Bernard Cornwell, the "master of martial fiction" (Booklist), brings Thomas of Hookton from the popular Grail Quest series into a new adventure in 1356, a thrilling stand-alone novel. On September 19, 1356, a heavily outnumbered English army faced off against the French in the historic Battle of Poitiers.
In 1356, Cornwell resurrects this dramatic and bloody struggle - one that would turn out to be the most decisive and improbable victory of the Hundred Years' War, a clash where the underdog English not only the captured the strategic site of Poitiers, but the French King John II as well.
In the vein of Cornwell's best-selling Agincourt, 1356 is an action-packed story of danger and conquest, rich with military strategy and remarkable characters - both villainous and heroic - transporting readers to the front lines of war while painting a vivid picture of courage, treachery, and combat.
©2012 Bernard Cornwell (P)2013 HarperCollins Publishers
First off, I am a huge Bernard Cornwell fan. I have read/listened to all the Sharpe books, the Copperhead books, Winter King series, and many others. But for some reason 1356 seemed uninspired, especially compared with Agincourt, which I just re-listened to in anticipation of this book. Very similar eras, but character development, social history, and a compelling storyline all seemed better in Agincourt. And the narrator for 1356 didn't seem well suited to the role. His English accent was nice, but he sounded congested much of the time and I had a hard time distinguishing between the characters.
Bottom line - if you like the Grail Quest series and want to see how Thomas of Hookton has progressed, you should give it a listen. Looking for a great medieval historical novel? Check out Agincourt and give 1356 a pass.
Love listening to books.
Cornwell returns to the archer Thomas of Hookton from the Grail Quest series, and his him chasing down another relic. Oh! And it just happens to coincide with another major battle of the 100 years war.
The details of that time, and especially the battles are amazing done. It is truly Cornwells gift. The story is also a breath of fresh air from his Uthred series that have become repetitive.
Bottom line is read this if you are Cornwell fan, or a fan of the hundred years war, or historical fiction, or just like a really good read.
Do not know
Additional definition to the characters.
No. It was very entertaining. The detail held my attention. It seemed to be well researched.
Splendid story. I enjoyed Argincourt a few years ago. It was not a series so finding this was a treat.
A very easy book to read. There is a lot action running thru out the story line.
Full of detail explaining how people lived in 1356..
the performance by Hawkins is well received
the period in which it takes place and the historical relevance of the time
this is my first, but not the last
1356 is a richly detailed story of events leading to the Battle of Poitiers, one of the great battles of the Hundred Years War between France and England. The characters, both historical and fictional, are realistically depicted and the plot is, with a few exceptions, plausible and engaging. It makes a great story and a delightful inside look at the brutal and primitive world of medieval Europe. The author seamlessly drops in details of clothing, armaments, battle strategy, the decay of the French countryside in the aftermath of the Black Death, chivalric tournaments, profanity, the relationship of the sexes, even how sewage was removed from villages. The result is an intimate look at a world long gone that is eminently enjoyable and fascinating.
The narrator did an exceptional job depicting the various accents: English and French aristocracy, English and French soldiers, Scots, Gascons, clerics, women, villagers. It was convincing and made the narrative come alive. Excellent performance.
Bernard Cornwell brings us another romp though history that otherwise we would be oblivious to. His ability to mix entertainment with history is unique to just a few select authors. That is why I have never read nor heard a bad book by Bernard.
Bernard Cornwell is one of my top two or three authors, and the Grail series is my favorite. 1356 picks up several years after the grail has been destroyed by Thomas, but it still a wonderful story, with bloody battles, evil cardinals, old friends back together. A book I hated to see end!!! I hope there will be other books with Thomas in them.
Any in the Grail series...
Certainly one of the best fiction books of the year. Cornwell is a great storyteller
Many persona and acents
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