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The Amber Treasure Paperback – April 1, 2011

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 310 pages
  • Publisher: Mercia Books (April 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0956810314
  • ISBN-13: 978-0956810311
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,617,843 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


'...well written and entertaining novel, which has a sympathetic lead character and a good feel for its very obscure period and for the brutal nature of battle in the shield wall'

'Accurate detail and vivid fight scenes together with an engaging central character and his coming-of-age make this an absorbing read for fans of historical fiction...'

From the Author

I find this time period fascinating. 

The period of history following the departure of Roman troops from Britain in about the year 416 and lasting until the reign of Alfred the Great almost five hundred years later, represent the most poorly documented in the history of Britain. Enormous changes overtook the Island. Large parts of the country passed from the domination of one race to a completely different one. Place names, history, culture and language were swept away. Invasions, battles and wanton destruction raged across the land as never before, or after. 

In this time, there would have been heroes and villains. Legends would have arisen. Folk would have spoken with familiarity of battles and warlords, as we today talk of celebrities and sports teams. Amongst all this, normal people lived normal lives. People were born and died. They lived and loved, as we do today. 

Yet we know almost nothing about these people. That seems unfair to me - so I decided to write a fiction set in this time. Hope you enjoy it.

More About the Author

I was born in Ilkeston in Derbyshire, UK and live in Sutton Coldfield in the West Midlands. I work as a General Practitioner with a North Birmingham practice. I am married with two children.

I am a Young adult Sci-fi, historical fiction and fantasy writer. I also write book and board game reviews and online articles on historical and gaming related topics. I own my own small publishing house, Mercia Books, and I am part of a board game design house Medusa Games.

A keen player of board games and other games I am one of the directors of UK Games Expo (the UK's largest hobby games convention). I am a board game designer and my first Board Game 'The Great Fire on London 1666' was published by Medusa Games and Prime Games in October 2010.

Customer Reviews

As light historical fiction I enjoyed it.
Gary Mitchell
The plot is revealed splendidly and with ample cadence and held together by many vivid and interesting scenes.
Tom Walsh
CHARACTERS I like Cedric, the protagonist.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Yarde on December 18, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
In Richard Denning's The Amber Treasure, a young man's initiation into the warrior class of his society sets him on a perilous journey, pitting him against merciless enemies and exposing long-buried family secrets. Set in sixth century Saxon England, the coming of age of the hero Cerdic immerses the reader in a vivid, brutal story of revenge and warfare.

The bonds of family and kinship propel much of the action and remain a persistent theme. At the opening, the remnants of the Saxon defense, Cerdic's uncle Cynric and his companion Grettir, stand against a host of three hundred Welsh men. Cynric valiantly gives his life and fosters a legend surrounding the strength of his sword. Cerdic, inspired by stories of his uncle's bravery from Grettir and the famous bard Lilla, begins training as a warrior. His friends Cuthbert and Eduard join him, but also two others whose actions will determine Cerdic's destiny, a slave named Aedann and the warrior Hussa. Both share an equal disdain for Cerdic, yet their reasons are dissimilar.

A brutal attack ravages Cerdic's village, in which Welsh marauders steal his mother's priceless amber jewelry, his uncle's legendary sword and some of the villagers, including Cerdic's sister. Cerdic's family questions the loyalty of the salve Aedann, who has gone missing in the aftermath. The Saxons prepare to reclaim their people and property. When Cerdic finds Aedann along the Welsh border, he gives into a foolish impulse for revenge that endangers all the warriors. The enemy captures them and nearly kills their leader in the process. Cerdic soon learns that his assumptions about Aedann are wrong, and that another has betrayed his people. The Saxons escape with many losses but their fight is not over.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Tom Walsh on December 31, 2010
Format: Paperback
Long before we read a word of "The Amber Treasure" the ardent and tedious research done by the author becomes evident. Richard Denning provides the reader with place names, maps, and a bibliography for further reading. These items give us an insight into Sixth Century England, and the Anglo-Saxons, just after the Roman Occupation, where the novel takes place.

For a Yank, like me, this peripheral information is priceless, albeit foreign (sorry to use the word "foreign" as it relates to the Welsh "walha" or "wealas", at the time of the novel!) Although I am fascinated by English History and English Literature, the geographical names (with all those strange combinations of letters) and the minutiae of this period's historic territorial events, presented the greatest challenge.

In school, I remember, simply, the Celts were "there" first, and then the Romans conquered, followed by the Anglo-Saxons and Jutes, followed by the Vikings, and then the Normans. My attempts to read short or quick references to the late 6th Century on the net were difficult to find.

As this type of novel reveals, those macro-level school room facts cover not only a great stretch of time, people, but also very catastrophic, territorial and violent events of conquest, reaping great cultural, political and social changes on the great island.

In "The Amber Treasure" the Welsh people are portrayed as the aggressors, the attackers, the antagonists. My initial reaction was startling: "How can this be?" I always thought Wales was the center of British heroic tradition. (I'm prejudiced, as my last name, Walsh, is a derivative from "Walish" or "those foreigners from Wales.") And, after all, didn't Arthurian legend originate in Wales?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ladylawyer8650 on February 28, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This author gets a good, solid three stars from me. His mechanics are good. He knows his subject, and he knows where he wants to take the reader. I was never tripped by the plot, character names, titles or places, which is a miracle for me. I do like this author's style. His chief characters have room to grow.

In sixth century England the Welsh are fairly well established. The massive immigration from the continent of loosely connected tribes had pushed the Welsh westward where they remain today. The author describes the battle between Wales and other tribes when Wales seeks to regain a little bit of their lost real estate. Eventually England will form into a country but not before the people nearly kill each other off in their wars against each other yet to come.

The author tells the story of renouned people through imaginary characters. Perhaps they will appear again in another novel. I hope so.

Thank you, Mr. Denning, for a good read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By barticle on September 10, 2012
Format: Paperback
After a couple of pages I found myself immersed in the deepest part of the Dark Ages, a time we don't really know much about. The author has done admirable research to cast as much light as possible. His writing style is taut and economical, and moves the reader quickly through his narrative. It was a time when the English and Welsh each developed hard feelings toward the other, feelings which to this day persist. One word of caution: descriptions of the battles are violent and unremitting. One reason we call them the Dark Ages.
Reviewed by Steve Bartholomew, author of "The Woodcutter" and other books.
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