It is the year 633, our hero, Beobrand has lost his entire family. His dream has always been to become a warrior, so in a drunken stupor, he offers his services to King Edwin. Edwin, feeling sorry for the boy’s losses, accepts.
The Serpent Sword is Beobrand’s coming of age story. He starts off as a young naïve man who wants to be a chivalrous, noble warrior. Like many young men, he falls into the wrong crowd and quickly learns that not all warriors protect the weak. In fact, many are only out for themselves, without loyalty to anyone. This is not who Beobrand wants to be.
Matthew Harffy has put together a fantastic cast of characters. I appreciated Beobrand’s development into manhood, it was a realistic evolution of a character filled with poor judgement and rash decisions. The supporting cast each added important aspects to the story; Coenred was a good, generous soul, he was there for Beobrand when he needed someone the most. Bassus was one of my personal favorites. He represented everything that Beobrand wanted to be. And then there was the villain – brutal, unscrupulous and just damn evil. I loved to hate him. Fair warning, there are some parts of this book that could be triggers for some people. Unfortunately, these things do happen, have happened and really make the reader despise the villain. Reality isn’t always pretty.
The Serpent Sword was a well written book with some great characters. It paints a very vivid picture of a time that was dark and dangerous.