The Last Kingdom – Week 1

Oh readers! What a read we have for this month! If you have seen the television show “The Last Kingdom” than this book will be familiar to you. I confess, I have not watched the show, so this book has been a fun foray. I hope that you ladies and gents enjoy the book this month! Lets jump in and get this adventure rocking!

 

Uhtred will weave a fantastic tale in this story. Born Osbert, he was rechristened Uhtred after the death of his older brother who bore the name. The ealdorman holds his base at Bebbanburg, and they have long held the lands since they conquered them many many years ago. Their forefathers are buried in this land they call England, with its wild and untamed lands. Everything seems to be progressing as usual, at least that is until the Danish ships come out of the fog. Uhtred (the brother) was sent to watch them and see what their numbers were, but he got over confident, and rushed the small village where they Danes were burning and pillaging. Being overtaken by a Danish force that was hidden, he is overtaken and each of them are killed. His head is then delivered to Bebbanburg, where Osbert becomes the new Uhtred.

As the men of Bebbanburg head off for battle, Uhtred is taken a long so that he can see how battles are, and learn from watching the older men. He is left in the care of his fathers priest Beocca, he manages to stay back through the first of the battle, but then as it seems their forces are winning, he presses forward. The Danes have laid a careful trap – and the Englishmen have been drawn into it. Seeing a group of riders approaching, Uhtred turns his horse and heads straight for the band of men, swinging his small sword at their leader. Laughing, the leader bends his sword, takes it from him and throws him across his saddle. Uhtred is now a prisoner of the Danes.

When he arrives, he expects that he will not live long, so he is a little shocked when Ragnar, the leader who disarmed him, takes him into his home. Ragnar begins to teach Uhtred the ways of the Danes. As he befriends his sons and daughter,  he finds himself being drawn even more into the family circle. While he is relieved to still be alive, he wonders why he is being allowed to live. The time will come though when Uhtred is going to have to make a choice, and he will have to determine whether he will remain loyal to his family, or if he will cast a new allegiance with the Danes. What he does not expect though, is how soon that choice might have to be made…

 

This week we are reading Preface – Chapter 2

Questions:

  1. Uhtred is not the first to bear this name. Why is it so important for him to have this name?
  2. Ragnar is determined to win Uhtred over to his cause. Why?

 

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