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Kin of Cain: A Short Bernicia Tale

(Bernicia Chronicles)

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  168 ratings  ·  29 reviews

AD 630. Anglo-Saxon Britain. A gripping, action-packed historical tale set in the world of The Bernicia Chronicles. Perfect for fans of Bernard Cornwell.

Winter grips the land in its icy fist. Terror stalks the hills, moors and marshes of Bernicia. Livestock and men have been found ripped asunder, their bones gnawed, flesh gorged upon. People cower in their halls in fear o

Kindle Edition, 104 pages
Published March 1st 2017 by Aria
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Showing 1-30
4.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  168 ratings  ·  29 reviews

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Paul Bennett
Feb 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
First let me say thanks to the author and the fine folks at Aria for including this poor, humble scribe with the illustrious group of reviewers on this Blog Tour. Since I am leading off this tour, I reckon it's appropriate for me to announce, "Welcome, and now, on with the show."

More Dark Age tale telling from the author of The Serpent Sword. This time he weaves a story that is well known but puts his own twist on it, and in a manner that is both entertaining and foreshadowing. The main characte
Mar 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Kin of Cain A Short Bernicia Tale by Matthew Harffy
Without doubt, Kin of Cain is spine-tinglingly, nerve-jangling, read-through-your-fingers superb!

It's both a Bernicia short-story, and the work of a writer now catapulted into the ranks of the very best the Historical Fiction genre has to offer. If I hadn't already been 100% convinced of that, I wouldn't have agreed to take part in the Blog Tour to promote the book, put it like that. It's clear, that for lovers of Historical Fiction, 7th Century Britannia is the place to be right now, because w
David Baird
Mar 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
When I first read The Serpent Sword I was shocked at how quickly Octa disappeared from the tale, it's this murder that sets Beobrand on his journey but I was left wondering who Octa really was.. was he anything like his brother?

Well now we have the chance to see a little of the man himself in a short story set before the events The Serpent Sword.

86 pages is a decent amount of pages for a short tale in my opinion and Harffy doesn't hold back. For me what I really enjoyed was this tale has a bit o
Paula Lofting
Mar 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Kin of Cain

630 AD and terror and winter grip the lands of Bernicia, the northernmost kingdom in the lands of the Englefolk. A monster stalks the hills, livestock and men have been found torn asunder, their bones gnawed, their flesh gorged upon. King Edwin sends his champions, Bassus and Octa, with a band of trusted men to rid the kingdom of this evil. As Bassus leads this brave war band into the northern hills, they soon question whether they are the prey or the hunted, but whatever the darkness
Ash (It's a Word Vomit World)
Feb 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-books, netgalley
For the full revised review, go to:

I seriously need to start reading more novellas. It really is the perfect length for a booklover with a busy life. I normally pickup an anthology for that, but this was great, and it was such an amazing story it made me want to buy a few more! I’ll for sure be reading other books by this author.

Ok, so what’s this story about? It’s a retelling of a time long, long ago. While partying it up in the great hall with all the kin
Mar 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
I have been a fan of the Bernicia Chronicles almost from the beginning, though I was a wary convert. Usually one to be skeptical of books when one is “supposed” to like it (I generally steer clear of popular best-seller lists, Oprah book club selections, etc.), I prefer to make up my own mind about them. If a celebrity or a highly paid marketing firm suggests it, my cynic’s mind kicks in. So when I heard that Harffy’s first book, The Serpent Sword, was compared to one of my favorite authors, Ber ...more
Simon Howard
Dec 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is my first foray into the Bernicia tales and I thought this short story would be a good introduction, I was not wrong.
A great beast stalks the lands of Bernicia, a monster that strikes at night, ripping its victims asunder and eating the remains..... King Edwin cannot suffer this monstrosity to live and charges the hulking warrior Bassus, along with Octa and a small group of Thegns to find and kill the beast!
This has all the markings of a great horror story as our stout group of warriors
George (BuriedInBooks)
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Just wow! First I want to say thanks to Matthew for making this Novella free on the kindle store, I’m so glad he did it’s amazing!

So the story is set in the same period and world as his main books the Bernicia Chronicles. Kin Of Cain ties into the story of Octa, Beobrands brother who we don’t hear much about in the main books, which to me was really interesting. A creature of legend is stalking the winter nights preying on men, women and children. The king sends his best and bravest warriors to
Nov 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Nice short story!

This was a well told possible story of a legendary story, not to give any spoilers. Added in nicely to the adventures of Beobrand and gives a little more insight to his brother Octa.
Blair Hodgkinson
After reading Matthew Harffy's first novel, I was pleased that I could now read a prequel novella. I won't get into spoilers here, but suffice to say that this short quest adventure is as gripping and tense as the longer novel with which it connects so well. The story is fast-paced, atmospheric and dark with touches of mystery and horror interlacing well with the narrative. The connections to old Anglo-Saxon literature, even for one who only dabbles in the study, will become obvious and clear as ...more
Kate Joekel
Mar 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent retelling of one of the earliest 'hero' stories.

