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Fortress of Fury (7) (The Bernicia Chronicles) Hardcover – December 1, 2020
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AD 647. Anglo-Saxon Britain. War hangs heavy in the hot summer air as Penda of Mercia and his allies march into the north. Caught unawares, the Bernician forces are besieged within the great fortress of Bebbanburg. It falls to Beobrand to mount the defence of the stronghold, but even while the battle rages, old and powerful enemies have mobilised against him, seeking vengeance for past events. As the Mercian forces tighten their grip and unknown killers close in, Beobrand finds himself in a struggle with conflicting oaths and the dreadful pull of a forbidden love that threatens to destroy everything he holds dear. With the future of Northumbria in jeopardy, will Beobrand be able to withstand the powers that beset him and find a path to victory against all the odds?
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About the Author
Matthew Harffy is the author of the Bernicia Chronicles.
- Publisher : Aria (December 1, 2020)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 432 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1786696347
- ISBN-13 : 978-1786696342
- Item Weight : 1.35 pounds
- Dimensions : 5.71 x 1.4 x 8.98 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,032,309 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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AD 647. Anglo-Saxon Britain. A gripping, action-packed historical thriller and the seventh instalment in the Bernicia Chronicles.
War hangs heavy in the hot summer air as Penda of Mercia and his allies march into the north. Caught unawares, the Bernician forces are besieged within the great fortress of Bebbanburg.
It falls to Beobrand to mount the defence of the stronghold, but even while the battle rages, old and powerful enemies have mobilised against him, seeking vengeance for past events.
As the Mercian forces tighten their grip and unknown killers close in, Beobrand finds himself in a struggle with conflicting oaths and the dreadful pull of a forbidden love that threatens to destroy everything he holds dear.
With the future of Northumbria in jeopardy, will Beobrand be able to withstand the powers that beset him and find a path to victory against all the odds?
When a series reaches this many volumes, and the main character is pretty well known to those who have read the whole series, the need to keep the tale fresh and vibrant is a daunting task. Fortunately for us, my fellow followers of Beobrand, the author has met that challenge. Layers of depth have been added to not only our hero, but also the supporting cast. This episode thrusts Beobrand into situations that are complicated, seemingly unsolvable, and numerous. It is a twisting path with the obstacles of love, loyalty, honor, and oaths given, that the Lord of Ubbanford must follow, and somehow survive. Page turner? Ahh, that would be a yes. Best part? Beobrand will be back. 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
The battle scenes in this series are particularly graphic. I cannot imagine what it must have been like to have been involved in a war during this period. Facing down a shield wall or awaiting the thundering charge of mounted warriors must have been terrifying.
While this is a work of fiction, it is based on historical events and locations. This makes reading this series that much more interesting. The author ended this book with enough loose ends to guarantee at least one more book. I, for one, cannot wait.
Top reviews from other countries
I need not have worried!
A Mercian warhost has been spotted and as Beorand races to Bebbanburg he knows war is not far off, but will the King be there? How will they defend themselves and push Mercian forces back?
This is a gruelling action packed tale that leaves you on edge, woven beautifully with detailed depictions. I can’t really give away too much but in one scene I felt my own heart racing along with Beo and his revered Black Shields as they charge head on into the enemy.
Cynan, one of Beobrand’s most loyal is sent to spur on the fighting forces they need. Along the way his character grows significantly. I really enjoyed seeing his development, it was probably one of the best things about the book. I’d love to see Cynan get his own series one day.. that’s if he can make it out of this alive!
King Oswiu and Beobrand share no love for each other but Beo is his sworn man… his word is iron.. but even Beobrand has his limits and in this tale he’s pushed over the edge… will he defy the King?
Oswiu seems to like to play games and wants to assert his authority but this leads him to disagreements with those he should call allies. It’s a dangerous game to play.
There’s a lot going on in this tale such as war, love and treachery. With so much plot you’d think you might struggle to take it all in but the pace of the tale and it’s flow is spot on, it was almost effortless to digest.
What Harffy does perfectly is balance the focus of war against Penda with Beobrand’s own tale, his development.. and the trouble he’s about it get himself into! He never has luck with the ladies but he’s definitely picked the wrong woman this time!
Beobrand is a delight, his character has grown over the years with experience. He’s got a short fuse but at times can see the benefit in holding his tongue. God help if you get on the wrong side of him though!
One trait of Beobrands I very much enjoy is that he reflects a lot on past events. Even after so many years he still yearns for his lost friend Acennan.. he keeps the memory of those lost along his journey with him at all times and as a reader this had my mind wandering back..vividly remembering scenes when we first meet Coenred the monk for example. I feel this chance to reflect adds something extra to the tale and proves how good of a storyteller Harffy is that his work stays with you.
The final couple of chapters are pure brilliance as Beobrand makes a drastic decision..the consequences to be felt in book 8!
One hell of an instalment, One hell of an epic series!
Storytelling is of a superb quality, the dark atmosphere of 7th Century Albion comes wonderfully off the pages, and all characters, whether great historical or fantastic fictional, come vividly to life within this amazing story of honour, war, bloodshed and death.
Right on the inside of the book you'll notice a well-drawn map of the North of Albion in AD 647.
At the beginning of the book you'll see a list of Place Names, with many of them featuring in this great story that is set in the Dark Ages of Albion.
At the end of the book you'll notice a superbly documented Historical Note, where the historical details are explained in a most understanding fashion.
The book is set as from AD 646, with a prologue that will set the tone for the rest of the book, right until into the year AD 647, and we find our main protagonist, Beobrand of Ubbanford, and his gesithas, in and around the Fortress of Bebbanburg, defending this famous Fortress from the hordes of King Penda of Mercia, with King Oswiu of Bernicia not present at Bebbanburg, but instead keeping busy in Caer Luel.
What is to follow is an action-packed and tremendous tale about honour, cowardice, loyalty, betrayal, war swordplay and ultimate death, and its a story in which Beobrand and his gesithas will do anything to save Queen Eanflaed and the people gathered within the Fortress of Bebbanburg from the clutches of the pagan King Penda of Mercia and his wolves, and after ultimately fending off King Penda and his wolves, what will happen later on is due to a deliberate misunderstanding there will be a everlasting enmity between King Oswiu of Bernicia and his neighbour, King Oswine of Deira, and that enmity will turn out into a deadly game of conspiracy and intrigue.
Highly recommended, for this is another superb addition to this fantastic series, in my opinion at least equally as good as the Last Kingdom series by Bernard Cornwell, and that's why I want to call this amazing episode: "A Tremendous Tale Featuring Mighty Bebbanburg"!