It's Friday and today's feature is a review of The Last Kingdom (The Saxon Chronicles Book 1) by Bernard Cornwall and how it compares to the Netflix show that was based on it! Even better the book I reviewed will be part of next week's Win It Wednesday Pack!
Blurb About The Book
In the middle years of the ninth century, the fierce Danes stormed onto British soil, hungry for spoils and conquest. Kingdom after kingdom fell to the ruthless invaders until but one realm remained. And suddenly the fate of all England—and the course of history—depended upon one man, one king.
From New York Times bestselling storyteller Bernard Cornwell comes a rousing epic adventure of courage, treachery, duty, devotion, majesty, love, and battle as seen through the eyes of a young warrior who straddled two worlds.
Standalone or series?
Book 1 of 13! (That's a big series - as a note the 1st season covers events from books 1 & 2)
How did I get this book?
Jenn sent it as part of a prize pack for Win It Wednesday.
Why did I choose to read this book:
Having watched the show I wasn't going to read the books - but then it was there. And the Musers agreed that it was fine for me to read it before I gave it away.
And Now To The Review!
Coming to a book series after seeing the TV show or Movie is always going to lead to a little bias and I have noticed that I generally favor the first I come across. This is even more accurate here - I honestly don't think I would have read the book if I wasn't so invested in the series. The writing is excellent, but not really my cup of coffee BUT because I had seen many of the general events unfold on screen I enjoyed reading it and getting a new perspective.
Bernard Cornwall is an award winning writer for a reason! He adds a lot of detail and even following the fighting scenes tracked really well for me. There are a lot of differences from the show - for example in the book Uhtred has blonde hair, (those of you that have read my reviews before know that means nothing to me and I continued to imagine him exactly as his screen character), and we get a lot more story about his younger years and how he grew up with the Danes. The book is written in Uhtred's voice so I as I read it I could hear it very clearly, just like the intros on the show.
There are a LOT of differences, none of which bothered me. Characters are introduced and play different roles that I was used to, but in the context of the book it all worked nicely.
Overall this is, in my opinion, a good read for someone who has already watched the show. I am almost 100% sure that I wouldn't have picked up the book as a random choice for me without having watched the show first, but now I am tempted to read more if only to see what else changed.
A solid 4 stars with a note that this rating is how I felt about the book because I had seen the show. I am not sure what my rating would have been without that. It may even have ended up as a DNF.
Check out the trailer for the Netflix series below! All 5 seasons are now streaming and there is a conclusion movie coming to wrap it up. (A note on the movie - I am a little concerned as to what their plan is there because for me, the ending of Season 5 was PERFECT. The movie may become one of those things that I watch once, and then pretend doesn't exist.... but we will see!
Code word for this article is Uhtred
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