We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.co.uk/access.
 >   > 
The Serpent Sword Audiobook

The Serpent Sword: The Bernicia Chronicles, Book 1

Regular Price:£18.99
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • £7.99/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

633AD. Anglo-Saxon Britain. A gripping, powerful, action-packed historical thriller about vengeance and coming of age. The Bernicia Chronicles are perfect for fans of Bernard Cornwell.

Beobrand is compelled by his brother's almost-certain murder to embark on a quest for revenge in the war-ravaged kingdoms of Northumbria. The land is rife with danger, as warlords vie for supremacy and dominion. In the battles for control of the region, new oaths are made and broken, and loyalties are tested to the limits. With no patronage and no experience, Beobrand must form his own allegiances and learn to fight with sword and shield.

Relentless in 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 and the bodies pile up, can Beobrand mete out the vengeance he craves without sacrificing his honour...or even his soul?

©2016 Matthew Harffy (P)2016 Audible, Ltd

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (53 )
5 star
 (35)
4 star
 (11)
3 star
 (6)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (0)
Overall
4.5 (51 )
5 star
 (32)
4 star
 (14)
3 star
 (3)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (1)
Story
4.5 (51 )
5 star
 (32)
4 star
 (12)
3 star
 (6)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (1)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Alan 05/03/2017
    Alan 05/03/2017 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent"

    Excellent performance, great characters, very much in the essence of the saxon chronicles. Looking forward to the next one which is already downloaded

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bairdy1985 03/02/2017
    Bairdy1985 03/02/2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Bloody & Brilliant"
    If you could sum up The Serpent Sword in three words, what would they be?

    Bloody, Emotional, Gritty


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Serpent Sword?

    The main scene for me is when Beo learns the men he is travelling with aren't nice men at. Emotional charged and something not easy to forget once you've read it.


    What does Barnaby Edwards bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Grittiness, his voice suits the tone of the story perfectly


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, I guess you could but I prefer to split the tale in the chunks so I can reflect before moving on


    Any additional comments?

    Bloody Brilliant!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LewisMoorhead 21/12/2016
    LewisMoorhead 21/12/2016 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Best Audiobook I have read to date,"
    If you could sum up The Serpent Sword in three words, what would they be?

    Gripping, Battles, Emotion


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Beobrand ofcourse, the main protagonist who defeats his enemies with the power of youth and determination after the loss of his loved ones. A great character to follow.


    Have you listened to any of Barnaby Edwards’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    First performance I have heard from Barnaby Edwards but his performance is fantastic.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I listened to it over 3 days at work! =)


    Any additional comments?

    Fantastic read.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Farniboy Wirral, UK 11/04/2017
    Farniboy Wirral, UK 11/04/2017 Member Since 2014

    Farniboy

    HELPFUL VOTES
    73
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    99
    86
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Almost a Prequel To Cornwell's King Alfred Books."
    What did you like most about The Serpent Sword?

    I think people may expect a lesser copy of Bernard Cornwell's The Last Kingdom series, thankfully that isn't the case. For a start the books are set a couple of hundred of years before the events in Cornwell's books. The history of Dark Ages Northumbria is really interesting and a time that I know little about, Matthew Harffy builds a dirty, cold and cruel world, well. Plenty of fast paced action scenes, political skullduggery and a hero you can root for.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    A great lead character in Beobrand. A young man on a very real hero's journey. Over the course of the book he goes from being a young innocent searching for his last living family member, to a warrior who's survived several battles and seen the evil that men do.


    What does Barnaby Edwards bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    A good narration. A large cast and they all seemed to stand out.


    Any additional comments?

    I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed this book. The enticing £2.99 price is what drew me in. I'm glad that I took the chance, its a really good listen. A great lead character, thrilling battles, and a few story strands that aren't tied up completely, enough to make you want to delve into the world of Bernicia some more! A good start to a series. I've already purchased the second book for a holiday read on my Kindle.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M Field 24/03/2017
    M Field 24/03/2017 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    28
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Dark Ages enlightened"

    A regal story with intrigue, great characters and action.

    Take the long way home to listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matt 15/12/2016
    Matt 15/12/2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    20
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An excellent debut"

    This is Matthew Harffy's first novel, though you'd never guess that from the writing quality; it's as well-written as anything that more veteran authors of the genre like Bernard Cornwell and Simon Scarrow have produced. The story is gripping and engaging from start to finish, and the narration by Barnaby Edwards is near-perfect. I say near-perfect because just occasionally it feels as though Edwards is reading the words as a recitation rather than acting them. The best audiobooks are those in which the narrator acts, rather than simply reads. But as I say, this is only occasional, and should be no barrier to enjoying the book. Definitely a worthwhile purchase for fans of historical fiction.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 30/03/2017 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Only ok"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Found the book very predictable.Story line was easy to work out. Could be better.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    Less predictable


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Narration was good


    Do you think The Serpent Sword needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Not for me


    Any additional comments?

    No

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Lisa Schilling
    12/04/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing story, needs a warning in the description."

    I purchased this book thinking it would be an epic story of honorable warriors accomplishing great feats of power. That's pretty much what I got. But when the author would go into detail about rape scenes and the like, it was disgusting. I saw no such warnings in the description of the book as I was contemplating the purchase, at least nothing obvious. But aside from that, it was a great book full of satisfying revenge and violence (minus the aforementioned scenes). So if there was a warning in the description notifying potential customers of the TYPES and EXTENT of violence, this would be a 5/5 star rating all-round.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • John
    Lampasas, TX, United States
    17/02/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fantastic!"
    If you could sum up The Serpent Sword in three words, what would they be?

    Taking up this book based on the comment about it being a good one for Bernard Cornwell fans, of which I am a huge fan, it started a bit slow. But I stayed with it and was rewarded by a gripping tale every bit as worthy of the genre. The tale covers a wide array of emotional tides other than revenge and grief. Mr. Harfly weaves this tale well and makes it a hard book had to put down. I look forward to the next two books to see what happens to the boy who became a warrior, Beobrand.


    Have you listened to any of Barnaby Edwards’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I've never listened to any of Mr. Edwards' narrations but I am now a fan. It is difficult to remember that all of those voices are being said by one narrator and not an entire company of actors.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Timothy
    UNIVERSAL CITY, TX, United States
    09/02/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "PRE SERIES TO BERNARD CORNWELL'S SAXON TALES"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Serpent Sword to be better than the print version?

    DIDN'T READ BOOK.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    MAIN CHARACTER BEOBRAND. LIKE THE CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT OF WHAT MAKES A MAN A WARRIOR.


    Have you listened to any of Barnaby Edwards’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    HAVE NOT.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    OF COURSE THE FINAL SCENE OF MEETING HIS BROTHER'S KILLER.


    Any additional comments?

    THIS BOOK FEELS LIKE IT IS WRITTEN BY BERNARD CORNWELL. GREAT BOOK AND READY FOR HIS NEXT ADVENTURE.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.