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Blood and Blade (The Bernicia Chronicles Book 3) Kindle Edition
- ASIN : B01I1KGM3E
- Publisher : Head of Zeus -- an Aries Book (December 1, 2016)
- Publication date : December 1, 2016
- Language : English
- File size : 1854 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 380 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #58,294 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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Please write faster Matthew Harrfy! We Americans love you!
Right up there with Cornwell, Nelson, Long, etc...
Top reviews from other countries
Story-telling is of a top-notch quality, the hostile atmosphere and pictured landscapes of 7th Century Albion come really lifelike off the pages, and all characters, whether real historical or great fictional, come all vividly to life within this tale of shedding blood, clashing blade, domestic love and brutal death.
Right inside the book you'll find a well-drawn map of Albion in AD 634/635, with Northumbria divided in Bernicia and Deira, and surrounded by Mercia, Gwynedd, Dal Riata, Hibernia and several other kingdoms, while there's also a very informative Place Names list.
At the back of the book the historical details concerning this great adventure are superbly documented and explained by the author.
Before I come to my review, I want to say that the lay-out and the quality of the stories within these books are quite similar to the Uthred series by Bernard Cornwell.
This book starts off in the year AD 634 and heading fast towards AD 635, and we find our main protagonist, Beobrand of Ubbanford, at first at home and besieged by Picts, and all that in an attempt by Torran mac Nathair to get his revenge for the deaths of his brothers.
When summoned by King Oswald to accompany him to Wessex to witness the marriage between him and Princess Cyneburg, daughter of King Cynegils of Wessex, Beobrand and his men, Acennan and Garr f.e., are taken and confronted with a web of intrigue and double-dealing from their Lord and King.
When Cyneburg gets abducted and brought to Mercia by Princeling Eowa, son of Pybba and brother of King Penda, Beobrand's friend Athelstan gets killed, and so Beobrand, his men, and Wulfgar of Wessex, brother of Cyneburg will set off in pursuit of Cyneburg, and only after beating Eowa in battle the truth will come out about their flight, and the resulting problems will get even worse when they have to bring Eowa to King Oswald and Cyneburg to Eoferwic.
What is to follow is an intriguing and marvellous historical adventure where the cunning and cruel King Oswald will come to the surface in his dealings with the likes of King Cynegils of Wessex, Princeling Eowa of Mercia, just before at the decisive battle at Din Eydin (Edinburgh), and even also with the lucky Beobrand of Ubbanford, while the Princeling Oswiu will show his true nature with his sadistic and devious acts, and doing all that in their determined bid to become the sole King of a united Albion.
Very much recommended, for this is an excellent continuation of this great series, look forward to read the next one, but to come back to this I want to call it: "A Most Impressive Blood & Blade Act"!
Straight from the off the book just felt tighter, more defined. Beobrand has been wonderfully developed over the last two tales in the series that he’s grown and I felt this growth allowed for the plot of this tale to become the best one yet of the series.
Fans of Harffy won’t be disappointed with this one, Beobrand is haunted by his past more than ever and this time things are taking more of a toll on our hero. Beo isn’t fully healed after the injuries he received in the last book..he’s getting older but he’s as sharp and deadly as ever.
Harffy easily brings you back into the world he’s created. The first few chapters are written so well to hook you in but also remind the reader of some of the main characters in the tale. I won’t spoil it for you but these early chapters stood out for me.. it set the tone of the tale and included some very moving moments with Beo’s closest. We really see how much the events in the past have changed Brobrand..he’s one death away from a complete breakdown.
Beo is a man torn. He misses his wife and the events surrounding her death still haunt him, although there’s a potential love on the cards for him in this tale. You can really tell how hard this must be for him.. he loves his wife.. but he yearns for physical love..I feel he’s lost so much he just needs someone by his side, to keep him warm, to make him feel alive..and to give him something to live for.
While performing his duties for King Oswald Beo still has his own issues to deal with.. namely Nelda and Torran who don’t seem to want to give up on the idea of vengeance any time soon.
The plot for this one really was brilliant, there are lots of strands to the tale to make it wonderfully full and complex but so well written it’s effortless to follow and understand.
One of the highlights for me was how well the author dealt with changing attitudes towards religion and medicine. There are some really great scenes with one of my favourites Coenred but if I say any more it will really ruin the enjoyment for you.
The major thing I really like is Harffy’s ability to remind you of the events of the previous books..even just mentioning the name Cathryn brings me back to the first book in the series.. the emotions I felt at the time flowing back.
This is the best yet from Harffy, who has put so much time into crafting and developing such a rich and invigorating tale.. more than once I gritted my teeth and shouted obscenities in my head (I don’t like to swear while on public transport :) ). I’ve really been taken into the series and credit to the author I really care about how things play out.. from the moment I open the book the world around me shuts off and the only thing that exists is this wonderfully brutal and harsh world Beo lives in.
I must admit towards the end of the tale I wasn’t sure if Beo could make it out alive or not..there’s some brilliant twists to this tale and fans of Harffy will know anything is possible…I had my hand over my mouth a number of times thinking it was the end for Beobrand.
I’m excited to see what the author comes up with next but at the same time I’m truly scared. I don’t want this series to end..
Overall this is a whopper of a book, Harffy builds on his well-developed characters and throws in a super plot. It’s the brutal dark gloomy tale we expect for Beo but the author always leaves you with that feeling that Beo can right the wrongs that have been done and that although he can’t change the past there is always hope.. Things can in time.. hopefully..get better..
Let’s wait and see.
He is also a man of great integrity and this, more than anything, leads his steps to great danger.
The events of this book are complex and far-ranging and Harffy plots it like a master. The book is full of surprises but ones which seem reasonable, even inevitable. No easy feat.
The characters, both male and female are well drawn, whether heroes or villains, men or women. The landscape also has a character and we are drawn into closeness to nature which can be lyrical or disquieting.
This is a fantastic successor to the first two books and I look forward to reading more from Matthew Harffy.
Martin Lake author of Land of Blood and Water Land of Blood and Water (The Long War for England Book 1)
However, this is not just a battle fest. The relationship between Beobrand and a Thrall, a slave, brings into focus relationships between Lords, Ladies, fighters and women in general in a book that gives a good insight into life in 7th century Anglo- Saxon England.
This book, is the third of series set in the time of the early Saxons and fairly early in regard to Christianity in England.
Set very roughly to recorded historical events and real locations, I find it very interesting.
Following the advance of our central warrior character, who is now advanced to a lord and granted land, property and his own group of followers.
Superstition, battle, shield to shield it comes over as what must have been a truely hard and barbaric way of life
More books follow but where I had already started to see constant repetition, this is just more of the same.
The writing style is becoming quite bland.
Overall though, I keep going sheerly because I have already bought up to and including book four.
I really doubt that I will be bothered with anything after that unless something improves. A page turner, definitely not.