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  • Blood and Blade

  • The Bernicia Chronicles, Book 3
  • By: Matthew Harffy
  • Narrated by: Barnaby Edwards
  • Length: 10 hrs and 57 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (285 ratings)

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Blood and Blade cover art

Blood and Blade

By: Matthew Harffy
Narrated by: Barnaby Edwards
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Summary

635AD. Anglo-Saxon Britain. A gripping, action-packed historical thriller and third instalment in The Bernicia Chronicles. Perfect for fans of Bernard Cornwell.

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?

©2016 Matthew Harffy (P)2016 Audible, Ltd

What listeners say about Blood and Blade

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

Harffy Keeps Crunching Bones!

If I can enjoy three books in a row from the same series then the author and narrator must be doing something right. In this case they are doing a lot right and Matthew Harffy continues to deliver fast moving, skin-splitting, bone-cracking action in this the third of what I hope is a long-running series. Beobrand is once again put to the test as Harffy continues his skillful weaving of real history with his own bloodthirsty fictions. He once again has to deal with a host of enemies and difficulties and once again their resolution won’t make easy listening for the squeamish.

Possibly there will be a challenge for Harffy in avoiding it turning a little formulaic. Personally I’m quite okay with a good formula done well anyway and there is enough inventive scenario building in each novel to keep me interested.

All that said it has worked well enough for other more renowned authors so I’ll raise a horn of mead for this one any day of the week!

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11 people found this helpful

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

This series just gets better and better

What made the experience of listening to Blood and Blade the most enjoyable?

This is the 1st time I have listened to an audio book coupled with a kindle edition and I must say I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The narrator has done a great job bringing these characters and this world to life and I will certainly be looking for the next in the series.

What did you like best about this story?

I love the way Beobrand has grown over these books and how the characters from his past return as they try to extract their sworn vengeance as he tackles new quests while always looking over his shoulder for the troubles he has left behind.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I hate the author for disposing of some of my favourite likeable characters throughout the series but the fact that he is not afraid to do so mean you are never sure who will survive and this greatly enhances the book as you go through the many twists, turns peaks and troughs in Beobrands life.

Any additional comments?

The storyline here is fantastic and this is certainly the best in the series so far but as each book gets better and better I am really excited to see where this series will go next and do not want to see this series ever end.

I am so glad that I came across this author.

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5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Good old Beo

Another enjoyable book with more to come (thank the Gods)
I have no choice now but to read the next book.

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2 people found this helpful

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

A tale about the real Kings and Lords in the North

I liked Bernard Cornwall's Anglo Saxon Chronicles, but I loved this.

History brought to life.

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Poor Fare

Mills and Boon meets Bernard Cornwall and not in a good way, the plot line is so staid it could have been written by AI. The narrator is completely wrong for this kind of book and has no clear ideas about his characters, the royal princess talks like a Somerset milk maid and rough tough Beobrand comes over as an Oxford undergraduate. The author does make something reasonable out of his battle scenes and some historical details are interesting but overall neither Bernard Cornwell nor Christian Cameron are in any danger of being superseded.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Overall a good read

This is the second book in the series I have read.
The narration is good, the plot is enjoyable. However there is quite a bit of repetition of thought and at numerous points resemblance of a Mills and boon novel.
As I would presume this type of book is read mainly by the male half of the population looking for action/escapism novel with historical background, this for me devalues the read.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A great tale!

The author's strength lies in his talent to tell a great tale. He has created great characters that are 3 dimensional, well developed as one would expect in a third book and empathic. Harffy has the talent to weave an excellent story mixed with the factual events that happened during the years the book his set. Beobrand is a character that one can easily warm to, tormented by his past, he evokes all the qualities in a hero, including the fact that he is flawed, does make mistakes and regrets the things he has to do in the name of honour and justice. The characters that surround him are also likeable, well developed individually, including the villains! One thing I really appreciated that there are NO SHIELD MAIDENS! yay! Not that I dislike the odd creation of a shield maiden or two, I am just fed up with the idea that has developed over the recent years that shield maidens were a thing, attending warrior 'schools' and even instructing men how to fight. The female characters are pretty true to the time in Harffy's Bernicia stories. they're not weak or subservient, but they are well embedded in their places in society.
Harffy's ability to use entertaining dialogue that animates the narrative is also one of his strengths as an author. In places however I felt the writing could have been better edited with occasional repetitiveness and too much explaining of characters inner thoughts and motives which the author is capable of showing through the action of his characters. Nonetheless, the presentation of this book makes it a great listen, read by the talented narrator who brings the book alive.
I am looking forward to the next instalment which is coming soon! Book 4 Killer of Kings!

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1 person found this helpful

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

It gets better

It was a great follow up to book 2 and though it has been awhile since I have read it I felt like from the off set I was where I had left off, I feel that I have learned about some figures in history I never new about which is why I always appreciate the explanation in the author's notes. I couldn't see why there was a need for a fifth book but after hearing this it made total sense with new characters introduced we will get to hear about them, and this I look forward to, Barnaby Edwards has done a great job with engaging the listener especially with using regional dialects but if you have children about that you are cautious in the event they are swear sensitive. Don't however let this put you off from the Audio, insults were not uncommon in such times as they are today.

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1 person found this helpful

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

GET THOS SERIES

get thos book along with allnthe others. it has me completely gripped. such great storytelling and read masterfully

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

Another good listen

Good follow up story read excellently by Barnaby Edwards. Good series to relax with.

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