It’s indeed enthralling to read historical fiction which involves the era of several kingdoms fighting against each other, the aura of the kings and queens, the battle scenes, the royalty, etc.
I always get excited to read this genre, and one book series I love is The Last Kingdom, a historical fiction written by Bernard Cornwell. The book series has gained immense popularity and is also adapted as a Netflix series.
I will give you the complete list of the Last Kingdom Books in Order in this article. I have also included a brief description of each book under the series, so you can get the overview before proceeding with the read. Let’s get started, shall we?
Who is Bernard Cornwell?
Bernard Cornwell was born in the year 1944 in London. Bernard’s mother was a Women’s Auxiliary Air Force member, and his father was a Canadian Airman. A religious family later adopted him, and after leaving them, he changed his name to Cornwell, his birth mother’s maiden name.
Bernard completed his studies at the University of London, worked as a teacher, and joined BBC Television. After marrying an American, he moved to the United States but could not receive a green card; hence chose the writing career as it did not require any work permit. His first novel was about a British soldier named Richard Sharpe.
Bernard Cornwell’s Last Kingdom Books In Order
|Where to Buy
|The Last Kingdom
|January 25, 2005
|The Pale Horseman
|December 26, 2006
|Lords of the North
|January 2, 2008
|January 1, 2008
|HarperCollins Publishers Limited
|The Burning Land
|September 14, 2010
|Death of Kings
|August 28, 2012
|The Pagan Lord
|January 7, 2014
|The Empty Throne
|January 5, 2016
|Warriors of the Storm
|October 18, 2016
|The Flame Bearer
|October 31, 2017
The Last Kingdom Series in Reading and Publication Order
The Last Kingdom series was published in 2004 and was originally known as The Saxon Stories. The popular book series also has a Netflix adaptation.
The main protagonist of this series is Uthred, who is inspired by the real-life historical figure Uthred the Bold. Cornwell is known to be the descendant of this historical figure.
The protagonist Uthred was born in Northumbria to a Saxon Lord but was captured by the Danes as a child. The Danes raised him as their own.
In the book, Danes invade all the English kingdoms except the Wessex kingdom. The series is based on the ninth and tenth centuries and focuses on the conflicts between the Danes and other kingdoms. In between the war, Uthred faces many challenges, and his loyalties are questioned.
This series is truly incredible, with all the battle scenes and many other incidents throughout creating an unforgettable experience for the readers.
The Last Kingdom series has a total of 13 books, and it is recommended to read the books in their reading and publication order. Choosing any random book from the series is not advised, as they all are interconnected, and you won’t be able to follow the whole story.
I have listed all the books in the series in their reading and publication order, along with a brief description. You can check it out to get an overview of the series.
1. The Last Kingdom (2004)
The Last Kingdom is the first book of the series, where we are introduced to Uthred and other impactful characters.
At age ten, Uthred, the Saxon prince, was captured by the Danes during the battle when the Kingdom was at war. Uthred was raised as one of them and now is turned into a young man trained to fight when required.
We learn that the Danes have invaded all the kingdoms except the Kingdom of Wessex. Later the King of Wessex, Alfred the Great, defeats the Danes, which Uthred finds hard to believe because he has always seen Alfred as a weakling. But after this unexpected defeat, the Danes turn their backs on Uthred, questioning his loyalty. Now unwillingly, he must choose sides. Which side will Uthred choose?
2. The Pale Horseman (2005)
In the previous book, the Danes were defeated at Cynuit. But this defeat quickly turned into a victory because, not long after, they invaded and captured three kingdoms of England out of four.
After this invasion, King Alfred, his family, a few loyal soldiers, and, surprisingly, due to unforeseen circumstances, also Uthred are in hiding. After he was captured, he saw himself as a part of the Danes and always wished to fight for them in battle.
But the entry of a powerful sorceress in his life, Iseult, and the recent changes lead his feelings in a different direction. Surprisingly Uthred discovers a newfound love and loyalty toward his kingdom and the king.
3. Lords of the North (2006)
It is year 878, and there is no invasion of the Vikings in the Kingdom of Wessex. According to the events in The Pale Horseman, Uthred helped King Alfred win the battle against the Vikings. But witnessing the king’s lack of generosity, he flees Wessex and heads toward north.
He wants to take revenge for the murder of his foster father and also to rescue his stepsister, who is captured. The north is in chaos, and if Uthred wants to win this battle, his best hope is his sword. But he will also need an army of warriors to get revenge and fulfill his rescue plan. With so many obstacles along the way, it will be a challenging ride for Uthred throughout.
4. Sword Song (2007)
It’s the year 885, and England is divided but living peacefully. The country is divided between the north, where the Danish Kingdom resides, and the south, where there is the Saxon Kingdom of Wessex.
The dispossessed son of a Northumbrian Lord, Uthred, now lives with his wife and children in his own land. King Alfred has given him the duty to hold the frontier on the Thames.
On the other hand, the peace of England is in danger when a dead man rises, and a new Viking army marches to invade the Roman city of London and is also coming to capture Wessex. But they will need Uthred’s help to do so, but the question is will Uthred will be willing to help the Vikings, or he will choose King Alfred and his country.
5. The Burning Land (2009)
In this book, we learn that King Alfred is severely ill, and his son is an untested youth. The Danish Kingdom was quiet for so long, but now have a powerful warrior Harald Bloodhair to attack the Kingdom of Wessex again. But history repeats itself, and Uthred defeats the Danes again, saving King Alfred’s kingdom.
