Thursday, 4 May 2017

HISTORICAL FICTION REVIEW: The Bernicia Chronicles 1: The Serpent Sword - Matthew Harffy

Release Date: 04/05/17
Publisher: Aria (Head of Zeus)


AD 633.

Beobrand is a young man with a shadowy past. As an outsider in the kingdom of Bernicia, he is compelled to join his brother, Octa, as a warrior in the household of King Edwin. He must learn to fight with sword and shield to defend the war-ravaged kingdoms of Northumbria.

In a period of great upheaval for Dark Age Britain, all he finds is death and war. Men and women strive to seize control of their destinies in a time of despair, and the land is rife with danger as warlords vie for supremacy and dominion. Amongst the blood and the betrayals, Beobrand learns of his brother's near-certain murder. Inexperienced but ruthless, Beobrand must form his own allegiances and learn to fight as a warrior with sword and shield.

Driven by a desire for vengeance and a relentless pursuit of his enemies, he faces challenges which transform him from a boy to a man who stands strong in the clamour and gore of the shieldwall. As he closes in on his kin's slayer, can Beobrand mete out the retribution he craves without sacrificing his honour... or even his soul?


I love books that take me on an adventure and when they coincide with a landscape to which I'm familiar its not only easy to visualise but also helps you get your bearings but brings the tale to life as you can walk the landscape with the heroes of old.

The book is a solid treat for fans of Historical fiction and gives enough action to keep your heart in your mouth as this tale of vengeance alongside honour keeps the pages turning. Back this up with cracking prose, top notch sequences alongside an overall arc that furthers the characters development all round makes this a book that is hard to put down.

Finally throw into the mix the second title The Curse and Cross coming from Aria in November and you know that the wait won't be too long to see what else happens in our heroes timeline. Magic.

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