I have enjoyed reading the Bernica books, and when happened upon this novella by the same author I purchased it.
Exciting and fast moving, this is a prequel of sorts and features Octa, elder brother of the hero of the Bernica books. Also appearing is the sword Hruntung and it's original owner. Enjoy reading this addition to the Benicia novels.
Feb 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Set in Anglo-saxon Britain (630 AD ) it represents a classic adventure story ( really a story because this is actually a novella ) and it has all the right ingredients : the king, the mead hall, the warriors,a famous sword, the ice-cold marshes, death and the shadow of a monster.An absolute brilliant read.
Krystina Morrison
Jan 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017tbr, jan17, 2017read
I just finished Kin of Cain by Matthew Harffy and I thought it was a really exciting story! Quite the adventure. The novella is short but doesnt fall short on adventure. It follows a band of anglo saxons on a journey to find the beast named the "Kin of Cain". It was so interesting and I really enjoyed the storyline behind the Hrunting sword. It added a nice touch to the story.The chapters seemed short and seamless resulting in a fast read. I liked the characters and they felt so relateable becau ...more
Peter Gould
Nice short story from a new perspective about some of the background and secondary characters in Mathew Harffy's other series set in Berncia during the dark ages.
Mary Yarde
Mar 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Cain, that murderous creature, was banished by God for killing his brother. He has been silent for a long time. But now the monster stirs once more and takes up arms to continue his savage war.

A blood-curdling cry in the darkest of nights. Lifestock slaughtered. Good men dead. This cannot continue. King Edwin will not allow such a monster to remain at large. He must be hunted. He must be killed.

On a cold winters day, King Edwin's favoured thanes set out on a quest to find and kill the beast that
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: five-star
Well! Unexpectedly this turned out to be much more my cup of tea than Matthew's other novels (which are a tad too blood thirtsy for my liking) This is a slight move away from that, though there is blood aplenty. I really enjoyed the supernatural feel to the story and the scary other worldliness of the dark marshy landscape. It reminded me a bit of The Company of Liars, in that you start to believe the weird old tales yourself, will the band of warriors find a monster or a man behind the mysterio ...more
Jan 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Gripping and gory historical monster story

A dark tale of courage and camaraderie in early Anglo-Saxon Britain. A monster is on the loose and a band of warriors, keen to win favour with their king, set out on its trail. The author skilfully creates the harsh and forbidding landscape of seventh century Northumbria through which our brave heroes travel to track down their prey. Is it man, beast of demon? An engaging and beguiling novella that delivers on drama - and gives a nod to folk legend.
Adam Lofthouse
Apr 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A short story from the brilliant world of the Benicia Tales that Matthew has created. The story is based on Octa (Beobrand’s older brother for those familiar with the series) and is a new take on an old tale.
No spoilers, but this is action packed, fast paced and brilliantly written. As always with Matthew’s books the world he has created is vivid and and you find yourself quickly immersed. Strong characters, with a couple of familiar faces for those that have read The Serpent Sword and the other
Steve A. Litteral Jr.
Nov 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great Short Tale

Mr. Harffy does a great job of blending his characters into a tale that is like Beowulf, in more ways than one. I won't spoil the story, but you will see what I mean once you read it for yourself. Check out the authors other world as well. He has quickly become one of my favorite authors.
Shanon Huffhines
Dec 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a a fantastic short story! If you are a fan of the Bernicia Chronicles series, then it is a must read, but it is a very enjoyable stand alone tell as well. I would like to say more, but do not want to give away the masterful ending.
Mar 09, 2018 rated it liked it
I didn't enjoy this shorter tale as much as the novels. Still it was a good entertainment.
Reuben Chadwick
Mar 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Mr Harffy strikes again.
 Diana Davis
Mar 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Kin of Cain: A Short Bernicia Tale Kindle Edition
by Matthew Harffy
Never in my life have I wanted to give out the spoiler for the mystery of a novel, so I am going to talk around it. Anyone who has taken English 101, will figure out what I am talking about.
A Viking/Anglo-Saxon adventure as Octa and his men chase after a man-eating monster. Mr. Harffy does an amazing job of dispelling the glamour of the High Fantasy quest. Octa, Bassa and the others neither freeze, go hungry, get hurt and even ru
Linda Acaster
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical
I was pulled towards this short on two fronts, the historical period and the rather obvious link to the epic Anglo-Saxon tale of Beowulf. The story is cracking, and knowing the storyline detracted nothing from the conveying. The author has a splendid grasp of the period and really made it live. I shall read more in the series. Highly recommended.
Mar 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A great short story addition to the series. A dark tone with gripping tension and Harffy's signature dialogue that appeals to the gruff and uncertain nature of the times.
Polly Krize
Mar 06, 2017 rated it liked it
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Although I had not heard of or read the Bernicia Chronicles, I thoroughly enjoyed this adventurous book set in Anglo Saxon Britain. With an unknown evil stalking the land, a group of warriors is sent out to deal with this looming threat. I will be looking for more by this talented historical fiction author.
Feb 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
rated it it was amazing
May 06, 2017
john a wright
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Oct 28, 2018
Phil Livesey
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Mar 26, 2017
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Matthew Harffy lived in Northumberland as a child and the area had a great impact on him. The rugged terrain, ruined castles and rocky coastline made it easy to imagine the past. Decades later, a documentary about Northumbria's Golden Age sowed the kernel of an idea for a series of historical fiction novels. The first of them is the action-packed tale of vengeance and coming of age, THE SERPENT SW ...more

Other books in the series

Bernicia Chronicles (6 books)
  • The Serpent Sword (Bernicia Chronicles #1)
  • The Cross and the Curse (Bernicia Chronicles, #2)
  • Blood and Blade (Bernicia Chronicles #3)
  • Killer of Kings (Bernicia Chronicles #4)
  • Warrior of Woden (The Bernicia Chronicles)
  • Storm of Steel (The Bernicia Chronicles)