But due to some circumstances, Uthred vows never to fight for Wessex again and separates himself from the king. Joining the Vikings, he teams up with Ragnar, his old friend, and Haesten, his old foe, to invade the Kingdom of Wessex. But destiny has different plans and takes him to a battle filled with blood and brutality.
6. Death of Kings (2011)
King Alfred’s health has worsened, and the throne is severely threatened. According to the King’s wish, Alfred’s son, Edward, should be the successor. But other Saxons are also willing to claim the throne, and not to forget the Vikings of the north eagerly waiting to invade the Kingdom.
Uthred is in a difficult situation because he has vowed his loyalty to the king but later concludes that the king is dying and he is not answerable to his son. He wants to claim his lost lands and the north. But with the king’s ill health, Uthred is bound to make a decision that will result in the future of England. Will he defend the dream of Alfred of a united England, or will he prioritize his own wishes?
7. The Pagan Lord (2013)
King Alfred is dead, and his son Edward is the ruler of the Wessex kingdom. But the Danes are still not ready to relinquish the Wessex throne. The Viking ruler Cnut Longsword is planning to invade Wessex again with his army, as they will not rest until the crown is in their hands.
On the other hand, Uthred is not bound to any oath with the new king. He is on a mission to recapture the Northumbrian fortress Bebbanburg, his old family home.
Everybody will witness the deadliest battle, including the Danes and the kingdoms of England, where loyalties will falter, blood will be shed, and the nation’s fate might change.
8. The Empty Throne (2014)
The Danes are still unable to take over the kingdom of Wessex, and the threat from the North is still lurking around the kingdom.
On the other hand, the ruler of Mercia, Aethelred, is on the verge of death with no heir as a successor to the throne. King Edward’s sister and the widow of Aethelred, named Athelflaed, is respected and adored, possessing the abilities of a leader. But the real question is, will the Saxons accept a woman ruler?
The Viking warrior and Saxon-born man, Uthred, is injured and healing from the wounds received in a battle. The only way to regain his strength is to find the sword that caused his wounds, but how will he get a hold of the weapon when the battle is long over?
9. Warriors of the Storm (2015)
The kingdoms of England aren’t as peaceful as they might seem from the outside. Edward is ruling the kingdom of Wessex, and his sister Aethelflaed is the ruler of Mercia. Uthred controls the north and carries his operations from the fortified city of Chester.
A big storm is coming to break the so-called peace within these kingdoms. The Northmen, an alliance of the Irish, barge into the kingdoms during the nighttime, led by the Viking warrior Ragnall Iverson, a ruthless leader and fighter.
Ragnall’s brother is the husband of Uthred’s daughter; hence he is torn between family and loyalties. But Uthred will not allow the kingdoms to collapse and will achieve his dream of claiming Northumbria, no matter what it takes.
10. The Flame Bearer (2016)
After the battle from the last book, Northumbria is ruled by Uthred’s son-in-law Sigtryggr who has mutually made a truce with the Queen of Mercia, Aethelflaed.
With no war forthcoming, Uthred can finally reclaim his ancestral family home of Bebbanburg. The ancestral home that his uncle stole from him and is still holding onto.
But the peace is soon disrupted when enemies attack from both sides, the north and south. If Uthred wishes to claim his old family home, he must fight with the enemies and defeat them to bring everything back to normal. Will Uthred be able to win back his rightful property this time?
11. War of the Wolf (2018)
Uthred has finally regained his ancestral home but are things peaceful? Well, no, it’s not making Uthred believe that his life is cursed.
This time Uthred has to face a new as well as an old enemy. The new foe is a Norseman, Sköll, and he is on a mission to capture Northumbria and sit on the throne. He leads an army of wolf warriors, people who believe they are half wolves and fight like these ruthless creatures.
And the old enemy belongs from Wessex, where again, the power to the throne is in question. Uthred must fight both enemies together.
12. Sword of Kings (2019)
Not so surprisingly, the Vikings and the Saxons are in a war to claim the territories. And King Edward is on the verge of losing his authority over his successors. Two potential heirs are on the line, and only one will be chosen.
On the other hand, Uthred has pulled himself out from the matters of the Saxons and is focused on protecting his place. But his oath will lead him along with his warriors toward the south.
13. War Lord (2020)
War Lord is the final book, marking the conclusion of the Last Kingdom series.
Uthred wants to live normally with his loyal warriors by his side and a new woman in his life. But his wish is not granted because war is raging outside his household.
King Aethelstan, the Scots, the Northmen, and the Irish are making alliances and initiating a war against each other. Uthred is either receiving bribes or threats from all sides. Now he must decide if he will get involved in the war, stay out of it, or fate will bring something else on his plate.
Bernard Cornwell has given us a fantastic historical book series. The Last Kingdom, with scenes of battlegrounds, bloodshed, changed loyalties, and much more, takes us on a thrilling ride to an era where the war between kingdoms for power used to be brutal and unforgettable.
I hope you liked this article, “Complete List of the Last Kingdom Books in Order.” I am sure you are intrigued after reading this post and willing to try this book series.
Or have you already started or finished reading this series? If you have, do share your favorite books and characters from the series in the comment box below. I will love to read them.