First let me say thanks to the author and the fine folks at Aria for including this poor, humble scribe with the illustrious group of reviewers on this Blog Tour. Since I am leading off this tour, I reckon it’s appropriate for me to announce, “Welcome, and now, on with the show.”
More Dark Age tale telling from the author of The Serpent Sword. This time he weaves a story that is well known but puts his own twist on it, and in a manner that is both entertaining and foreshadowing. The main character in this tale is the older brother of Beobrand, the hero of Matthew Harffy’s excellent Bernicia Chronicles series. Octa becomes part of the group of warriors chosen to ferret out and kill a night stalking monster wreaking havoc among the common folk. As he has done in the full length tales, Mr. Harffy brings to vivid life the ethos of a dark age warrior; the fealty owed when oathsworn, the bonding between fellow sword brothers, the ale hall boasting. The quest to find the monster is emotion and action packed. A boggy, misty, fen land can play with a man’s mind, so too can facing the limits of one’s endurance in a very trying situation. Unrelenting drama unfolds as the warriors close in on their quarry and not a few surprises make their task that much more interesting. I enjoyed learning a little about Beobrand’s big brother and the sword that plays such a large part in his tale. 4.7 stars and a Hoover Book Review’s coveted “Job well done” acclamation. 🙂
AD 630. Anglo-Saxon Britain. A gripping, action-packed historical tale set in the world of The Bernicia Chronicles. Perfect for fans of Bernard Cornwell.
Winter grips the land in its icy fist. Terror stalks the hills, moors and marshes of Bernicia. Livestock and men have been found ripped asunder, their bones gnawed, flesh gorged upon. People cower in their halls in fear of the monster that prowls the night.
King Edwin sends his champions, Bassus, Octa and band of trusted thegns, to hunt down the beast and to rid his people of this evil.
Bassus leads the warriors into the chill wastes of the northern winter, and they soon question whether they are the hunters or the prey. Death follows them as they head deeper into the ice-rimed marshes, and there is ever only one ending for the mission: a welter of blood that will sow the seeds of a tale that will echo down through the ages.
Matthew grew up in Northumberland where the rugged terrain, ruined castles and rocky coastline had a huge impact on him He now lives in Wiltshire, England, with his wife and their two daughters.
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