Sword of Kings (The Last Kingdom #12) by Bernard Cornwell
An oath of loyalty.
Two warring kings.
A destiny he didn’t choose…
England is in turmoil as Vikings and Saxons battle for territory. Rumours build about the fatal sickness of the King, and the country awaits an heir.
A violent clash at sea forces the warrior lord Uhtred to lead his men from his Northumbrian fortress to London and plunge into the eye of the storm. For two kings claim the empty throne, and a new kingdom cannot be born without bloodshed.
Uhtred’s sword will leave one king dead and the other victorious. But sometimes it is hard to know the will of the gods…
My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
One of the best books in the series and a real return to what I love about Uhtred’s character and the series in general. Although there is one more, final book to come it has a real feeling of a finale and it’s obvious that Uhtred’s story is drawing to an end.
What I liked most about this book is that it is much more contained than previous books. Although Uhtred still gets around geographically the storyline is kept mainly to a small number of locations and the main focus is on Uhtred and his group of warriors.
Overall the story is quite dark. There’s a real sense that Uhtred is coming to the end of his story but also that pagan Britain is also coming to an end as Alfred’s Englaland begins to approach reality. The close relationship between Finan and Uhtred is a poignant theme through the whole story as Finan’s concern for his old friend becomes more real.
As much as I’m looking forward to seeing how Uhtred’s story finishes I would be quite happy if the series ended here. As I said above it leaves the reader with a sense of finale.