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For Lord and Land (The Bernicia Chronicles) Paperback – April 1, 2022
War rages between the two kingdoms of Northumbria. Kin is pitted against kin and friend becomes foe as ambitious kings vie for supremacy.
When Beobrand travels south into East Angeln to rescue a friend, he unwittingly tilts the balance of power in the north, setting in motion events that will lead to a climactic confrontation between Oswiu of Bernicia and Oswine of Deira.
While the lord of Ubbanford is entangled in the clash of kings, his most trusted warrior, Cynan, finds himself on his own quest, called to the aid of someone he thought never to see again. Riding into the mountainous region of Rheged, Cynan faces implacable enemies who would do anything to further their own ends.
Forced to confront their pasts, and with death and betrayal at every turn, both Beobrand and Cynan have their loyalties tested to breaking point.
Who will survive the battle for a united Northumbria, and who will pay the ultimate price for lord and land?
Praise for Matthew Harffy:
"Terrific white-knuckle action, absolutely gripping storytelling . . . This is the first novel in what promises to be a fantastic new Viking series. Can't wait for the next one. Highly recommended!" —Angus Donald
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Praise for Matthew Harffy:
'Harffy is a master of the Dark Age thriller ... A Time for Swords is a bold opening to yet another enthralling series. It promises to be one heck of a ride' Theodore Brun, author of A Mighty Dawn
'Terrific white-knuckle action, absolutely gripping storytelling ... Can't wait for the next one. Highly recommended!' Angus Donald author of Robin Hood and the Caliph's Gold
'The gripping novel evokes the turbulence and violence of the first onslaught of the Vikings. I couldn't put it down!' Christian Cameron author of Hawkwood's Sword
'Nothing less than superb ... The tale is fast paced and violence lurks on every page' Historical Novel Society
'Harffy's writing just gets better and better ... He is really proving himself the rightful heir to Gemmell's crown' Jemahl Evans, author of The Last Roundhead
About the Author
- Publisher : Head of Zeus (April 1, 2022)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 400 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1801102244
- ISBN-13 : 978-1801102247
- Item Weight : 1.11 pounds
- Best Sellers Rank: #338,691 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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Some readers have lamented that books in this genre are too violent and too graphic regarding battle scenes. They are that, but the times in which these books are set were violent times. War is never pretty and wars in medieval times were bloodier than most. Yet there is still honor and heroism aplenty here. The characters, Beobrand, Cynan and others, are well developed and likeable in spite of their human weaknesses.
I loved this book and this series. The author hints at more books to come and I can't wait.
Second Beobrand has become wholly unlikable. He’s just a bore now.
And the cliffhanging ending of chapters then jumping to a different scene. Stop it! And the cliffhangers aren’t really cliffhangers at all. Was anyone really surprised at who had arrived at Sulis’ hiding place first?
The whole book was just kind of boring. If I want to hear an old man walk around grumbling I’ll call my dad.
Top reviews from other countries
From the outset Beobrand puts his neck on the line when his friend Coenred looks to be in danger. Brobrand and his black shields turn the tide of war but this only angers their King who seems to enjoy making Beobrand squirm as much as possible.. it’s like he purposely will find fault, spiteful.. the pressure has been building for a while now and it’s only a matter of time before things come crashing down around them.
Beobrand is still very much in awe of the Queen and this affection continues to plague his mind..he knows he can never have her, but can he keep his feelings secret? Or does the King already know?
What the author did superbly in this instalment was bring in Cynan to the forefront, one of Beobrand’s sworn men. He has his own adventure when a face from the past reappears in need of assistance.. but will this cost Cynan is life? His lord isn’t going to be pleased when he finds out who Cynan has been helping.
We also see great development of the ensemble cast too Brinin and Cuthbert particularly shine through and keep the reader guessing as to what will happen next. We know Beobrand pretty well now, we know how he will react..but not the other characters, this leads to some rather astonishing developments and gives the tale the shock factor!
Beobrand’s son Octa also plays his part in this adventure. There’s no love lost between father and son.. but why? And can Beobrand do anything to mend the family bond?
For anyone who is familiar with the authors work you’ll know the action is going to come thick and fast but by god it’s good and there’s plenty of blood and guts for the fans of the grizzly details! The pace is perfect, and the detail added to the battle scenes is just mesmerising.
The author manages to give us fresh action with each instalment, that yearns to be devoured from the first page, each new book better than the last!
Storytelling is of a superb quality, the story is very well constructed, the brutal atmosphere of Dark Ages Albion comes in a very believable way off the pages, and the characters, whether historical or fictional, come all vividly to life within this story of power, war, pride and greed.
Right inside the book you'll see two well-drawn maps of Albion in AD 651 on the one hand, and the other one is of Northern Albion in which we find the Kingdom of Northumbria, divided between Bernicia and Deira, while also at the beginning of the book you'll find a list of Place Names, with places that will play or have played an important part in these great tales.
At the end of the book you'll notice an Historical Note, where the historical details are superbly documented and explained by the author.
This book is set in the year AD 651, and it starts with a prologue in which we find Leofman, husband of Beobrand's former thrall, Sulis, his son, Eadwig, and his bondsman, Swiga, working at their mine which has been shown to Leofman by the priest, Scyldsung, when they are suddenly beleaguered, kidnapped and killed by Bumoth and his men, and acting in the name of their leader called, Sidrac, and this deadly action will turn out to be the signal for Sulis to travel to Ubbanford and seek out Cynan, and plead with him to help her and her family, and so making this Cynan's main case in this book.
Beobrand finds himself first on a quest to the East Angeln to free his great friend, the monk Coenred, from the marauding Mercians, while later on we find him in the war that is raging between the Kingdoms of Bernicia of King Oswiu, and Deira of King Oswine.
What is to come as a whole is an action-packed and intriguing story, with lots of battles and battle lust, in which King Oswiu of Bernicia will use cunning to bring down King Oswine of Deira, that will eventually lead for King Oswine to leave Middle Earth and received as a martyr in heaven, and for Beobrand and his gesithas to witness the real greedy face behind the devious mask of King Oswiu, but that same intentional greed will turn out somewhat differently in what King Oswiu might have hoped for in the end.
Highly recommended, for this is another excellent addition to this tremendous series, and that's why I like to call this splendid episode: "A Captivating King and Dominion Sequel"!
The book kept me absorbed from page one to the back cover. It's good to read of areas you know the junction of the A66 with the A1 at Scotch Corner could well be within the area of Deire St and the imagined road mentioned towards the end of the book.
I have read books which are equal in quality to any of the Bernica Chronicles but none which exceed .
This is the type reading material which you would buy to cover the time of isolation on return from holiday.