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Killer of Kings (The Bernicia Chronicles Book 4) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 386 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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- Book 4 of 7 in The Bernicia Chronicles
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About the Author
- File size : 3477 KB
- Publication date : June 1, 2017
- Publisher : Head of Zeus -- an Aries Book (June 1, 2017)
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 386 pages
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- ASIN : B01M9D3EQP
- Language: : English
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #63,222 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Blood is spilled, loss ensues, friendships grow stronger, blood feuds take another turn.
The time period was one I knew little about when I began the series, but by now it is much more familiar. Beobrand and his following are a window to a fiercer time, yet people are people and the longing for revenge, God, and love still remain.
Please do yourself a favor and read this series!
Give it a try. This is the 4th book, just a FYI !!!!
Top reviews from other countries
As with the early novels, Harffy proves a master of the craft, weaving a tale as tangled as Beobrand's own life. Beobrand is a strong-willed man who, at the same time, is often the plaything of the gods, fate and powerful lords and kings. Sometimes things work out well, often dire. Yet because of his character he refuses to be overjoyed by good fortune or daunted by bad. He is a man of great integrity although often circumstances lead him to do dreadful deeds.
Killer of Kings ranges across much of what would later become England. One of the best things about Harrfy’s writing is his ability to conjure up an ancient world where people lived close to a land which was often harsh and dangerous. This was so for the warriors but also for the women left behind while their menfolk trooped off to seek glory. Harffy is especially good at showing the dangers that women experienced, and the courage needed to face them. There are many lyrical moments of love, friendship and the pleasure of life. But they all play out against a world of danger and doom.
Beobrand is a fascinating character. He is dour, dauntless, often prey to terrible decisions yet devoted to those he loves. I wouldn’t want to go anywhere near him in battle or in his hall, he’s much too dangerous for me, but I can see why he inspires such loyalty in his men. Here is one of the great strengths of the novel. The people in the book experience emotions the same as we do but they seem rawer, stronger, less diluted by a civil life. Kill or be killed, eat or be eaten.
There is plenty of killing in this book. The main battle, in particular, is wonderfully written. The noise, stench, terror and brutality are conveyed strongly. I can think of few battle scenes as well written as this. But, then again, I can think of few historical novelists better than Matthew Harffy.
Martin Lake, author of Land of Blood and Water (The Long War for England Book 1)
Reaching East Anglia they find the king has retired to a monastery and his relative Ecgric is king. Neither of them seem interested in defending their land from attack from King Penda's Mercia and Beobrand realises he has been sent to support the East Anglian army.
The armies meet in a long and bloody battle. Beobrand narrowly escapes, but without his men and his horse. With an old friend he travels to Kent, meeting relatives for the first time since he left for Bernicia. In previous books one phrase has recurred - his mother's dying words "You are not your father's son". Beobrand discovers the truth, but it is even worse than he suspected.
On the journey home he attempts to fulfil his vow to kill the man who defiled and killed his wife. Nothing goes as planned.
Meanwhile, back at Ubbanford, Reaghan worries, surrounded by people who hate or despise her, what will happen to her if Beobrand doesn't return?
Like the previous books, this volume is filled with blood and guts. The reader can have fun counting the different synonyms for blood, although I sometimes find it annoying.
Beobrand is developing as a character. He worries that he is unable to deal with the memories of the death he deals his enemies. The only way he seems to find peace is by more killing, but even revenge cannot sooth his soul. He feels the loss of his hearth companions deeply, they died because of him, he should not have survived. With the loss of his horse as well, I am starting to wonder if his mind can survive this sort of pressure. Where can the author take his character next? It will be interesting to find out.
I started reading the book one evening, I could have finished that night, but I forced myself to stop. I had things to do the next day, but I wanted to prolong the enjoyment. After all, I'll have to wait many months to read the next instalment, to find out if Beobrand can find peace.
Old enemies show their faces again but this time Beobrand might actually be able to rid himself of them..that ever present shadow looming over him.
War is coming and while on a mission for Oswald Beo is sucked in and the bloodlust takes holds..it’s time for a blood feud to be settled.
We get a great mix of action and suspense as the focus switches from Brobrand to Reaghan back home struggling to figure out her place in Beobrand’s absence. She's resented by others because of her past but she's powerless to change it.. While the action is non-stop this switch of focus really gave it a suspenseful build up.
Chapter 15 was my favourite chapter of the story, real white knuckle moment. Scary and exciting at the same time.
Harffy once again holds no favouritism with his characters..not all Beo’s gesithas will make it home… but neither will Beobrand’s enemies.
The character I most enjoyed was Wynhelm. I didn’t like him at first but as he developed throughout the tale I warmed to him like I felt Beo did to. Although he may rub Beo up the wrong way he’s loyal and is faultless in his logic.
The one difference I felt this book had over the rest in the series is that Beobrand gets some closure, so it does leave me wondering what could possibly happen next.
Harffy is one of my top authors who never disappoints and he has my thanks for having me on the blog tour. I would also like to thank Yasemin at Head of Zeus who organised everything. While I’m always grateful for the ARC of the book it was my pleasure to purchase the book on release.
Killer of Kings is a strong book that solidifies this series as being one of the best to be published in recent years.
My verdict - 5* all the way!
It is the particularly fragile humanity of Beobrand set against the killing machine in battle that really sets the series apart. Too many heroes of historical action are caricatures, blissfully unaware or disinterested in the effects of their carnage. Beobrand is different, his angst is brilliantly depicted, his self-doubt contrasted by his confident action. It reminds me in that respect of Forster’s Hornblower books with a self-aware self-doubting leader. I love Cornwell’s Uthred, but he rarely displays the level of reflection that elevates Beobrand’s personality. Don’t get me wrong, BC is still the master whose quality of writing I think we all aspire to, but Matthew Harffy is damn close.
Onto the plot: Beobrand is sent by his lord, King Oswald, to escort a couple of monks and a reliquary south into the kingdom of East Anglia. What should be a simple journey is complicated by the invasion by Penda of Mercia, and Beobrand (as is his wyrd) gets dragged into the conflict. The East Anglians have their own problems with an apathetic monarch who has retired to a monastery and his ineffectual successor. Beobrand rapidly realises he has been sent into the situation by Oswald, used is another word, to sort the East Anglians out. There is a massive battle which really demonstrates Harffy’s skill in blood-soaked brutal combat, but ends catastrophically for Beobrand who just about escapes to Kent (alone) to his family and his past. His past has secrets he is about to uncover, blood vows to fulfil, dead wives to avenge...
I must confess, I dislike the character of King Oswald in the books, although he is not as prominent in Killer of Kings, his machinations are. I think it is some innate Welsh bias having been brought up on stories where Oswald and the Mercian Offa were always antagonists. You know, Cadwallon wasn’t so bad. By contrast Reghan is one of my favourite characters in the series. Stuck in Ubbanford whilst Beobrand wanders around Britain wreaking havoc, her story is really engaging and often a good breather from the fighting.
I have an ARC of the next book in the series, which I was going to read after a couple of others on my, ever expanding, reading list. That didn’t happen, I’m already about a third of the way through it, and my own productivity has dropped considerably. Total immersion in the story is what happens when a master writer grabs you by the balls with his books and gives them a twist. To sum up: bloody brilliant! Matthew Harffy just gets better and better.
I would thoroughly recommend the Bernicia Chronicles series, but be warned, they're addictive!