A Time for Swords

Head of Zeus. May 2021. 496p. ISBN 9781838932855. $29.95. F
At the end of his life, Hunlaf is recording his adventures. In what is clearly intended to be the first installment in a new series from Harffy (“The Bernicia Chronicles” series), Hunlaf is a monk who longs to be a warrior and defend the people of Werceworthe against Norsemen during the Viking Age. It is 793 CE, and Hunlaf joins a small group of swordsmen as they journey from Lindisfarne to their ultimate battle site. Along the journey, Hunlaf adds Runolf and Cormac to their war band, from the enemy camp. This title is high adventure, but it can be repetitive. Twice, a member of the team joins or is approached, declines or leaves, and then comes back. The overuse of the word “heartbeat” to indicate the passage of time and the amount of horseback riding are wearying as well. For a book that is already of considerable length, less duplication would be preferred. A map of the journey at the book’s front and an author’s note at the end of the book both provide historical context.
VERDICT For readers who enjoy historical adventures, especially those set in the Viking Age.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing