The Byrhtnoth Chronicles: Book 3
By Christine Hancock
Byrhtnoth thinks only of killing the man who stole his sword and wounded his wife. But the blade of revenge can strike both ways.
Erik Bloodaxe has broken his oath and claimed the throne of York. In his anger, King Eadred sends his army to ravage Northumbria. Sent north with the ships, Byrhtnoth suffers storms at sea and fire on land.
After an encounter with an old enemy he is left broken, in mind and body.
Can Byrhtnoth survive until help arrives?
Will he ever fight again?
I sat in the sun sharpening my sword and thinking about the man I would kill. Not that I knew when and where the deed would be done, only that I would do it, and I hoped it would be soon. Holding up the weapon, I squinted down the length of the gleaming blade. It was straight and true. I plucked a hair from my head and dropped it onto the edge. The two halves fell to the ground. It would do, for now.
I had never possessed a sword like this: new forged and entirely my own. Lord Athelstan had sent it and my wife had presented it to me on our wedding day, as part of that ceremony. It was a reward for my service for him the previous year.
We had married at Christmas, now it was close to Easter. My wife had named the sword Wolf's Claw. I remembered the night when the garnets of the hilt had glinted in the firelight like eyes. She had explored the barely healed scars on my body inflicted by the wolf I had fought in Northumbria. She had her own scars. I could not blame the wolf for fighting for his life, but I did blame the man who had marked her. I thrust the sword back into the sheath as if it was his bloody flesh. The blade was eager to taste blood, Egbert's blood.
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I was born in Essex and moved to Rugby, Warwickshire when I married. I have a husband, two sons and two lovely grandchildren.
I am a long-term family historian, leader of the local history group and town guide.
I had never thought of becoming an author – I just wanted to write about some of my ancestors. In 2013 I joined a writing class. The class turned out to be about writing fiction. Before I knew it, I was writing a novel.
Byrhtnoth was a real warrior who died in the 991 Battle of Maldon, made famous by the Anglo-Saxon poem of that name. Growing up in Essex, I visited Maldon often, and attended the 1000 year anniversary of the battle in 1991.
I wanted to find out what made Byrhtnoth such a famous warrior.
I finished the book but found it had become a series – how long, I have yet to find out.