The Last Kingdom Books in Order

In this article we will list the The Last Kingdom books in order along with a brief summary and ratings.

Bernard Cornwell is best known for his book series like the Sharpe , The Last Kingdom and the Grail Quest.

Bernard Cornwell’s The Last Kingdom is a series of 13 historical adventure novels, set in Britain during the late-ninth and tenth centuries.

Each book chronicles the bloody territorial wars between the English armies of the island’s four kingdoms, the invading Danish armies, and the Vikings.

The Last Kingdom or the Saxon Tales is narrated by Uhtred, the young Lord of Bebbanburg in Northumbria.

Sl. No.The Last Kingdom Books in Order
1)The Last Kingdom (2004)
2)The Pale Horseman (2005)
3)The 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 character Uhtred’s name was inspired by Cornwell’s birth father, William Outhred, who Cornwell met at the age of 58.

Bernard Cornwell then tracked his birth father’s family to the 6th century and learned that he descended from the Saxons.

In the book, Uthred’s abduction by the Danes gives the novel its complex narrative perspective that explores the implications of cultural and national identity.

In an interview, Bernard Cornwell said that the inspiration for writing the series came from, “Years ago, when, I was at university, I discovered Anglo-Saxon poetry and became hooked on that strange and often melancholy world. For some reason, the history of the Anglo-Saxons isn’t much taught in Britain and it struck me as weird that the English really had no idea where their country came from. Americans know, they even had a starting date, but the English just seemed to assume that England had always been there, so the idea of writing a series about the creation of England was in my head for a long time.

Who are the Main Characters in The Last Kingdom?

The Saxon Tales/The Last Kingdom is narrated by Uhtred Bebbenburg, an old man telling stories from his past, starting from his childhood.

His story tends to intertwine with the many wars taking place in the British Isles during the end of the ninth century.

Other important characters in the series are Alfred the Great, the King of Wessex who defended Britain against the Danish invaders and attempted to spread Christianity in the country.

Alfred the Great’s eldest daughter, Aethelflaed ruled the kingdom on her own and was known as a formidable military leader and strategist.

The Last Kingdom TV Adaptation

The Last Kingdom is a British historical fiction television series based on Bernard Cornwell’s The Last Kingdom Series.

Developed for television by Stephen Butchard, from the second season onwards the book was co-produced by Netflix.

The series concluded in 2022 after five seasons but was followed by a feature-length film that concluded the series in 2023.

The series has a long list of actors in major roles, such as Matthew Macfadeyn, Joseph Millson, Emily Cox, Ian Hurt, and Charlie Murphy.

Bernard Cornwell’s Biography

Bernard Cornwell is a British-American novelist born in London. His biological parents met during World War 2. While his father was a Canadian airman and his mother was in Britain’s Women’s Auxiliary Air Force.

He was adopted by a Christian Fundamentalist family who belonged to a religious sect known as the Peculiar People.

Cornwell has stated saying that his religious upbringing made him reject all religions and become a fervent atheist.

Cornwell attended London University and after a brief stint as a teacher, joined the BBC where he worked as a researcher on the Nationwide Programme and even became the Head of Current Affairs Television for the BBC in Northern Ireland.

After falling in love with an American woman called Judy, Bernard moved to the States and started working as a writer because it was the one job that didn’t require a permit from the US government.

This led to him writing the Sharpe series. Cornwell has written several critically acclaimed historical novel series, including the Sharpe stories, the Warlord Chronicles, The Grail Quest Novels, The Saxon Stories/ The Last Kingdom, and the Starbuck Chronicles.

The Last Kingdom Books in Order

1) The Last Kingdom (2004)

The Last Kingdom (2004)
The Last Kingdom (2004)

The Last Kingdom is the first historical novel in The Saxon Stories by Bernard Cornwell. Told from the perspective of Uhtred, an older man who was captured as a child by the Danes and was then raised by them.

He starts to think of himself as a Dane and goes on to have a negative attitude towards King Alfred the Great, who he thinks is no match for Viking savagery.

