The Last Kingdom (英語) ハードカバー – 2004/4/3
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The first book in a brand new series, The Last Kingdom is set in England during the reign of King Alfred. Uhtred is an English boy, born into the aristocracy of ninth-century Northumbria. Orphaned at ten, he is captured and adopted by a Dane and taught the Viking ways. Yet Uhtred's fate is indissolubly bound up with Alfred, King of Wessex, who rules over the only English kingdom to survive the Danish assault. The struggle between the English and the Danes and the strife between christianity and paganism is the background to Uhtred's growing up. He is left uncertain of his loyalties but a slaughter in a winter dawn propels him to the English side and he will become a man just as the Danes launch their fiercest attack yet on Alfred's kingdom. Marriage ties him further still to the West Saxon cause but when his wife and child vanish in the chaos of the Danish invasion, Uhtred is driven to face the greatest of the Viking chieftains in a battle beside the sea. There, in the horror of the shield-wall, he discovers his true allegiance. The Last Kingdom, like most of Bernard Cornwell's books, is firmly based on true history. It is the first novel of a series that will tell the tale of Alfred the Great and his descendants and of the enemies they faced, Viking warriors like Ivar the Boneless and his feared brother, Ubba. Against their lives Bernard Cornwell has woven a story of divided loyalties, reluctant love and desperate heroism. In Uhtred, he has created one of his most interesting and heroic characters and in The Last Kingdom one of his most powerful and passionate novels.
'Cornwell is a virtuoso of historical fiction.' Sunday Telegraph 'Bernard Cornwell is a literary miracle. Year after year, hail, rain, snow, war and political upheavals fail to prevent him from producing the most entertaining and readable historical novels of his generation.' Daily Mail 'Cornwell's narration is quite masterly and supremely well-researched.' Observer 'A gripping tale with swashbuckling action and colourful characters. Guaranteed to be yet another bestseller.' Sunday Telegraph商品の説明をすべて表示する
Beautifully written in the first masculine voice of Uhtred in short clear sentences that would mimic an English warrior raised by Danes. Watching the outstanding TV series optimises the enjoyment of the story enormously. The protagonist Uhtred, Earl of Babbenburg may have been the fearless and deadly warrior, but he was also impulsive, at times reckless and most of the time self serving in his actions. But fate has it that he had various good people appearing at different time points that would exert their positive influence. Uhtred would obey because he was compelled by his love or respect or Uhtred’s sense of honor and duty or all three elements for these important people (quite a few which I won't mention all in my review to allow you to discover for yourself). Chief of these was Father Beocca who was Uhtred’s moral compass, teacher and loyal friend. But the man that manipulated and tamed Uhtred to help save Wessex and establish the united kingdom of England was King Alfred. We know that a soldier/army, however good his fighting skills, is in the end defeated without a good leader. Likewise, a brilliant leader without good soldiers is ineffective. So what kept Wessex alive were the necessary ingenious leadership of wise King Alfred's, and at his disposal, good warrior leaders like Uhtred (especially in the battle of Cynuit) and the loyal peasant soldiers roused by patriotism who farmed the land when they were not called to battle. But really what impressed me most in the tale was Uhtred because he reminded himself constantly that it was the the three spinners that determined the fate of mankind and how events must unfold. A belief I myself hold dearly because it helps me to accept mishaps and tragedies in my life philosophically and be thankful for the goodness I have received. The three spinners in The Last Kingdom (Saxon Tales Book 1) spun threads of love, loyalty, a sense of duty, honor and intermingled with impulsiveness, pride, selfish ambitions and lusts that would steer Uhtred throughout his life .