Blood and Blade – Bernicia Chronicles 3 by Matthew Harffy

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This is book three in The Bernicia Chronicles and the story of a 7th century warrior, Beobrand.  When I read book 2, I said at the end of my review that I was eagerly anticipating the 3rd.   The author did not disappoint me.  Skillfully intertwining fact with some robust and entertaining fiction, Mr. Harffy takes the reader on an interesting ride through Northumbria, Wessex, Mercia and the land of The Picts.  This was a violent and confusing period where warriors still fought for their lords and still sought vengeance for any slights or misdeeds; where the old gods were beginning to lose their sway over the populace as kings converted to Christ and looked for alliances with other Christ minded rulers.  Beobrand is now a renowned warrior in the service of King Oswald and the lord of his own land and gesithas (his personal retinue of warriors), but he still has many enemies seeking to do him harm.  And so, we have a page turning affair redolent in the violence of the age but one also of plot shifts, surprises and new forays into love; reluctant, unexpected, dangerous and forbidden love.  Give yourself a treat, dear reader, if you haven’t started this series, then you owe it to yourself to do so.  The Dark Age of Albion awaits you.  5 stars

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