Vagabond (The Grail Quest, Book 2)

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9780002259668: Vagabond (The Grail Quest, Book 2)

The eagerly anticipated follow-up to the bestselling Harlequin, this is the second instalment in Bernard Cornwell's Grail Quest series. In Harlequin, Thomas of Hookton travelled to France as an archer and there discovered a shadowy destiny, which linked him to a family of heretical French lords who sought Christendom's greatest relic. Having survived the battle of Crecy, Thomas is sent back to England, charged with finding the Holy Grail. But Thomas is an archer and when a chance comes to fight against an army invading northern England he jumps at it. Plunged into the carnage of Neville's Cross, he is oblivious to other enemies who want to destroy him. He discovers too late that he is not the only person pursuing the grail, and that his rivals will do anything to thwart him. After hunting and wounding him, Thomas's enemies turn him into a fugitive. Fleeing England, he travels to Normandy, determined to rescue Will Skeat, his old commander from Harlequin. Finally Thomas leads his enemies back to Brittany, where he goes to discover an old love and where his pursuers at last trap their reluctant pilgrim. Vagabond is a vivid and realistic portrait of England at a time when the archer was king of Europe's battlefields.

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Review:

Vagabond, the second entry in Bernard Cornwell's Grail Quest series, has been eagerly anticipated by those who read the first book, and it doesn't disappoint. Thomas has managed to survive the battle of Crécy. Still nursing his wounds, he is dispatched by the king on a mission to look into the matter of his father's inheritance, which is obscurely connected to the Holy Grail. This most precious relic of the Christian faith is a much sought-after object, offering the power of total victory in war to its owner. But Thomas finds himself in the middle of a battle against an army invading the North of England, and other shadowy forces pursuing the grail are prepared to slaughter anyone who stands in their way. In the ruins of his birthplace, Thomas discovers more about his father, and a dangerous voyage to France brings him up against his cousin and arch-enemy, Count of Astarc Guy Vexville. The stage is set for a merciless showdown.

Thomas is a protagonist drawn quite as pithily as his much-loved predecessor, and the sheer verve of Cornwell's storytelling here is irresistible. We are plunged into a distant age: bloody, colourful and dangerous. Roll on, volume three! --Barry Forshaw, Amazon.co.uk

From the Back Cover:

In the eagerly anticipated sequel to The Archer's Tale in Bernard Cornwell's acclaimed Grail Quest series, a young archer sets out to avenge his family's honor on the battlefields of the Hundred Years' War and winds up on a quest for the Holy Grail.

1347 is a year of war and unrest. England's army is fighting in France, and the Scots are invading from the North. Thomas of Hookton, sent back to England to follow an ancient trail to the Holy Grail, becomes embroiled in the fighting at Durham. Here he meets a new and sinister enemy, a Dominican Inquisitor, who, like all of Europe, is searching for Christendom's most holy relic. It is not certain the grail even exists, but no one wants to let it fall into someone else's hands. And though Thomas may have an advantage in the search -- an old notebook left to him by his father seems to offer clues to the whereabouts of the relic -- his rivals, inspired by a fanatical religious fervor, have their own ways: the torture chamber of the Inquisition. Barely alive, Thomas is able to escape their clutches, but fate win not let him rest. He is thrust into one of the bloodiest fights of the Hundred Years' War, the Battle of La Roche-Derrien, and amid the flames, arrows, and butchery of that night, he faces his enemies once again.

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Book Description Harper Collins, London, UK, 2002. Soft cover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: As New. 1st Edition. A NICE TIGHT FIRST EDITION FIRST PRINT COPY OF VAGABOND BY BERNARD CORNWELL,WHICH BERNARD HAS VERY KINDLY SIGNED TO THE TITLE PAGE. BOOK IS IN A PROTECTIVE CLEAR ACETATE COVER, ALL BOOKS DESPATCHED WRAPPED IN BUBBLE WRAP AND A CARDBOARD BOX. Signed by Author(s). Bookseller Inventory # 000065

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