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A Time for Swords by Matthew Harffy.


A Time for Swords by Matthew Harffy.

Genre: Historical Fiction

Lindisfarne, AD793. The life of a novice monk will be changed forever when the Vikings attack in a new historical adventure from Matthew Harffy.

There had been portents – famine, whirlwinds, lightning from clear skies, serpents seen flying through the air. But when the raiders came, no one was prepared.

They came from the North, their dragon-prowed longships gliding out of the dawn mist as they descended on the kingdom’s most sacred site.

It is 8th June AD793, and with the pillage of the monastery on Lindisfarne, the Viking Age has begun.

While his fellow monks flee before the Norse onslaught, one young novice stands his ground. He has been taught to turn the other cheek, but faced with the slaughter of his brothers and the pagan desecration of his church, forgiveness is impossible.

Hunlaf soon learns that there is a time for faith and prayer… and there is a time for swords. 


It is an event that demands to be written about, and the beginning of A Time For Swords, which recounts the attack, is thrilling. Our young hero, Hunlaf, is caught up in the attack but lives to see another day. Others are not as fortunate.

A moment in time that changed everything, and one thousand years later we are still fascinated with it. The story of Lindisfarne is legendary, there aren’t many within the UK that don’t know the story. For those who don’t, it is the moment when England was invaded by the Vikings, they landed on the Northumbrian beach and raided the little monastery, it was a massacre where very few of the monks survived and that event changed everything, it started the short era of British history known as the Viking age.

There have been many books that cover the bloody moment in history when Lindisfarne was ransacked by the raiding Vikings, even if you haven’t read a lot of them you’ve most likely seen the tv show; Vikings, or like me watched many documentaries about Lindisfarne.

So, the underlining plot itself won’t be new but the difference here is we see
The date is 8th June AD793, the monks in the Monastery of Lindisfarne are ransacked by demons from across the sea, one young monk; Hunlaf somehow survives, while many of his brothers didn’t.

At its core, A Time For Swords is a simple story, but it’s executed in such a thrilling way that you are transported to the brutal and bloody time and hooked from the first page. It’s dramatic, eye-opening, meticulously researched and engrossing, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, a definite read for anyone who loves the Viking era.

Despite this being a story more or less about the Lindisfarne raid, the majority of the story takes place away from the monastery and is all about the after events and the raid. I loved the opening, it set the reader up for what’s to come and the final battle is bloody and vividly brutal – I loved it!

Overall, A Time for Swords is a thrilling page-turner that will keep you gripped.

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