• A Time for Swords

  • A Time for Swords, Book 1
  • By: Matthew Harffy
  • Narrated by: Barnaby Edwards
  • Length: 17 hrs and 11 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (92 ratings)

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A Time for Swords

By: Matthew Harffy
Narrated by: Barnaby Edwards
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Publisher's Summary

When the Vikings attack, a novice monk's life is changed forever in Matthew Harffy's new historical adventure.

Lindisfarne, AD 793. 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 AD 793, 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.

©2020 Matthew Harffy (P)2021 W F Howes

Critic Reviews

"Harffy's writing just gets better and better.... He is really proving himself the rightful heir to Gemmell's crown." (Jemahl Evans)

What listeners say about A Time for Swords

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Overall a Good Story. I was SUPER IRRITATED as each person could

not absorb new information. I understand that they were young men with little experience in fighting. But OMG it drove me crazy that these discussions were still happening weeks after they began their training.
I hope if future novels follow out of this novel, the author will have corrected the amount of time spent arguing over ridiculous problems. I had to play the speed at 1.8 during certain frustrating sections. I enjoy this type of fiction so i give it a ‘good’ & and will try next novel if it appears.

2 people found this helpful

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Good Listen

Wow this was really good. I am surprised it doesn't have more reader reviews. Good story and the narrator does a good job also, win-win. If you like Bernard Cornwell, George RR, Patrick Rothfuss etc. you will probably like this. It does have some sexual violence and bloodshed so its not for kids. I imagine Northumbria in AD 794 could be a pretty bloody and violent place. I listened to book one and book 2 and enjoyed them both. Listening to Harffy's other series The Bernicia Chronicles now.

1 person found this helpful

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So Excited About This Series!

If you’re searching for a series like Bernard Cornwell’s Saxon Chronicles/Last Kingdom series (this series takes place during the same period), or you share my taste for historical fiction authors like Conn Iggulden, Sharon Kay Penman, Christian Cameron, Griff Hosker, Philippa Gregory, Elizabeth Chadwick, Maurice Druon, David Gilman, etc., GET INTO THIS SERIES!

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Good start to a new series.

Barnaby Edwards does an excellent job with the narration with a 5 star performance in my opinion.
All historical fiction series start with an origin story for the main character and this one starts with a young monk witnessing a viking raid and his fight or flight reaction.
Story is good, character development for main character and supporting characters is very good. The first 2 books develop plot lines and back stories for several characters that will add to the longevity of the series in my opinion. These are the things that separate a good series from a great series.
I will be following the development of this series with intrest.
I also enjoyed the historical facts at the end of the books and the explanations of the fictional plot lines.
A solid 4 star start to a potentially excellent series.

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if you like Saxon Chronicles, you'll love this.

kind of piggy backs off Bernard Cornwell, but I love Cornwell so I'm completely okay with that. great story and can't wait for the next book.

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Great Storytelling!

It started out slow but still managed to keep my interest I guess because of the solid writing thru out. Good character development and plot lines. Now I'm waiting for the next installment.

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  • Robert
  • 09-16-21

Brilliant

Brilliant book fantastic story from start to finish, the narrator is absolutely awesome, one of Matthews best

3 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-10-21

Another great Saga starting. Here

Loved it, great that it continues on from Beobrand and he is mentioned in this book.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Nick F
  • 08-08-21

Fantastic story and storytelling

Narrator just gets better and better with each book. This is a story well deserved of the top notch Barnaby Edwards. Highly recommended this evenly paced listen.

3 people found this helpful

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  • neil
  • 07-17-21

Another quality story

I first read the 'wolf of wessex' by Matthew Harffy and every title I've listened to or read since hasn't disappointed. This is a captivating story that takes you back in time and brings the characters to life .

3 people found this helpful

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  • Mr Nightingale
  • 06-24-21

Bizarre Narration.

I returned this after a couple of hours, due to the excruciating narration style. I've never heard anything so hammy, am dram and self indulgent in my life.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-14-21

Excellent

I like Matthew Harffey's books, especially the historical notes at the end. It gives insight to the actual historical facts and what he has based the story around. That makes it more interesting and more feasible.

2 people found this helpful

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  • tomduffill
  • 08-27-21

Fantastic new series

Have read and enjoyed ‘Benicia Series’ but not sure we’re it has left to go. Then started this new series by Mathew Harffy and just excellent! Loved the fact that you weren’t sure where it was going next and the tip of the hat to magnificent 7 and Seven samurai just brought the whole thing together. Cant wait!!
Download!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Christine
  • 03-16-22

the author is a fantastic story teller.

Great story as usual, cant wait for the next. completely immersed in the action, great.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Johnny
  • 01-30-22

Enjoyed the listen

A good story well told.. the historical aspect at the end ties things together a bit.. but it was a bit predictable to do this more humour is needed I think the main character is a bit of a Tortured soul that gets a bit monotonous for me..
but I’m not a writer! Well narrated and I would get the next book if there was one

1 person found this helpful

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  • charlotte charnick
  • 08-17-21

Is immersive after a very shaky start

I have listened to the series of books that are linked to this, avidly. I was expecting the same ‘jump in and go’ from this book. Not so, for me. This was due to the narration. I found the voice over acted and annoying to the point that I wanted to return the book. I couldn’t, do I thought I may as well carry on. At some point, the narration and story clicked and it was super. I’m searching now for more in this series!

1 person found this helpful