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The Amber Treasure Paperback – April 1, 2011

98 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Northern Crown Series

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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' 
-History of War

'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.

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: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,939,676 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 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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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Sunny side up on January 3, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The story th line was good; the characters development was also good; the insights into human behavior and longings were good; the battle action and overall pace of the story was good. The difficulty I had was with the lack of punctuation. Many times I had to read and reread a run on sentence to find the proper phrasing. This in order to come away with what I thought was the author's intent. That slowed down the read to a crawl, causing a delay in desire to pick up where I had stopped reading. The languages was a mix of the setting and present day--a tad disappointing.
This work would be much better with consistent punctuation and grammar. Sir, the editor failed you and disappointed me.
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14 of 14 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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By rcdac on October 15, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Richard Denning's The Amber Treasure is a realistic portrayal of life and warfare set in the brutal early Dark Ages of Britain. Like other reviewers, I was impressed with the extensive research done by Denning to vividly depict 6th Century England. Denning does an outstanding job of giving the reader insight into the time when the Anglo-Saxons were coming to power following the exit of the Roman Occupiers.

Denning is a master story-teller and wraps all that research and insight into an entertaining yet realistic action/adventure story about a boy growing into a man during tumultuous times. I highly recommend, The Amber Treasure.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By TicToc on June 23, 2011
Format: Paperback
Article first published as Book Review: The Amber Treasure (Book One of the Northern Crown Series) by Richard Denning on Blogcritics.

In a wonderful novel from the depths of the dark ages, we follow the life of a young man, Cerdic, born to a family of warriors. In a time of epic battles, where heroes and warriors reigned supreme, we travel the trails of a group of warriors, hoping only to maintain their hold on their homes. Set in the Kingdom of Northumbria, and littered with places and people both real and imagined, we learn about the times and put faces to the people.

In The Amber Treasure, Richard Denning has written a historical fiction, filled with characters you can draw too. Being born into a family of warriors, Cerdic is the younger son. Knowing his brother will take the sword, Cerdic is given the leisure to spend time with his best friends Eduard and Cuthbert. Leisure is not really the apt word in that time and place as they worked hard and had daily battle practice as routine; because one day they too would be called on, to protect whatis theirs.

It is during this time, one of the family slaves, a young Welshman named Aedann is allowed to join in along with another young but angry man named Hussa. Practice is brutal but necessary for this group of youngsters. It is only later that Cerdic learns that Hussa is his bastard brother. Unrecognized by Cerdic's father, he is angry and bitter, with never much to say, but he learns the way of battle well and quickly. As with Aedann, it is also very unusual to allow a slave to practice battle, and especially this slave, since he was Welsh. The Welsh were the enemies of the Anglo-Saxons and yet Cerdic is able to get into the training.
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