Oswald is now King of Northumbria. However, his plans for further alliances and conquests are quickly thrown into disarray when his wedding to a princess of Wessex is interrupted by news of a Pictish uprising.
Rushing north, Oswald leaves Beobrand to escort the young queen to her new home. Their path is fraught with danger and uncertainty, Beobrand must try to unravel secrets and lies if they are to survive.
Meanwhile, old enemies are closing in, seeking brutal revenge. Beobrand will give his blood and blade in service to his king, but will that be enough to avert disaster and save his kith and kin from the evil forces that surround them?
Matthew Harffy’s third installment in the Bernicia Chronicles, Blood and Blade, immerses the reader once again in the seventh century. The island that will one day be England is a tumultuous land of warring tribes, and in Harffy’s tale the era of legend is given a basis in reality—fully-fleshed through careful research and vivid in its brutality and grittiness.
In this third chronicle, Beobrand is tasked with a journey that soon becomes fraught with danger. Old enemies come into play as well as new ones in this rousing adventure filled with what readers have come to expect from Harffy—grisly shield wall battle scenes, non-stop action and adventure, and a hero who is all too human. Beobrand is a consummate warrior who is also a very fallible man, a complex character with depth, a quest for vengeance, and an internal struggle with identity. The protagonist is where the true strength of the story lies.
The christian faith is spreading and allegiances are shifting in this gripping new tale by Harffy. With a taut plot and a return to some of historical fiction’s most memorable characters, Blood and Blade further cements Harffy as a name to be watched in the genre.
Highly recommended, particularly for those who enjoy military history, adventure, and stories set in the Dark Ages