Tag Archives: Bernard Cornwell

The Last ‘Orruk’ Kingdom – A Reimagining…

A terrible reimagining of The Last Kingdom book by Bernard Cornwell for the Age of Sigmar setting…..

Osbert is the second son of Ealdorman Uhtred, Lord of Bebbanburg in Ulgu. Orruks arrive on Bebbanburg’s shores, and Ealdorman Uhtred’s first son, also called Uhtred, is killed while scouting. Ealdorman Uhtred renames Osbert as Uhtred son of Uhtred. Ealdorman Uhtred is killed during a disastrous attack on Orruk-seized Eoferwic and his son is captured by Orruk Megaboss Badgutz the Spleenchew. Badgutz, amused by the boy’s bravery during the battle, keeps him as a thrall. Uhtred’s uncle, Ælfric, takes Bebbanburg and usurps the title of Ealdorman from Uhtred, the rightful heir.

Uhtred befriends Badgutz’s youngest spawn, Notsobadgutz, and has many clashes with one orruk in particular, Grimgor, spawn of Starey McLaserface, one of Badgutz’s boat boyz. One day, Grimgor kidnaps Badgutz’s spawn, Grimaxe. Uhtred charges Grimgor, taking Grimgor’s stabba and attacking him with it. Uhtred, Notsobadgutz, and Grimaxe escape back to Badgutz’s hall. Badgutz dismisses Starey McLaserface from his service when Starey McLaserface makes light of his spawn’s behaviour. He also crushes one of Grimgor’s eyes with the hilt of his stabba – adding darkly that he would have crushed both, had Grimgor stripped Grimaxe completely naked.

Uhtred, along with Badgutz and the Orruks, then goes raiding across Ghur, and participates in the conquests of Shyish and Ghur, and the invasion of Aqshy. He is kidnapped by a Sigmarite Priest, Beocca, an old family friend. He then escapes from Aqshy and rejoins Badgutz. Uhtred enjoys life with the Orruks, even after Notsobadgutz dies due to a long sickness, but flees after Starey McLaserface and his boyz set fire to Badgutz’s hall and kill everyone who tries to flee. Badgutz remains inside, preferring to die on his terms rather than at Starey McLaserface’s hands. Starey McLaserface abducts Grimaxe.

Uhtred hopes to escape Starey McLaserface’s boyz by spreading the rumour that he too died in the hall burning. Uhtred then joins King Alfred in Aqshy. There he learns to read and write, and sails with Alfred’s fleet of 12 ships against the Orruks. After a battle with the Orruks, he meets Badgutz the Worst, Megaboss Badgutz’s eldest spawn, and tells him how his daddy died and that Grimaxe was kidnapped. They part friends, swearing that one day they will band together to take revenge on Starey McLaserface and rescue Grimaxe. Seeking to take command of the fleet, Uhtred gains it on the condition that he marries the orphaned Aqshy girl Mildrith. He is not told that, by marrying her, he will also assume her family’s very large debt to the Sigmarite Church. Afterwards, he takes part in a siege against ‘Eadnokka, and is among a group of hostages exchanged when the Orruks and Humans make peace. Staying with the Orruks in the city over the winter, he again meets Badgutz, who saves him from death when ‘Eadnokka breaks the peace and murders the other Human hostages. Uhtred then escapes to find his wife. She was taken by Gnashrak the Worst, another Aqshy Megaboss, to the north. There he fights in the Battle of Fukwit, where Uhtred kills the renowned Orruk leader Gorsprakk in single combat.

Uhtred then rides with his men to Hammerhal to find his wife and newborn son, instead of going directly to inform Alfred of his victory.

Book Review – Sharpe’s Assassin

Book 22 by Bernard Cornwell

As I have recently been reading through Gaunt’s Ghosts recently by Dan Abnett, which is effectively Sharpe in space… and then Cornwell released a new book in the Sharpe series… so I rushed out and grabbed it.

The cover…!

From the book:

SHARPE IS BACK. Outsider. Hero. Rogue. And the one man you want on your side.

If any man can do the impossible it’s Richard Sharpe . . .

Lieutenant-Colonel Sharpe is a man with a reputation. Born in the gutter, raised a foundling, he joined the army twenty-one years ago, and it’s been his home ever since. He’s a loose cannon, but his unconventional methods make him a valuable weapon.

So when, the dust still settling after the Battle of Waterloo, the Duke of Wellington needs a favour, he turns to Sharpe. For Wellington knows that the end of one war is only the beginning of another. Napoleon’s army may be defeated, but another enemy lies waiting in the shadows – a secretive group of fanatical revolutionaries hell-bent on revenge.

Sharpe is dispatched to a new battleground: the maze of Paris streets where lines blur between friend and foe. And in search of a spy, he will have to defeat a lethal assassin determined to kill his target or die trying . . .

Sharpe is back… in France and fighting the French after Waterloo. And it’s all page turning stuff of the best traditions of the previous books.

Sharpe is of course joined by his two constant companions – Sergeant Harper, and Sergeant Harper’s volley gun – as together they search France for missing artwork and for a plot to assassinate the Duke of Wellington.

…but is a triumphant return? – in short, yes! As a fan of Sharpe (this is the reason I’m interested in the Napoleonic era) its a great addition to the series, and its good fun to be back following the characters. Cornwell even throws in a small set-piece battle or two just to get the juices flowing before the heroes go to France searching for the Fraternity – a group of French soldiers dedicated to avenging Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo.

Its a great fun story, a page turner, and definitely won’t be a classic of the genre, but if you’ve read other Sharpe’s then you’ll definitely want to pick this one up… if you’ve never read Sharpe then start at the beginning with Sharpe’s Eagle!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

— Declan

Check out the full list of Book Reviews we’ve done on Woehammer here