However, when King Alfred defeats the Danes and the Danes turn themselves on Uhtred, Uhtred must choose sides wisely.

With a rating of 4.26 out of 5 stars on Goodreads, this thrilling adventure is inspired by Bernard Cornwell’s ancestors and is praised by the readers for its depiction of the pagan assault of Christian England.

2) The Pale Horseman (2005)

The Pale Horseman (2005)
The Pale Horseman (2005)

Set in 9th century Wessex and Cornwall, The Pale Horseman is the second historical novel in the Saxon Stories by Bernard Cornwell.

The novel picks up right after the events of The Last Kingdom conclude.  It tells the story of Uhtred, Lord of Bebbanburg, and his complicated relationship with the King of Wessex, Alfred the Great, along with the Dane’s effort to capture Alfred’s kingdom and force him into exile.

Meanwhile, Alfred, the Great is determined in his efforts to save his kingdom even when all hope seems lost.

3) The Lords of the North (2006)

The Lords of the North (2006)
The Lords of the North (2006)

Published in 2006, The Lords of the North is the third instalment in Bernard Cornwell’s The Saxon Stories. Wessex is finally free from the Vikings as Uhtred and Alfred joined forces to win that victory.

However, Uhtred is not happy with Alfred’s lack of generosity, so he flees Wessex and goes back north to seek revenge for the killing of his foster father and to rescue his stepsister.

However, when he arrives in the north, all he sees is despair and chaos. The Lords of the North is another brilliant entry by Bernard Cornwell. It is a saga of struggle, romance, and betrayal set in the backdrop of England going through upheaval.

With a rating of 4.35 out of 5 on Goodreads, Cornwell has been praised for creating a layered and complex protagonist who is transformed into a splendid heroic figure.

4) Sword Song (2007)

Sword Song (2007)
Sword Song (2007)

England is finally at peace with the Danish Kingdom ruling the North and the Saxon Kingdom of Wessex ruling the South.

Uhtred is now a landowner with a wife and young children. His job is to hold the frontier on the Thames and maintain peace between the two rivals.

However, when the Vikings start invading the decayed Roman city of London with plans to conquer Wessex, Uhtred gets stuck between making a choice that will determine England’s future.

5) The Burning Land (2009)

The Burning Land (2009)
The Burning Land (2009)

The fifth instalment in Bernard Cornwell’s saga about the birth of England is set at the end of the ninth century.

With King Alfred of Wessex ill and his heir still and uncontested youth, the responsibility to outwit the invading Danes falls onto Uhtred.

However, Uhtred’s victory forces him to break away from the Saxon king and join the Vikings once again.

Together, along with the Vikings, Uhtred devises a strategy to invade and conquer Wessex, once and for all.

Published in 2009, The Burning Land has over 35k ratings on Goodreads that average 4.31 out of 5 stars.

6) Death of Kings (2011)

Death of Kings (2011)
Death of Kings (2011)

Published in 2011, the sixth instalment of Bernard Cornwell’s The Saxon Stories continues the story of Uhtred.

This time we follow Uhtred after the death of Alfred the Great. With many forces struggling to claim the throne, Uhtred has to contend with the largest Army the Danes have ever assembled to conquer Wessex.

While reviewing the Death of Kings, a reviewer for the New York Times wrote that Cornwell, “writes morally complicated and intricate stories, and he’s won a following not just among readers but also among fellow writers.

While another reviewer for the Guardian wrote, “Cornwell’s plot is enlivened by passaged of clear beauty as he describes the natural world in which such horrors take place.

7) The Pagan Lord (2013)

The Pagan Lord (2013)
The Pagan Lord (2013)

After Alfred the Great dies, his son, Edward becomes the king of Wessex. However, peace is short-lived in Wessex as the Danes in the North prepare to invade again.

Uhtred, once Alfred’s warlord has fallen out of favour with King Edward and must lead a band of outcasts to the North in order to reclaim his old family home.

Meanwhile, every man in the Saxon kingdom must participate in the deadliest battle with the Danes, a war which will decide the fate of the entire English nation.

