The eagerly anticipated follow-up to the number one bestseller Vagabond, this is the third instalment in Bernard Cornwell's Grail Quest series. In 1347 the English capture Calais and the war with France is suspended by a truce. But for Thomas of Hookton, the hero of Harlequin and Vagabond, there is no end to the fighting. He is pursuing the grail ...
The eagerly anticipated follow-up to the number one bestseller Vagabond, this is the third instalment in Bernard Cornwell's Grail Quest series. In 1347 the English capture Calais and the war with France is suspended by a truce. But for Thomas of Hookton, the hero of Harlequin and Vagabond, there is no end to the fighting. He is pursuing the grail, the most sacred of Christendom's relics, and is sent to his ancestral homeland, Gascony, to engineer a confrontation with his deadliest enemy, Guy Vexille. Once in the south country Thomas becomes a raider, leading his archers in savage forays that will draw his enemy to his arrows. But then his fortunes change. Thomas becomes the hunted as his campaign is destroyed by the church. With only one companion, a girl condemned to burn as a heretic, Thomas goes to the valley of Astarac where he believes the grail was once hidden and might still be concealed, and there he plays a deadly game of hide and seek with an overwhelming enemy. Then, just as Thomas succeeds in meeting his enemy face to face, fate intervenes as the deadliest plague in the history of mankind erupts into Europe. What had been a landscape of castles, monasteries, vineyards and villages, becomes death's kingdom and the need for the grail, as a sign of God's favour, is more urgent than ever.
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Crashes through in to a brutal and surprising conclusion--can you see what's coming next?
Sep 2, 2010
excellent story, good finish to trilogy. Pity about the delivery!
Dec 10, 2009
The 100 Years War...
I enjoyed reading this book. Cornwell writes battle scenes better than any author I've read. His vivid descriptions make me glad I did not have to live through this the 100-Years War.
It was hard to read the scenes when the protagonist, Thomas of Hookton, was tortured by an inquisitor of the church. And his miraculous healing was a little too quick to be believed. But overall it was a very engaging read.
May 14, 2008
Good read, but familiar for Cornwell fans
Although I haven't read every book in Cornwell's bibliography, I have read his "Last Kingdom" series, his original "Sharpe" series, and now this one. They've all been highly entertaining reads, and Cornwell's strengths continue to be fine attention to historical detail and thrilling action scenes. One doesn't go to him for in-depth character development, and that's just okay with me. Fans of historical fiction with a heavy bent on action should definitely check out any of Cornwell's series. I would recommend the "Sharpe" series first, but no harm would be done by picking a shorter series, like this one, "The Grail Quest." Highly recommended.
Feb 28, 2008
This is the third book in a series called " The Grail Quest " . All three books are very good reads and Bernard Cornwell is an exceptional historical novelist. I would recommend any of his books.
Publishers Weekly, 2003-08-11 Cornwell is a master of the historical action novel, and he outdoes himself again with this gripping third volume in his Grail Quest series, set during the bloody Hundred Years' War (The Archer's Tale; Vagabond). For years, English archer Thomas of Hookton has been searching for the Holy Grail. Thomas is not certain it ever existed, but obscure clues link his family to the mysterious vessel. In 1347, driven by his desire to plumb the truth of the Grail as well as to earn money from the plunder of French lands and property, Thomas and a small group of soldiers capture a castle in Gascony, the homeland of Thomas's father. Thomas hopes to hold the castle against the French, raid the countryside for loot and draw the attention of his evil cousin Guy Vexille, a French nobleman who murdered Thomas's father and who may have information about the Grail. Vexille appears, but so does the army of a local lord, sent to besiege the castle, and the vicious brother of a treacherous and cunning bishop who is determined to secure the Grail. Fighting honorably amid extreme brutality, Thomas is aided by loyal English archers, English and French men-at-arms, local bandits, a Scottish mercenary and a heretic girl with unusual powers. Outnumbered by his enemies, he faces the might of a huge cannon and the power of the Church's greed-not to mention the dreaded Black Death. Most daunting of all, however, is the decision Thomas must make when he finally discovers the truth about the Holy Grail. Graphic battlefield action, strong characters and sharp plotting are Cornwell's trademarks, and his fans will love this latest melee. (Oct. 7) Forecast: The Grail Quest books sell even faster than Cornwell's popular Napoleonic War series, and this is the best in the series so far. Expect it to fly off shelves. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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