Thursday, 9 February 2017

Becky Bookworm Book Review: The Serpent Sword by Matthew Harffy

The Serpent Sword (Bernicia Chronicles #1)The Serpent Sword by Matthew Harffy

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is clearly written with a love for this historical period which I must confess is a tad earlier than what I normally read - my usual tastes for Historical fiction start in the early 8th-9th century, or whenever Vikings started making trouble.
This is well before Vikings were even a threat to anyone in England, for this was when the Kingdom of England was still many different feuding Kings each trying to conquer the other and in a time where surprisingly it was the Welsh that were taking on the role of menace.
Into this mix comes Beobrand, a young man who seems to have come from a kingdom far to the south, don't ask me about my historical geography but as his accent was so distinct to the Northumbrians/Bernicans I figured a Southerner. He has left behind a dead family & burnt home, he seeks to join his eldest brother and the King he has sworn under, yet, not all is as it seems and the reader learns that truth from the very first page. For in these brutal times a man survived not just by his blade but by his honour, loyalty and bravery. Beobrand will learn this lesson, and many more, in cruel and shocking ways throughout the book as he faces friend and foes alike in a personal quest that always frustratingly never accomplished until...
Over all the action, drama, characters, landscape, detail is all brilliant, a very good story well told and as soon as I reached the last page I went straight to the Kindle store and downloaded Book 2 The Cross and the Curse as I want to see what Beobrand faces next as well as observe how much he has changed & grown from Book 1.
There is however a but, for me personally I found it slightly jarring when the narrator leapt from one characters head to another within the same passage - there are good clear breaks between characters points of view but sometimes it felt a bit like hop scotch between thoughts but it may not bother others.

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