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Summary

AD 838. Deep in the forests of Wessex, Dunston's solitary existence is shattered when he stumbles on a mutilated corpse. 

Accused of the murder, Dunston must clear his name and keep the dead man's daughter alive in the face of savage pursuers desperate to prevent a terrible secret from being revealed. Rushing through Wessex, Dunston will need to use all the skills of survival garnered from a lifetime in the wilderness. And if he has any hope of victory against the implacable enemies on their trail, he must confront his past - becoming the man he once was and embracing traits he had promised he would never return to. The Wolf of Wessex must hunt again; honour and duty demand it. 

©2019 Matthew Harffy (P)2020 Head of Zeus

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Classic Old Grizzly Tale!

Having given us the young and thrusting hero Beobrand Harffy goes to the opposite end of the age spectrum and brings us Dunston. He's an old grizzly of a warrior who long ago settled down to a quiet and reclusive life alone in the forest but when he and his wolf-like Dog Odin come across a grisly murder in the forest his fate is to once more wield his axe.

What follows is a thoroughly entertaining yarn of how Dunston is accused of the foul deed and how he endeavours to protect a young girl and unravel the mystery of that murder in the forest. There's plenty of action, plenty of great historical side notes, I particularly enjoyed the charcoal burners. There's an impressive try at a last stand and it's almost a Boys' Own historical fiction special.

One thing I always appreciate about Harffy's books is that in his historical notes he takes the time to give points about the inspiration for his stories and how they relate to likely real world events and this is no different.

All in all a very entertaining read while we await Beobrand's next adventure.

14 people found this helpful

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The best...

...'old warrior reluctantly picks up his axe one last time to save the day' book I've ever read.

I love a bit of historical action, really. I've read loads of stuff, and enjoyed much of it. In Mathew's previous novels, Beobrand seemed to me a little too macho the scenes a little 'route 1' for my liking, though in fairness I didn't read all that much of it so I can't really comment on how they developed. And the latest Uhtred book had me groaning with boredom. Cornwell has been living off his reputation for too long. He needs an editor to slap him.

Here is something much better in my opinion. Some will, no doubt, find there is not enough grunt/bash. But there is really good writing. I thought the depth of the characters and the world building were done really well. I felt I got to know Dunstan as wise and considered, a modest man with a solid moral compass and a yearning for peace. I liked him and felt empathy with his problems. Aedwen is a fantastic character too; her frailty and naivety provided the perfect foil for the old warrior. And when there is fighting, it is good, bloody and wholly justified.

Well played, Mathew Harffy. The Wolf of Wessex seems like a great start.

Highly recommended.


6 people found this helpful

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An exceptionally dull listen.

This is one of the most uninteresting books I've ever listened to. The dialogue is wooden, the characters very basic and the narration is like listening to a shopping list being read aloud. I have returned it, after a couple of hours listening.

5 people found this helpful

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Unputdownable

Brilliant story and compelling narration. Literally unputdownable; I listened to it all in one go

4 people found this helpful

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Brilliant narration

So well narrated. Don't want to hear another narrator reading the Matthew Harffy books. Excellent.

3 people found this helpful

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Two hours too long.

The simple act of giving historical names doesn’t really make this an Anglo Saxon story. It’s a simple story line with few twists or turns, if any. At least two hours longer than it needed to be.

3 people found this helpful

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Slow starter.

After a very slow start the words and the story gripped me and I was carried along it's twisting path.
Superb read right to the end.

3 people found this helpful

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another incredible trip into anglo saxon England

once again an amazing book from Matthew Harffy, loved every second of it! great listen

3 people found this helpful

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An engaging story.

Being unfamiliar with Matthew Harffy, I didn't know what to expect. I wasn't disappointed and this is a terrific piece of writing and an interesting take on historical adventure. I like the idea of an ageing, battle hardened warrior plucked from his simple woodland life and thrust through circumstance into a life of violence once more. Dunstan is an interesting and likeable character who is really brought to life, as is the world he inhabits. An excellent performance by Barnaby Edwards as the narrator creates believable characters and brings the surroundings to life. I thoroughly recommend this to anyone who enjoys historical adventure, particularly with an Anglo Saxon and Viking theme. It is to be hoped that Dunstan makes further appearances in the future.

2 people found this helpful

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Good Read

Loved the story from the start. Well worth a read. Matthew Harffyis on a part with BC. Narration excellent and added to the story. Look forward to the next adventure.

2 people found this helpful

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  • J.J.
  • 19-03-20

Great Read.

I love Harffy's books. I cannot wait for the next. I'd love to hear more of Dunston's adventures, from when he was younger or later for that matter.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Damien
  • 21-01-21

I really needed this

What a wonderful book! I had this in my wish list for some time and for some reason hesitated to jump on it. Boy am I glad I did. A wonderful stand alone story. I thoroughly enjoyed the protagonist as well. And the narrator really made it come alive. Very happy.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Brother Adrian
  • 19-08-20

Outstanding in every respect

I am an avid reader of historical fiction, devourer more like. As a senior citizen myself, I found the protagonist extraordinarily compelling and anxiously await the next installment. The author really knows how to spin a tale and the narrator breathes life into the yarn like a bellows breathing life into a smith's forge. Bottom line - captivating storyline narrated in captivating fashion. For me, it doesn't get much better than this. Two thumbs (and 8 fingers) way up.

3 people found this helpful

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  • marc
  • 18-12-20

Harffy at his best

Really enjoyed this excellent novel. Great plot and historically fascinating. And a great performance. Superb!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Alvin
  • 11-03-20

Good listen

This is a good listen and pretty straight forward adventure tale. I like how the characters are distinctly different from Beibrand in his more well known series. Can’t say I think it’s Harffys best work (the plot felt like something I’d read before) but there’s potential since there seems there will be sequels and if you’ve enjoyed his other books you’ll surely enjoy this one too.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Keith
  • 25-10-21

Excellent storytelling!

This was my first Matthew Harffy book, but it will not be my last. I love the medieval, old English period, and rather than bringing it to life for me, I felt more like Harffy had dropped me in it! I also appreciated the final chapter author’s note for historical references.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Susan Abernathy
  • 17-09-21

good books

It was interesting and kept my attention I will read another book if it comes out.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Roderick
  • 26-07-20

Thanks Matthew

Another great story and storyline. Thanks for the great work Mr. Harffy and I look forward to more great works.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ronald
  • 20-04-20

A well done historical fiction!

I chose this book without any great expectations. It delivered a thoroughly enjoyable listen. The author did a great job of weaving a personal story within historical fiction. The narrator was excellent and aptly drove the tale to its conclusion. I highly recommend the listen for any fan of early England's history.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-01-22

Wonderful!

I'm a fan of Harrify. I also really enjoy listening to this narrator, he does an excellent job. Overall I enjoyed this story and recommend it.