8) The Empty Throne (2014)

The Empty Throne (2014)
The Empty Throne (2014)

Set in Britain in the early tenth century, turmoil continues to brew among the Saxons as there are new raids by the Vikings from Ireland.

Meanwhile, the ruler of Mercia is dying, leaving behind no legitimate heir and the Saxons want their king to rule over Mercia. However, Uhtred believes that Athelflaed, sister of King Edward of Wessex has all the makings of a leader.

Uhtred, himself is wounded and can’t regain his strength until he finds the sword that cause the injury. But with the sword lost amidst the battle, who will get to decide the fate of Mercia and ultimately the fate of England?

9) Warriors of the Storm (2015)

Warriors of the Storm (2015)
Warriors of the Storm (2015)

Warriors of the Storm is the ninth instalment in Bernard Cornwell’s Saxon Stories.

Uhtred continues to struggle between family and loyalty and between oaths given and political demands.

With the kingdom of Wessex under the rule of kind Edward and Mercia under the rule of Athelflaed, a fragile peace governs over England.

Meanwhile, The Northman, along with the Irish rage and pillage through Mercia to take over the troubled kingdom of Northumbria.

With Ragnall Ivarsson leading the Vikings, Uhtred is in the middle of a conundrum as Ivarsson’s brother is married to Uhtred’s daughter.

10) The Flame Bearer (2016)

The Flame Bearer (2016)
The Flame Bearer (2016)

In the tenth instalment of Bernard Cornwell’s Saxon Stories, Britain is at an uneasy peace. East Anglia defeated the Danish and the Mercians have reclaimed their land on the border of Northumbria.

During this time, Uhtred begins his campaign to end the assault of Bebbanburg, his fortress that was stolen from him. Meanwhile, the Scots surge down and claim the north of England.

In order to reclaim his fortress, Uhtred has to defeat Aethelhelm’s forces and drive the Scots away.

11) War of the Wolf (2018)

War of the Wolf (2018)
War of the Wolf (2018)

Set in 10th-century England, Uhtred has finally reclaimed his beloved fortress, however, his peace is short-lived.

With Aethelflaed gone, King Edward seizes her kingdom and summons Uhtred to swear fealty to him but when he ignored do to so, his Mercian land is forfeited.

Meanwhile, Skoll, a Norseman who wishes to become the king of Northumbria leads a frightening army of wolf warriors to the North.

12) Sword of Kings (2019)

Sword of Kings (2019)
Sword of Kings (2019)

In the 12th instalment of Bernard Cornwell’s Saxon Stories, we are transported back to 10th-century England which is in turmoil as the Vikings and Saxons battle for territory.

Meanwhile, Uhtred leads his men from his Northumbrian fortress to London after a violent clash at sea.

13) War Lord (2020)

War Lord (2020)
War Lord (2020)

Published in 2020, War Lord is the 13th instalment in Bernard Cornwell’s Saxon stories. Uhtred has returned to Northumbria with a loyal band of warriors and a new woman by his side, however, he is far from safe.

To the south, King Aethelstan has unified the kingdoms of Wessex, Mercia, and East Anglia and to the north, King Constantine and the Irish and Scottish leaders seek to expand their borders.

Uhtred must choose to either stay out of the struggle or risk his freedom by throwing himself into the war.

Frequently Asked Questions

What order should I read The Last Kingdom books?

There are 13 books in the Last Kingdom or Saxon Stories Series.

How many books are in The Last Kingdom?

As of now, there are 13 books in the Last Kingdom Series.

Is the last Kingdom series based on books?

Yes. The Last Kingdom is a British historical fiction television series based on Bernard Cornwell’s The Last Kingdom Series.

Is The Last Kingdom Based on a true story?

The Last Kingdom is a series of 13 historical adventure fiction novels, set in Britain during the late 9th and 10th centuries during the time of Alfred the Great. Bernard Cornwell did meticulous historical research for his novels but the Saxon Stories series is a fiction series.