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Complete List of The Last Kingdom Books in Order by Bernard Cornwell

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If you enjoy reading books that blend historical fiction with gripping battle scenes, political intrigue and rich character development, then you’ll want to read The Last Kingdom books in order.

It is recommended to read The Last Kingdom books in order as the series follows the story in chronological sequence. Reading them in order allows readers to better understand the characters’ development and the historical events shaping the narrative.

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The Last Kingdom Books in Order: Written List

  1. The Last Kingdom (2004)
  2. The Pale Horseman (2005)
  3. Lords of the North (2006)
  4. Sword Song (2007)
  5. The Burning Land (2009)
  6. Death of Kings (2011)
  7. The Pagan Lord (2013)
  8. The Empty Throne (2014)
  9. Warriors of the Storm (2015)
  10. The Flame Bearer (2016)
  11. War of the Wolf (2018)
  12. Sword of Kings (2019)
  13. War Lord (2020)

The Last Kingdom Books FAQs

What Are The Last Kingdom Books by Bernard Cornwell About?

The Last Kingdom series is a collection of novels written by British author Bernard Cornwell, who is often hailed as the master of historical fiction. The series was originally known as The Saxon Stories in the UK and by The Saxon Tales series, The Saxon Chronicles series and The Warrior Chronicles in other parts of the world.

If you read The Last Kingdom books in order, you’ll follow the events during the Viking Age and the formation of England as a nation. The series follows Uhtred of Bebbanburg, a fictional character who becomes involved in the major historical events of the time. Uhtred is the orphaned son of a Saxon lord who was kidnapped and raised by Danish Vikings. Uhtred finds himself constantly torn between his ancestry and the pagan warriors he’s come to know as family.

Are the Saxon Tales books the same as The Last Kingdom?

Yes, The Saxon Tales and The Last Kingdom refer to the same series of historical novels written by Bernard Cornwell. The series is known by both names, and they are used interchangeably. The Last Kingdom is the title of the first book in the series, and it is often used as the name for the entire book series, especially after the success of the television adaptation titled The Last Kingdom.

How many books are in The Last Kingdom series?

There are thirteen books in total.

What is the final book in The Last Kingdom series?

War Lord is the thirteenth and concluding instalment of The Last Kingdom book series.

Is there a film adaptation of The Last Kingdom book series?

While there isn’t a movie adaptation, The Last Kingdom book series was so popular it was made into a hugely successful tv series. Led by Alexander Dreymon’s compelling performance as Uhtred of Bebbanburg, the tv show delves into the historical events that defined the ninth and tenth centuries.

With each season corresponding to events in the book series, viewers are treated to a visually stunning and historically accurate journey that explores themes of loyalty, identity, and the forging of a nation.

The Last Kingdom Books in Order: Descriptions

Here are the The Last Kingdom books in publication order, with a brief description of each book.

The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell (2004)

The last kingdom books in over: book 1 cover

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.

The Pale Horseman by Bernard Cornwell (2005)

Book cover of the pale horseman by bernard cornwell, the second book in the the last kingdom book series

The Pale Horseman is the second book in the tale of Uhtred, Lord of Bebbanburg, and his complex relationship with Alfred the Great, King of Wessex, in the 9th Century. It picks up the day after the events described in The Last Kingdom and unfolds during the fateful year in which the Danes capture Alfred’s kingdom, forcing him to become a fugitive in the marshes of Athelney.

It seems that Wessex, and England, are destroyed, but Alfred is determined to make one desperate gamble that might save his kingdom . . . .

Lords of the North by Bernard Cornwell (2006)

In 878, Uhtred, a dispossessed Northumbrian lord’s son, aids the Saxons in defeating the Danes. Now free from allegiance to King Alfred, he seeks to rescue his stepsister from Kjartan the Cruel in Dunholm. Armed with his sword, Serpent-Breath, and accompanied by allies—a fleeing West Saxon nun named Hild and Guthred, a slave claiming kingship—they face rebellion, chaos, fear, and betrayal in the north.

Reluctantly, Uhtred turns back to his former liege, Alfred the Great, navigating a treacherous path of battle and blood.

Sword Song by Bernard Cornwell (2007)

In 885, England is precariously split between the Danish Kingdom in the north and Saxon Wessex in the south. Uhtred, a Viking warrior loyal to pious King Alfred, holds land and faces his duty at the Thames frontier.

A risen dead man and Viking invaders in London disrupt the peace, seeking Uhtred’s aid to conquer Wessex. Caught between loyalty to the king and shifting allegiances, Uhtred, Alfred’s keenest sword, faces a pivotal choice shaping England’s future.

The Burning Land by Bernard Cornwell (2009)

In the late ninth century, as King Alfred of Wessex faces health challenges and an untested heir, his warlord Uhtred must navigate the invasion of Danish enemies led by the formidable Harald Bloodhair. Despite Uhtred’s triumph, tragedy strikes, leading him to part ways with the Saxon king.

