634AD. Anglo-Saxon Britain. A gripping, action-packed historical thriller and second instalment in the Bernicia Chronicles. Perfect for fans of Bernard Cornwell.
Warlords battle across Britain to become the first king of the English. After a stunning victory against the native Waelisc, Beobrand returns a hero. His valour is rewarded with wealth and land by Oswald, king of Northumbria. He retires to his new estate with his bride only to find himself surrounded by enemies old and new.
With treachery and death on all sides, Beobrand fears he will lose all he holds dear. On a quest for revenge and redemption, he accepts the mantle of lord, leading his men into the darkest of nights and the bloodiest of battles.
©2016 Matthew Harffy (P)2016 Audible, Ltd
Longtime friends and followers of mine might know that I endorsed Harffy’s debut novel, The Serpent Sword. That was a self-published affair which garnered enough interest and sales that Matthew was taken on by a major publisher, Aria, and this is the resultant sequel.
The tale is quite straightforward with love, action and beautifully written prose aplenty and, combined with a really good narrator, makes for a great listen. It gets especially nasty (in a good way!) about two-thirds in and things really start to come together there.
I felt a little as if this was a bridge between the first book and the next, setting things up for what’s to come for the rest of the series. That’s no bad thing and there is enough to keep your interest up throughout although I did miss a bit of humour. The events are dark and gritty and the characters know it – but it would have been nice to have a bit of childish banter between the men just to lighten things. As it is, the word I kept thinking of as I listened was “earnest”. The dialogue is earnest, the characters are earnest and the prose is too. I was wishing someone would fart or stand in a dog turd but sadly there’s no slapstick silliness here!
This series has been compared to Bernard Cornwell’s Uhtred stories (by me, actually, in that previously-mentioned endorsement!) but, although settings and time period are similar, the writing is completely different in The Cross and the Curse. Fans of one author will enjoy the other I’m sure, as both are absolutely brilliant.
Steven A. McKay, author of the Forest Lord series
"great book !!!"
The unabridged audio book version allows me to read while doing other things.
The warrior ethic was interesting in various scenes. The strong sense of honor and loyalty impressed me.
He is a good reader and makes you enjoy the performance.
I would not rename it --- the title is fine as the author chose it.
would recommend the Book series---this is Book 2
"Could not stop until the end! Fantastic!"
Riveting, Gripping , Engrossing!
Beobrand, such a great warrior!
Yes, The Serpent and Sword, he is awesome! A phenomenal narrator!
Yes! And I did listen in one sitting, it was that great!
Matthew Harffy is the next Bernard Cornwell, no doubt! Please have Barnaby Edwards perform all your novel narrations!
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