Kin of Cain: A Short Bernicia Tale
by Matthew Harffy
AD 630. Anglo-Saxon Britain. A gripping, action-packed historical tale set in the world of The Bernicia Chronicles. Perfect for fans of Bernard Cornwell.
Winter grips the land in its icy fist. Terror stalks the hills, moors and marshes of Bernicia. Livestock and men have been found ripped asunder, their bones gnawed, flesh gorged upon. People cower in their halls in fear of the monster that prowls the night.
King Edwin sends his champions, Bassus, Octa and band of trusted thegns, to hunt down the beast and to rid his people of this evil.
Bassus leads the warriors into the chill wastes of the northern winter, and they soon question whether they are the hunters or the prey. Death follows them as they head deeper into the ice-rimed marshes, and there is ever only one ending for the mission: a welter of blood that will sow the seeds of a tale that will echo down through the ages.
The Coffee Pot Book Club Review
Cain, that murderous creature, was banished by God for killing his brother. He has been silent for a long time. But now the monster stirs once more and takes up arms to continue his savage war.
A blood-curdling cry in the darkest of nights. Lifestock slaughtered. Good men dead. This cannot continue. King Edwin will not allow such a monster to remain at large. He must be hunted. He must be killed.
On a cold winters day, King Edwin's favoured thanes set out on a quest to find and kill the beast that has brought such terror to their King's beautiful kingdom. But this will be an adventure like none before it. And all their lives will be changed forever...
As poetic and as exciting as the Old English epic poems of times gone by, Kin of Cain: A Short Bernicia Tale by Matthew Harffy really appealed to me. The story is an action-packed adventure where new horrors (both real and imagined) lurk around every corner. The characters, particular Octa are fresh and vibrant — very real in the telling. Octa was a perfect protagonist. He is strong but weak. Brave but fearful. Very human. I thought he was wonderfully portrayed.
For those of you who love the old epic poems, this story will be very familiar to you. I am not going to give away any spoilers, but very early on in the story, I cottoned on to what Mr Harffy was writing about. I have to admit, the story he depicted is one of my favourites!!
Mr Harffy has written a fresh take on a very old story. It was a very satisfying retelling with a few little twists of his own.
I thoroughly enjoyed Kin of Cain: A Short Bernicia Tale and I shall look forward to reading more books in the Benicia Tale saga.
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.
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. Matthew lives in Wiltshire, England, with his wife and their two daughters.