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1356: A Novel | [Bernard Cornwell]

1356: A 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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (384 )
5 star
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Story
4.4 (341 )
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Performance
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  •  
    David Tampa, FL 03-04-13
    David Tampa, FL 03-04-13 Member Since 2006

    Love listening to books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Thomas of Hookton takes us on another relic hunt"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joe Downey North Georgia, Georgia 02-28-13
    Joe Downey North Georgia, Georgia 02-28-13 Member Since 2011
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    "As good as Argincourt"
    Would you consider the audio edition of 1356 to be better than the print version?

    Do not know


    What does Jack Hawkins bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Additional definition to the characters.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No. It was very entertaining. The detail held my attention. It seemed to be well researched.


    Any additional comments?

    Splendid story. I enjoyed Argincourt a few years ago. It was not a series so finding this was a treat.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim Cummings 02-04-13 Member Since 2009
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    "Great Action Story"
    What made the experience of listening to 1356 the most enjoyable?

    A very easy book to read. There is a lot action running thru out the story line.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Full of detail explaining how people lived in 1356..


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Norvin redding, ca, United States 02-04-13
    Norvin redding, ca, United States 02-04-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Great listen"
    Would you consider the audio edition of 1356 to be better than the print version?

    the performance by Hawkins is well received


    What did you like best about this story?

    the period in which it takes place and the historical relevance of the time


    Have you listened to any of Jack Hawkins’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    this is my first, but not the last


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    yes


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott McMinnville, OR, United States 02-04-13
    Scott McMinnville, OR, United States 02-04-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Compelling story, brutally accurate depiction"
    What made the experience of listening to 1356 the most enjoyable?

    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.


    What about Jack Hawkins’s performance did you like?

    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.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Monte Pinson, AL, United States 01-29-13
    Monte Pinson, AL, United States 01-29-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Cornwell at his best!!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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.


    What other book might you compare 1356 to and why?

    Any in the Grail series...


    Have you listened to any of Jack Hawkins’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Great !!!


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MR. PALM BEACH, FL, United States 02-27-13
    MR. PALM BEACH, FL, United States 02-27-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Reader is the best !!"
    Where does 1356 rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Certainly one of the best fiction books of the year. Cornwell is a great storyteller


    What about Jack Hawkins’s performance did you like?

    Many persona and acents


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    no


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert H. Johnson Sacramento, CA, US 01-15-13
    Robert H. Johnson Sacramento, CA, US 01-15-13 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Disappointing"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Better story. More context on the ongoing war, the English claim to the throne of France, and the Black Prince's total warfare raids which made him such a devil to the French


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    I was disappointed; no longer cared about the characters. The violence seemed formulaic, almost like Patricia Cornwell's has become.


    Any additional comments?

    I have read or listened to every book Bernard Cornwell has ever written, so as a big fan I was disappointed in this effort. It was almost as if he was mailing this effort in. Worth listening to only in the hope that there is another coming in the series.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John M Lafayette, CA USA 05-25-14
    John M Lafayette, CA USA 05-25-14 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Only so-so for a Bernard Cornwell Novel"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    danny lawrence Charlotte, NC USA 02-08-14
    danny lawrence Charlotte, NC USA 02-08-14 Member Since 2006

    Tell us about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good story with a very good performance"

    Really enjoyed Agincourt so I decided to give this one a try too. No regrets! Bernard Cornwell does a fantastic job with the battle scenes, really bringing them to life. It was a little hard to get behind some of the characters but all in all this was an entertaining story well worth listening to.

    The performance by Jack Hawkins was very good. He brought life to the characters and flawlessly handled the various voices and accents.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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