If you like the Netflix series The Last Kingdom you will love the Saxon stories by Bernard Cornwell that explains more fully the internal and external conflicts Uhtred faces. He was kidnapped as a child and raised by Danes but was later betrayed by two of them, Kjartan and Sven.

Uhtred believes fate is calling him back to the English to recapture the land that rightfully belonged to him, Bebbanburg. Yet, first he must content with King Alfred who has own plans for the young warrior.

While minor discrepancies exist between the book and television series, both capture the hero’s arduous journey–his courage and fool-hardiness–as well as his incredible resolve.

In this first book of the series, Cornwell depicts the hero’s life as young warrior and his surprising victory against Ubba at Cynuit. Though they are outnumbered, Uhtred and the Saxons defeat the famous Danish warlord with cunning. Mostly, it is the young warrior’s plan and he is the one who defeats Ubba in hand-to-hand combat.

The Pale Horseman