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Adventures in Bookland: Blood and Blade by Matthew Harffy

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In Blood and Blade, Matthew Harffy’s recreation of the violent and crucial decades of 7th-century Britain reaches a new depth and resonance. His hero, Beobrand, is a man whose soul has been as much branded by the events of the previous two books as his body has been battered by them – and how good it is to have an action hero not shake off wounds as lightly as a shower of rain. In this book, Beobrand has to travel the path his wyrd has placed him on, between competing kingdoms and the collision of religions. Harffy handles the many action scenes with his customary skill and realism – this is not a book for the faint hearted – but it is in the portrayal of the relationship between Beobrand and a lowly thrall that the author reveals a deepening appreciation of the human condition and how, even in the midst of the most violent of times, people will strive for love and human contact.

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