War Lord by Bernard Cornwell
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Series: The Last Kingdom (Book #13 of 13)
Genre: Historical fiction
Pages: 333 pages (Hardcover edition)
Published: 15th October 2020 by HarperCollins
It’s over. I finally finished The Last Kingdom series by Bernard Cornwell, and it was an impressive conclusion.
It was one of my goals to begin and finish The Last Kingdom series. I’ve made it my goal to read one book within this series per month; I read two books in January, and by following this schedule, I should be done with the series by December. And here we are. I’ve finished all thirteen books in the series, and despite several issues I have with the series, I must admit that this conclusion was satisfying. It made the journey worthwhile.
War Lord is the final book in The Last Kingdom series by Bernard Cornwell, and it depicted the first forming of England in history and Uthred’s role in its creation. Uthred is once again, surprising absolutely no one, caught in the eye of the storm and conflict in the battle for England. Every side wanted Uthred to fight for them, and Uthred has the option to stay out of the struggle or join the battle. Guess which one he chose? He didn’t earn the title War Lord for nothing. So in a way, this is again another repetitive storytelling formula used by Cornwell to conclude the series.
But unlike Sword of Kings, which I complained a lot about, despite its formulaic storytelling structure and outcome, War Lord has a sense of progression in the story and characters. I mean, this is the final book in the series, and Cornwell can’t write another filler installment anymore, and I’m thankful for it. Having some of my beloved supporting characters in the series made a return one last time to conclude the series made a huge difference; it felt like I was reading the great first half of the series again. Not only does Cornwell often neglect to mention these characters, but his tendency to kill his characters offscreen—one of my biggest issues with the series—has led me to think that these supporting characters won’t appear again. I’m so glad to be proven wrong. The character’s motivations suddenly felt more real again, and the character’s interactions and the passing of time felt more believable.
I don’t have anything left to say. If you take a look at my reviews on the second half of the series, you’ll notice just how repetitive my review throughout the series is, but can you blame me? I don’t think anyone can write a spoiler-free review for each book in the series without repeating themselves constantly. I know for a fact that many readers don’t even know which book tells which story anymore because they blend in with one another so much. I honestly think this series would’ve been more amazing if it’s re-edited to end at the eighth or, at most, tenth installment. But that’s just me, and seeing the immensely high average ratings for the series, I’m sure I’m on the unpopular opinion side with these thoughts.
Overall, War Lord is a satisfying and exciting final book to conclude Bernard Cornwell’s best-selling series. I personally think that The Warlord Chronicles trilogy by Cornwell is a superior series in comparison. Also, many people have asked me whether they should watch the TV show adaptation or read the books, and despite War Lord being the best installment of the series, I still honestly prefer the TV show adaptation over the books, and that’s what I’d recommend if you have to choose. Goodbye, Uthred. The journey isn’t all smooth, but I definitely will miss your voice.
Destiny is all.
The Last Kingdom: 4/5 stars
The Pale Horseman: 4/5 stars
The Lords of the North: 3.5/5 stars
Sword Song: 4/5 stars
The Burning Land: 4/5 stars
Death of Kings: 4/5 stars
The Pagan Lord: 3/5 stars
The Empty Throne: 4/5 stars
Warriors of the Storm: 4/5 stars
The Flame Bearer: 3/5 stars
War of the Wolf: 4/5 stars
Sword of Kings: 1.5/5 stars
War Lord: 4.5/5 stars
The Last Kingdom: 47.5/65 stars
You can order this book from: Blackwells (Free International shipping)
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