Death of Kings: A Novel
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Date: January 2012
Duration: 10 hours 23 minutes
The sixth installment of Bernard Cornwell’s 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.
As the ninth century wanes, England is perched once more on the brink of chaos. King Alfred is dying; with his passing, the island of Britain seems doomed to renewed warfare. Alfred wants his son Edward to succeed him, but there are other Saxon claimants to the throne—as well as ambitious pagan Vikings to the north.
With the promise of battle looming again, Uhtred, the Viking-raised but Saxon-born warrior, whose life seems to shadow the making of England itself, is torn between competing loyalties. Uhtred’s loyalty, and his vows, are to Alfred—not to his son—and despite long years of service to the old king, Uhtred is still reluctant to commit to Alfred’s cause. His own desire is to reclaim his long lost ancestral lands and castle to the north. As the king’s warrior he is duty-bound, but the king’s reign is nearing its end, and his death will leave a vacuum of power. Uhtred is forced to make a momentous choice: either take up arms—and Alfred’s mantle—to realize his dream of a united and Christian England, or be responsible for condemning it to oblivion.
Death of Kings is a harrowing story of the power of tribal commitment and the dilemma of divided loyalties. This is the making of England magnificently brought to life by “the best historical novelist writing today” (Vince Flynn).