Aligning with the Vikings, alongside his old friend Ragnar and former foe Haesten, Uhtred plots to invade and conquer Wessex. However, fate unfolds unexpected plans, setting the stage for a tumultuous journey.

Death of Kings by Bernard Cornwell (2011)

In the fading years of the ninth century, as Alfred the Great nears death and his dream of a unified England falters, chaos looms with competing Saxon claimants and Viking threats. Uhtred, torn between allegiance to Alfred and the yearning to reclaim his ancestral lands, faces a pivotal choice.

Saxon-born yet Viking-raised, he, the king’s warrior, has not sworn loyalty to the crown prince, Edward. Now, at a crossroads, Uhtred must decide whether to take up arms, carrying Alfred’s vision forward, or lay down his sword, allowing the dream of a unified kingdom to perish.

The Pagan Lord by Bernard Cornwell (2013)

In the early tenth century, England faces upheaval as Alfred the Great’s son, Edward, takes the throne. Despite Wessex’s survival, the threat looms from the north, where Viking Cnut Longsword and his Danes seek to invade and claim the emerald crown.

Uhtred, once Alfred’s esteemed warrior but now out of favour with the new king, must lead a band of outcasts on a quest to recapture his ancestral home, Bebbanburg.

The Pagan Lord unfolds a tale of divided loyalties, fallen men, and the bloodiest battle between Saxons and Danes that will shape the fate of kings and the entire British nation.

The Empty Throne by Bernard Cornwell (2014)

In the early tenth century AD, Britain faces change with new Viking raids from Ireland and internal turmoil among the Saxons over Mercia’s leadership. With Æthelred’s death leaving no legitimate heir, the West Saxons vie for their king, while Uhtred supports Æthelflaed, a respected and loved leader.

As the stage is set for rivals to battle for the vacant throne, the question arises: Can Saxon warriors accept a woman as their ruler?

Warriors of the Storm by Bernard Cornwell (2015)

In the fragile peace reigning over Wessex, Mercia, and East Anglia, King Alfred’s son Edward and his formidable daughter Aethelflaed rule. However, the threat of Northmen raids looms, with Uhtred of Bebbanburg, the greatest warrior, controlling northern Mercia from the fortified city of Chester.

Forces gather against him, as Northmen allied with the Irish, led by the fierce warrior Ragnall Ivarson, join forces with the Northumbrians. Despite the mounting danger, Edward and Aethelflaed hesitate to leave their fortified positions.

Amid the struggle between family, loyalty, ambition, and commitment, Uhtred, a man with a warrior’s courage, may find a challenging but defining path in his finest hour.

The Flame Bearer by Bernard Cornwell (2016)

In a tense post-war Britain, the West Saxons triumph over Danish-held East Anglia, and the Mercians reclaim their borderlands from pagan northmen in Northumbria. A delicate truce holds between Æthelflæd’s Mercia and Northumbria, led by Uhtred of Bebbanburg’s son-in-law, Sigtryggr.

Amid this fragile peace, Uhtred plans to reclaim Bebbanburg, his rightfully owned fortress stolen from him in childhood. However, his strategy faces disruption as the Scots claim the north, and the West Saxons, led by Uhtred’s old foe Æthelhelm, invade Northumbria from the south. To succeed, Uhtred must overcome Æthelhelm’s forces, repel the Scots, and then turn his attention to the formidable fortress by the sea. With a small army and many enemies, Uhtred, the supreme warlord of Britain, faces a challenging yet determined path.

War of the Wolf by Bernard Cornwell (2018)

Despite Lord Uhtred’s victory in reclaiming Bebbanburg, peace remains elusive. Rebellion brews in Mercia, and Norse invaders threaten at every corner. Amidst the turmoil, Uhtred confronts King Skoll, a fierce Norseman leading a horde of wolf warriors, set on conquering a kingdom with ruthless violence. Outnumbered and encircled by new foes, Uhtred must summon all his skill and courage to safeguard Northumbria from the impending Viking onslaught.

Sword of Kings by Bernard Cornwell (2019)

Amidst political unrest in the 10th century, King Edward’s faltering control and multiple potential heirs create a turbulent backdrop. Uhtred of Bebbanburg, deeply committed to Northumbria’s independence, resists being entangled in the political struggles of Wessex and Mercia.

However, a sacred oath binds him to Aethelstan, a potential king, compelling Uhtred to navigate the treacherous battle for kingship in an effort to uphold his sworn commitment and secure England’s fate.

War Lord by Bernard Cornwell (2020)

THE FINAL BATTLE AWAITS… England is under attack. Chaos reigns. Northumbria, the last kingdom, is threatened by armies from all sides, by land and sea – and only one man stands in their way. Torn between loyalty and sworn oaths, the warrior king Lord Uhtred of Bebbanburg faces his greatest ever battle – and prepares for his ultimate fate…

Summary

This is the complete list of The Last Kingdom books in order. I’ll keep this list updated if any new books are released.

If you’re looking for more reading inspiration why not check out my other book lists and book reviews. I have book reviews listed by author and book reviews listed by genre. I also have author reading lists and series order lists to help inspire you.

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