Heretic (Grail Quest)

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9780060748289: Heretic (Grail Quest)

From New York Times bestselling author Bernard Cornwell, now available in paperback--the sequel to The Archer's Tale and Vagabond from #1 international bestseller Bernard Cornwell--the spellbinding tale of a young man, a fearless archer, who sets out wanting to avenge his family's honor and winds up on a quest for the Holy Grail.

Already a seasoned veteran of King Edward's army, young Thomas of Hookton possesses the fearlessness of a born leader and an uncanny prowess with the longbow. Now, at the head of a small but able band of soldiers, he has been dispatched to capture the castle of Astarac. But more than duty to his liege has brought him to Gascony, home of his forebears and the hated black knight who brutally slew Thomas's father. It is also the last place where the Holy Grail was reported seen. Here, also, a beautiful and innocent, if not pious, woman is to be burned as a heretic. Saving the lady, Genevieve, from her dread fate will brand Thomas an infidel, forcing them to flee together across a landscape of blood and fire. And what looms ahead is a battle to the death that could ultimately shape the future of Christendom.

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Review:

Heretic is the third book in Bernard Cornwell's much-acclaimed Grail Quest series, a series that many were initially cautious about because it represented something of a change of pace for the master historical novelist. But Cornwell quickly demonstrated that this period of history was well within his remit, and the sequence has proved to be among his most mesmerising work.

Heretic begins with a bloody battle outside Calais in 1347, a short time before the city fell to the English. The sympathetic Thomas of Hookton is bending every sinew at the service of his master, the Earl of Northampton; after risking his life time and again, Thomas finds himself commissioned to track down the most sacred relic in Christendom, the Holy Grail. He travels to Gascony, seat of power of his nemesis, Guy Vexille. Utilising his archers, Thomas conducts a fierce guerrilla war against Vexille, and yearns for a face-to-face encounter. But then Thomas is routed and finds his campaign in shreds, facing the twin enemies of the church and the plague.

In this third book, Bernard Cornwell ups the ante in every sense: along with the splendidly realised battle scenes (a Cornwell trademark), the evocation of the Middle Ages is more crowded and bustling than one might have thought possible without subsuming the protagonists. But most of all, it's the character of Thomas that powers the narrative; having his hero fall in love (sensitively handled here) sets off the ultimate conflict with his mortal enemy perfectly. Leave the 21st century behind and venture into a dark and foreign era--it's a journey you won't regret. --Barry Forshaw

Review:

"Cornwell delivers intense and detailed battle action ....Highly recommended."--Library Journal

"Cornwell is a master of the historical action novel, and he outdoes himself again."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Cornwell is a master of the historical action novel, and he outdoes himself again. --Publishers Weekly (starred review)"

Cornwell delivers intense and detailed battle action ....Highly recommended. --Library Journal"

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2007. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 202 x 134 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. From New York Times bestselling author Bernard Cornwell, now available in paperback--the sequel to The Archer s Tale and Vagabond from #1 international bestseller Bernard Cornwell--the spellbinding tale of a young man, a fearless archer, who sets out wanting to avenge his family s honor and winds up on a quest for the Holy Grail. Already a seasoned veteran of King Edward s army, young Thomas of Hookton possesses the fearlessness of a born leader and an uncanny prowess with the longbow. Now, at the head of a small but able band of soldiers, he has been dispatched to capture the castle of Astarac. But more than duty to his liege has brought him to Gascony, home of his forebears and the hated black knight who brutally slew Thomas s father. It is also the last place where the Holy Grail was reported seen. Here, also, a beautiful and innocent, if not pious, woman is to be burned as a heretic. Saving the lady, Genevieve, from her dread fate will brand Thomas an infidel, forcing them to flee together across a landscape of blood and fire. And what looms ahead is a battle to the death that could ultimately shape the future of Christendom. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780060748289

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