Warrior of Woden (The Bernicia Chronicles)

Written by Matthew Harffy
Review by Mike Ashworth

AD 642, Anglo-Saxon Britain. Oswald has been King of Northumbria for eight years. Beobrand, the king’s war leader, is now a wealthy warlord with his own sizeable band of oath-sworn black shielded warriors. However, these are troubled times, and rival kings seek to expand their realms. Penda of Mercia invades Northumbria with a large army intent on the destruction of the kingdom. Others, including the king’s brother, look with envy and loathing at Beobrand, jealous of his reputation and wealth, but wary of his fighting ability. The war brings not only conflict and death, but also a chance to settle old scores. Beobrand finds himself fighting not only for his life, but also his reputation in a clash between Pagan and Christian for the survival of the kingdom.

This is the fifth instalment of the Bernicia Chronicles, but can be read as a stand-alone novel. With a strong plot and characters, the story is fast-paced and stimulating with action scenes which are graphic without being gratuitous. The author brings alive this stormy period in an immensely readable, and informative way. If you are looking for Dark Age adventure, battles and treachery galore, this is for you. Recommended.