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How to read The Last Kingdom books in order – every book in the series

Fans of Uhtred have plenty of stories to get stuck into.

The Last Kingdom stars Alexander Dreymon and Mark Rowley

The Last Kingdom has been a big hit for Netflix, although it seems like new episodes could be quite some time away.

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The historical drama was renewed for a fifth season this summer, but its usual 18-month production cycle could well be extended due to continuing travel restrictions and social distancing measures.

So, any avid fans eager to find out what the future has in store for Uhtred of Bebbanburg and his band of allies may wish to look towards Bernard Cornwell’s series of books.

Originally titled The Saxon Stories, these novels have adopted The Last Kingdom‘s name since the Netflix adaptation launched, encompassing 12 books so far and with a final entry on the way soon.

If you’re up to date on the television show, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should skip past the earlier novels, as there are a number of changes to The Last Kingdom books along the way that could prove confusing otherwise.

Here’s everything you need to know about The Last Kingdom book series.

Book 1: The Last Kingdom

Adapted in season one

The first instalment in Bernard Cornwell’s series introduces readers to Uhtred of Bebbanburg, who was born Saxon but raised by Danes, leaving his allegiances torn between two distinct cultures. We also see the first meeting of our no-nonsense warrior and his uneasy ally King Alfred of Wessex.

Buy The Last Kingdom on Amazon

Book 2: The Pale Horseman

Adapted in season one

The second book in The Last Kingdom series picks up from the last, as Wessex finds itself besieged from all sides by the relentless onslaught of the Vikings. Uhtred and Alfred will have to work together if they are to survive, but can they set aside their clashing ideologies?

Buy The Pale Horseman on Amazon

Book 3: The Lords of the North

Adapted in season two

In book three of The Last Kingdom, Uhtred leaves Alfred’s service to travel north and get revenge for the brutal murder of his adoptive father. But what he finds is a fate more savage than he could ever have imagined, one that leaves him shaken to his very core.

Buy The Lords of the North on Amazon

Alexander Dreymon as Uhtred in The Last Kingdom
Netflix

Book 4: Sword Song

Adapted in season two

Bernard Cornwell’s fourth entry in Uhtred of Bebbanburg’s epic story sees his loyalties torn between what he knows to be right and a king that will not hear his opinion. Suffice to say, tensions are running high, and that’s before Uhtred grows closer to Alfred’s daughter, Aethelflaed.

Buy Sword Song on Amazon

Book 5: The Burning Land

Adapted in season three

Book five in The Last Kingdom picks up some time later, were Uhtred has become wealthy in partnership with Alfred. However, as the king’s health deteriorates, he begins securing the reign of his heir, a desperate bid that will once again see him ask everything of his prized warrior.

Buy The Burning Land on Amazon

Book 6: Death of Kings

Adapted in season three

King Alfred’s days are numbered in book six of Bernard Cornwell’s historical fantasy, as his ailing health reaches a critical condition. This puts Wessex in its most vulnerable position yet, with the dream of a uniting the disparate kingdoms of England close to disappearing forever.

Buy Death of Kings on Amazon

David Dawson plays King Alfred in The Last Kingdom

Book 7: The Pagan Lord

Adapted in season four

Book seven of The Last Kingdom features Uhtred’s long-awaited mission to reclaim his ancestral land of Bebbanburg. But with a fearsome new Viking warlord plotting an attack on the Saxons, it appears his work defending Wessex and its people is far from over.

Buy The Pagan Lord on Amazon

Book 8: The Empty Throne

Adapted in season four

As Aethelred of Mercia lies in his deathbed in book eight, his kingdom finds itself without an heir. Although his wife, Aethelflaed, displays clear leadership ability, her claim is disregarded by the squabbling men pulling the strings. But if a solution cannot be found soon, Mercia will be exposed to a devastating attack from its enemies.

Buy The Empty Throne on Amazon

Book 9: Warriors of the Storm

To be adapted in season five

After a fragile peace was brokered by King Edward and his sister, Aethelflaed, there is a brief period of peace. But trouble is brewing once again in book nine, as the Northmen begin plotting raids on the rich lands and wealthy churches of Wessex, Mercia and East Anglia.

Buy Warriors of the Storm on Amazon

Uhtred (Alexander Dreymon) and Aethelflaed (Millie Brady) in The Last Kingdom

Book 10: The Flame Bearer

To be adapted in season five

In the wake of another uneasy truce, Uhtred plots another attempt to claim back his homeland in book ten, which is currently occupied by his treacherous cousin. But new threats emerge that throw his plans into chaos, as armies from Scotland begin marching south.

Buy The Flame Bearer on Amazon

Book 11: War of the Wolf

In the 11th book in The Last Kingdom series, we meet one of the fiercest Vikings yet, King Skoll, who is intent on leading his so-called wolf warriors to victory, killing any who stand in the way. The kingdom of Northumbria rests in Uhtred’s hands, and one wrong move could spell doom.

Buy War of the Wolf on Amazon

Book 12: Sword of Kings

England is descending into chaos when Cornwell’s story resumes in book 12, as Saxons clash with Vikings over land while their king falls foul to illness. Destiny dictates that Uhtred will have a deciding hand in this latest battle, as two kings make a claim for the throne but only one can rule.

Buy Sword of Kings on Amazon

Book 13: War Lord

To be released on 15th October 2020

It’s the final chapter! That’s right, Cornwell is ending The Last Kingdom with this 13th entry, which will reveal the climactic end to Uhtred of Bebbanburg’s story. Securing his legacy and his rightful home for generations to come will be no easy task, as threats surround Northumbria from all sides and Britain teeters on the brink of a terrible war.

Pre-order War Lord on Amazon

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The Last Kingdom is available to stream on Netflix. Looking for something else to watch? Check out our guide to the best TV series on Netflix and best movies on Netflix, or visit our TV Guide.