood reads it wonderfully, with an appealing Northumbrian accent for Uhtred???s voice, whereby u sounds (as in sun) become oa sounds (as in soap).
But despite Sellwood???s believeable reading (for Uhtred, southern Saxons, Britons, Danes, priests, warriors, and women, etc.), The Pale Horseman, the second book in the Saxon Chronicles, disappointed me. It has plenty of violent action (blood, guts, and excrement) and develops more of Alfred???s complex character (his bravery and lack of warrior???s spirit). And there are some great scenes, as when Iseult works healing Celtic moon magic, or as when Uhtred shows up at Alfred???s court expecting to join his inner circle of advisors and is accused of breaking the king???s peace in siding with Danes in butchering Christian Britons and sacking a half-built church, or as when Alfred begins the painstaking process of assembling an army in the marshes.
But I found The Pale Horseman an unpleasant listen that I was relieved to finish. Maybe it was Uhtred???s 21 year-old macho rage, violence, and lack of humor. Maybe his dilemma, whether to place his allegiance and sword with the pagan Danes or the Christian Saxons, left me wishing he???d just be true to his pagan heart and regretting the course of history in which Cornwell places him to write the novel. Maybe I found it a little unbelievable or tiresome that he would be so effective a warrior and successful a leader and get so little credit or reward for his feats and advice. Maybe I felt that the presence of (obviously accurate) prophecy in the novel removes too much suspense. Maybe there were just not enough likeable characters.
I may eventually give Uhtred and Cornwell a third try with the third book, but not for a long time.
I would recommend the book to a friend, though I might recommend reading it for one self.
Tom Sellwood did an OK job at differentiating between the characters though I would have preferred a performance without all this changing of voices. I prefer to form my own opinion of the characters and when a character is given a voice that I find does not match what I envision myself, it tends to irritate me.
The audio cuts off in several places, especially in part 2 so parts of words and even whole words are cut out.
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