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The City Of Invention

The book reviews of UK children's author, Brian Keaney

Accomplished Storytelling

The Last Kingdom - Bernard Cornwell

Set in ninth century Britain and narrated by Uhtred, an eleven-year- old boy whose father, a Saxon noble, is killed fighting the Danes in Northumbria, The Last Kingdom is the story of the Viking  invasions of England and the resistance of Alfred the Great.


The story follows the fortunes of Uhtred as he learns to love his captors, grows up to become a formidable warrior fighting against his own country, and finally returns to the English fold, lured back by the shrewd, pious and deeply complicated figure of Alfred.


Full of colour and incident, cleverly-plotted and richly-detailed, Bernard Cornwell's novel brings the period vividly to life. This is a real tour-de-force of storytelling and one of those books that you stay up much too late reading because you simply must get to the end.