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The Cross and the Curse (The Bernicia Chronicles Book 2) by [Harffy, Matthew]
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The Cross and the Curse (The Bernicia Chronicles Book 2) Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews
Book 2 of 2 in The Bernicia Chronicles (2 Book Series)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A tale that rings like sword song in the reader's mind. Harffy knows his genre inside out and The Cross and the Curse proves it." 
GILES KRISTIAN (Author of God of Vengeance and the Raven series) 

"The Cross and the Curse is a terrific novel that strikes just the right balance between fact and fiction, the plausible and the romantic, and it illuminates the Dark Ages like the bolt of lightning in its first few pages: in rare and unexpected ways. Top stuff." 
TOBY CLEMENTS (Author of the Kingmaker trilogy) 

"The best historical fiction enables the reader to simultaneously live in the here and now and the then and there. Matthew Harffy has this skill in abundance. He is one of the most accomplished and exciting voices in the field today. I love his novels." 
MARTIN LAKE (Author of A Love Most Dangerous and The Lost King series) 

"Harffy allows the reader to peel back the layers of Dark Age society beyond the implicit violence. His wordage is skilful and beautifully wrought, rather like a perfect damascened sword." 
PRUE BATTEN (Author of The Gisborne Saga and The Triptych Chronicle) 

"Matthew Harffy has created a gritty, authentic world, home to a hero who shows us the complexity of what it means to be human - the darkness and the delight. The Cross and the Curse is historical fiction at its finest." 
STEPHANIE CHURCHILL (Author of The Scribe's Daughter) 

About the Author

Matthew Harffy lived in Northumberland as a child and the area had a great impact on him. The rugged terrain, ruined castles and rocky coastline made it easy to imagine the past. Decades later, a documentary about Northumbria's Golden Age sowed the kernel of an idea for a series of historical fiction novels. The first of them is the action-packed tale of vengeance and coming of age, THE SERPENT SWORD. The sequel is THE CROSS AND THE CURSE. Matthew has worked in the IT industry, where he spent all day writing and editing, just not the words that most interested him. Prior to that he worked in Spain as an English teacher and translator. He has co-authored seven published academic articles, ranging in topic from the ecological impact of mining to the construction of a marble pipe organ. Matthew lives in Wiltshire, England, with his wife and their two daughters.

Product Details

  • File Size: 5073 KB
  • Print Length: 429 pages
  • Publisher: Aria (August 1, 2016)
  • Publication Date: August 1, 2016
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01DBZ51CM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,252 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By S. Ling on January 22, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I picked up Matthew Harffy's first book, The Serpent Sword because a lot of my friends were reading it, and I figured that all of those reviews couldn't be wrong. I also love supporting new / independent authors, so for those reasons I dove in. And I wasn't disappointed! I read the first book out of curiosity, but I picked up The Cross and the Curse because I couldn't wait to get my hands on it! You will read a lot of comparisons of the Bernicia Chronicles to Bernard Cornwell's writing (for instance, his Saxon Tales and the incomparable Uhtred of Bebbanburg). While it might be a fair comparison in terms of giving someone a comparison to an era and a level of grit, it wouldn't be fair to compare Harffy's Beobrand to Cornwell's Uhtred. Uhtred is a rascal who is irreverent and sour, yet somehow we love him for it. Harffy's Beobrand has more nuance as a person, he's more complex, more dimensional, and it's for these reasons I love him. He could be someone I encounter in my daily life, he is that authentic.

As eager as I was to start this second book, I admit that I went into it wondering how Harffy would continue the rousing tale he told in his first book. Would he be able to maintain my interest as he did the first time? After a bit of scene setting and plot orientation that is always necessary at the beginning of any book, Harffy did not disappoint. The story got moving and the characters found their stride. Beobrand found some interesting new plot twists in which to involve himself, and some intriguing character development happens. Once again I have finished a Matthew Harffy book eagerly awaiting the next installment.

To me, one vital indication of a good book is if I find myself thinking about it when I'm not reading it. I can say with much enthusiasm that this is the case with Beobrand and the Bernicia Chronicles, both The Serpent Sword and The Cross and the Curse. Write like the wind, Mr. Harffy!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Cross and the Curse, book 2 from Matthew Harffy is another epic tale bringing the reader to dark age Britain and the life and death struggles of the main character, Beobrand.

A gritty, realistic tale of a war torn land, The Cross and the Curse is a page turner. Beobrand is well written with depth and humanity. We feel for him as he deals with his new responsilbilities, his new riches, and his new losses. Harffy makes the reader root for Beobrand to overcome his difficulties, beat his enemies and succeed in his life goals.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes a story taking place in pre-Conquest Britain and seeing the young country of England as it emerges from strife and war. I look forward to book 3 to see the rest of Beobrand's journey and where his wyrd will take him.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I just finished reading the book. It is wonderful and I absolutely loved the battle fugue scenes when Beobrand's mind readies itself. Mr. Harffy's first novel was impressive but his second novel shows that he is an evolving and wonderful new author of the Dark Ages. I hope to be able to read many more of his novels to come in the future.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've enjoyed reading historical novels for many years, especially those set during the Roman Republic and Empire and the early medieval period in Northern Europe. Some of my favorite authors are Giles Kristian, Ben Kane, Simon Scarrow, Angus Donald and of course Bernard Cornwell. I'm glad to say that I now have another "must read" author.
I enjoyed Mr Harffy's first book, "The Serpent Sword" so much that I placed an advance order for "The Cross and the Curse" and I was not disappointed. This is an exciting, very well written novel that weaves real historical figures and events into the continuing story of Beobrand of Ubbanford. It's obvious that Mr Harffy did considerable research into the period and the locations, and the payoff for the reader comes in his vivid descriptions of daily life, political events and the tensions and conflicts that existed between the native Britons and the Saxons who had come to dominate most of England by the late 7th century. His descriptions of the savagery and blood-lust of battle have stayed with me and made me very glad that I live in the 21st century. That said, i'll be back for more, and I'm very much looking forward to Book 3 of "The Bernicia Chronicles".
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Format: Paperback
One of the perks of having a growing reputation, a well deserved one for this humble scribbler of book reviews, is obtaining advanced copies of an author's upcoming release. Such was the case here as the author sent me a copy of The Cross and the Curse, the follow up to his excellent debut, The Serpent Sword. Beobrand is now a renowned warrior in the retinue of King Oswald, is married to a beautiful and loving woman; things are looking up...for a while at least. Mr. Harffy has avoided any semblance of a sequel jinx by putting together an intriguing account of what it could have been like when the Cross met the old gods in post Roman Britain. Beobrand, while not a follower of Christ, is oath sworn to a very Christian king while at the same time he has to deal with a witch who has a surprising link to Beobrand and utters a terrible curse upon him. An entertaining story ensues, one with great story-lines and and plenty of Dark Ages treachery and heroics. Add in a bit of inner turmoil and a dash of wavering sanity and you have a page turning tale that leaves you yearning for book three. 5 stars
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