Today is my turn on the blog tour for A Night of Flames by Matthew Harffy! It also happens to be the official publication day too!!!
If you follow my blog you’ll know Harffy is a firm favourite so to say I was eager to get to grips with this one was an understatement!
Here’s the blurb
In the wild lands of Norway, Hunlaf must quell a vicious slave uprising in Matthew Harffy’s new historical adventure.
A wild land. A lethal fanatic. A violent revolt.
Northumbria, AD 794. Those who rule the seas, rule the land. None know the truth of this more than the Vikings. To compete with the seafaring raiders, the king of Northumbria orders the construction of his own longships under the command of oath-sworn Norseman, Runolf.
When the Vikings attack again, the king sends cleric turned warrior, Hunlaf, on a mission to persuade the king of Rogaland into an alliance. But Hunlaf and Runolf have other plans; kin to seek out, old scores to settle, and a heretical tome to find in the wild lands of the Norse.
Their voyage takes them into the centre of a violent uprising. A slave has broken free of his captors and, with religious fervour, is leading his fanatical followers on a rampage – burning all in his path. Hunlaf must brave the Norse wilderness, and overcome deadly foes, to stop this madman. Can he prevent a night of flames and slaughter?
Firstly I have to commended the author on creating a new series set away from his Serpent Sword series but at the same time offering subtle nods to his previous work. These litter eastereggs are there to find and really did put a smile on my face. I know the characters aren’t real but at the same time the investment you put into a story as the reader makes them real, so adding in these little extras triggers the memories and it’s great to see those adventures are still locked in my head 😊.
So we are back with Hunlaf, he’s firmly shed his monk robes for the touch of cold hard steel but that doesn’t mean he’s still not conflicted at times. Mainly because the warrior life has come easy to him and sometimes that doesn’t sit well with his soul. He’s about to be tested like never before.
Runolf wants to start building his boat to cross the sea to find out what has become of his family. Hunlaf has a desire more then most to join him after his kin was take in a previous Viking raid. Neither know how their loved ones fair so as you can imagine.. there’s a lot of nervous energy going around with them both eager to set sail.
After receiving the blessing of the King to build the boat and with orders to gain a truce with the Norse we see a few new faces join our band of heroes and at times tensions can run high but the call of the sea and the torment it can cause soon allows bonds to grow.. which will make future events even harder to swallow. The journey across the sea will be completed but comes at a price.
When eventually they arrive on Norse lands all is not well. A slave has revolted and is causing havoc. If Runolf and Hunlaf ever want to see peace and their kin again they must fight a new threat.. and this threat is a little bit crazy to say the least.
We learn early on that death will show it’s face so while I was kind of prepared it really didn’t help lessen the shock when events unfolded.
What happens next is beyond belief and is the best 10 – 15 chapters I’ve ever read in my life…the grizzly horror.. the bloodshed.. the pain.. it’s beautiful in it’s madness as Hunlaf tries to make it out of this one alive.. but nothing is certain, but.. Anything is possible.
If it’s even possible I think Harffy gets better and better which each offering and as this is still a relatively new series for the author it’s given him the ability to explore things a little more than with his established characters I feel.. he really let his creative juices flow on this one.
I always like to comment on writing style, chapter length etc but on this one I simple can’t.. I was so engrossed I just didn’t take that in.. I just ploughed through this one with a desire to learn the outcome.. We know Hunlaf makes it through this adventure as he’s the one recounting the tale to us but the rest is not known and there’s so much at stake… I really didn’t want to see loose anyone but it wouldn’t be a Harffy book without a few tears.
It’s a 5* from me without a shadow of a doubt.
It’s unreal how haunting amazing this book is.. how is it even possible to write something so disturbingly beautiful! There’s so many emotions that pass through you as you read this one and it’s something that will really stay with you.
My thanks go to the publishers for gifting me a copy of the book for review! This one was on pre-order too but it’s always exciting to get to read in advance in order to jump on a wonderful blog tour!
Why not follow the tour??
About the author
Matthew Harffy grew up in Northumberland where the rugged terrain, ruined castles and rocky coastline had a huge impact on him. He now lives in Wiltshire, England, with his wife and their two daughters.
Facebook: Aries Fiction