Vagabond. Bernard Cornwell (The Grail Quest)

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9780007310319: Vagabond. Bernard Cornwell (The Grail Quest)

The eagerly anticipated follow-up to the bestselling Harlequin, this is the second instalment in Bernard Cornwell's GRAIL QUEST series, in a bright and bold repackage.It is 1346. While King Edward III fights in France, England lies exposed to the threat of invasion. Thomas of Hookton, archer and hero of Crecy, finds himself back in the north just as the Scots invade on behalf of their French allies.Thomas is determined to pursue his personal quest: to discover whether a relic he is searching for is the Holy Grail. But once again it is the archers whose skills will be called upon, and who will become the true heroes of the battle.

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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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