The Last Kingdom Books in Order: Read all of Bernard Cornwell’s Saxon Stories

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. I may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Written by Bernard Cornwell, The Last Kingdom — previously known as the Saxon Stories or The Warrior Chronicles – is a historical fiction series set in the late 9th and early 10th centuries. It follows the adventures of Uhtred of Bebbanburg, a Saxon-born nobleman who is captured and raised by Vikings after his father’s death.

Reading The Last Kingdom Book Series in Order

The Last Kingdom story is told in chronological order, but you can read any book and get a complete story. However, it’s best to read them to know the main character (and the secondary characters) better.

The Last Kingdom (2004)
The Pale Horseman (2005)
The Lords of the North (2006)
Sword Song (2007)
The Burning Land (2009)
Death of Kings (2011)
The Pagan Lord (2013)
The Empty Throne (2014)
Warriors of the Storm (2015)
The Flame Bearer (2016)
War of the Wolf (2018)
Sword of Kings (2019)
War Lord (2020)

The Last Kingdom sage came to an end with War Lord, Bernard Cornwell recently invited us once more to Uthred’s World, or more specifically, to Uthred’s table with Uthred’s Feast. This companion book consists of three short stories, historical notes, and recipes. Co-written with chef Suzanne Pollak.

Uhtred’s Feast: Inside the World of The Last Kingdom (2023)

To accompany you during your readings, someone created a map with all the places named during the series.

More about The Saxon Stories

The Story of The Last Kingdom

The Saxon Stories tell the story of Alfred the Great, his family and the birth of England from Uhtred’s point of view. Uhtred, is an English boy born in ninth-century Northumbria who faces a life-changing event when the Danes capture him after his father’s death.

Growing up with the Danes, Uhtred learns Viking ways but also grows up with a conflicted identity. A natural warrior and a leader, Uhtred is fearless and follows his instincts. He strongly wants to take back his homeland, Bebbanburg in Northumbria. He’s quick-witted, impulsive, and likes danger. He doesn’t like things like prayer and fasting, which King Alfred values. Uhtred believes in living life with passion, like the Danes. He’s charming, energetic, charismatic, and believes in justice — qualities that make him attractive to women. But his impulsive actions and irreverence sometimes get him into trouble.

How many books are there in the Last Kingdom series?

the Last Kingdom series consists of 13 novels, with the first one being published in 2004. The series was completed in 2020 with War Lord.

Recently, Bernard Cornwell released a fourteenth book, a companion book to the series full of recipes but also containing three short stories with Uthred.

The Inspiration behind The Last Kingdom

In an interview (via email) with Emertainment Monthly in 2014, Bernard Cornwell explained why inspired him to write the Saxon Tales:

When did I first want to write about the Danes and Saxons? Oh, forever! 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 (where I grew up) and it struck me as weird that the English really had no idea where their country came from. Americans know, they even have 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.

Alexander Dreymon is Uhtred of Bebbanburg in the The Last Kingdom TV series.

The Last Kingdom, the TV adaptation

The Last Kingdom book series was adapted for TV by Stephen Butchard. Carnival Films initially produced it for BBC America and BBC Two. The first two seasons aired on these channels and gained international distribution on Netflix.

After the second season, BBC left the project, and Netflix took over as the main producer for the subsequent seasons. In the end, The Last Kingdom comprises five seasons and a TV movie titled Seven Kings Must Die.

The primary cast includes Alexander Dreymon as Uhtred of Bebbanburg, David Dawson as King Alfred, Tobias Santelmann as Ragnar the Younger, Emily Cox as Brida, Ian Hart as Father Beocca, Eva Birthistle as Hild, Eliza Butterworth as Lady Aelswith, Mark Rowley as Finan, and more.

After The Last Kingdom, continue to explore British history with Bernard Cornwell with The Warlord Chronicles where he revisits the Arthurian legend and the adventures of Richard Sharpe during the Napoleonic Wars.