Greed and ambition threaten to tear the north apart.
War rages between the two kingdoms of Northumbria. Kin is pitted against kin and friend becomes foe as ambitious kings vie for supremacy.
When Beobrand travels south into East Angeln to rescue a friend, he unwittingly tilts the balance of power in the north, setting in motion events that will lead to a climactic confrontation between Oswiu of Bernicia and Oswine of Deira.
While the lord of Ubbanford is entangled in the clash of kings, his most trusted warrior, Cynan, finds himself on his own quest, called to the aid of someone he thought never to see again. Riding into the mountainous region of Rheged, Cynan faces implacable enemies who would do anything to further their own ends.
Forced to confront their pasts, and with death and betrayal at every turn, both Beobrand and Cynan have their loyalties tested to breaking point.
Who will survive the battle for a united Northumbria, and who will pay the ultimate price for lord and land?
Praise for Matthew Harffy:
'Nothing less than superb ... The tale is fast paced and violence lurks on every page' Historical Novel Society
'Beobrand is the warrior to follow' David Gilman
'Historical fiction doesn't get much better than this' Angus Donald
'A brilliant characterization of a difficult hero in a dangerous time. Excellent!' Christian Cameron
'Battles, treachery, revenge and a healthy dose of Dark Age adventure' Simon Turney
'Matthew Harffy tells a great story' Joanna Hickson
'Harffy's writing just gets better and better ... He is really proving himself the rightful heir to Gemmell's crown' Jemahl Evans
'Harffy has a real winner on his hands ... A genuinely superb novel' Steven McKay
'A breathtaking novel that sweeps the reader into a dark and dangerous world' Paul Fraser Collard
'Harffy has created a gritty, authentic world, home to a hero who shows us the complexity of what it means to be human – the darkness and the delight' Stephanie Churchill
'Matthew Harffy's tale of England in the Dark Ages is nothing less than superb ... The tale is fast paced and violence lurks on every page' Historical Novel Society.
'A tale that rings like sword song in the reader's mind. Harffy knows his genre inside out and The Cross and the Curse proves it' Giles Kristian.
'Murder, betrayal and vengeance fuel tribal warfare and personal combat. Beobrand is the warrior to follow' David Gilman.
'Historical fiction doesn't get much better than this' Angus Donald, author of The Outlaw Chronicles.
'I was gripped from the very first sentence…I thoroughly recommend it for all historical fiction readers' Martin Lake