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
Choose your audiobook by the narrator with best being Guidall, Tull, Case/Davidson, Muller, Lee, Franklyn-Robbins, Dotrice, (no Brick)
A huge fan of Cornwell's Arthurian Warlord Trilogy I have been waiting some time for Cornwell to write as good a book series. But while I applaud his efforts and evident joy of historical British fiction he has yet to re-achieve Winter King greatness.
The Archer series is better than the Viking series, but I grow weary of characters who are both good at fighting and want to fight and seldom lose. Cornwell's heroes, with the exception of Dervelt (msp?) become too proficient at killing their foes too quickly. The characters do not develop that much or they have little room for development and instead just become increasingly arrogant. This is either the result of Cornwell's eagerness to get on with the plot or his impatience developing the story. Or maybe he just wants to sell books. Hello James Patterson.
1356 is good because if you like Cornwell and you don't really care much for surprises, then you don't have to worry because guess what. Yeah, you guessed it.
If you are interested in the 100 years war and enjoy historical fiction, then this is the book for you! Don't think twice, buy it and step back into history!
I hope there will be more by books in this series. I do love these stories. Cornwell is a great weaver of tales
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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.
Cornwell wrote the book so everyone knows that the story will be amazing. However, this amazing plot is magnificently narrated by Jack Hawkins. His voices for the characters are varied, realistic and completely add to the story. He does Scottish characters, French women, boys, British men and women, Irish character, unread commonors, princes, French, Latin, English - his narration and accents are phenomenal.I hope that the book publishers re-make the abridged versions into unabridged and have Mr. Hawkins narrate. He is exceptional.
I have nothing to offer anyone except my own confusion.
Thomas of Hookton becomes a Knight. I loved the Grail Quest series and, if possible, this novel topped those. I initially read this before the Grail Quest novels (I honestly wasn't aware they existed) and immediately devoured the other three novels and then read this again to understand all that I missed the first go around.
The author has written numerous books similar to 1356, though I consider this among the top two or three of his novels, and with one exception, the best of his non-Sharpe novels (the exception being The Pagan Lord).
The battle scene at the end, which does a great job of bringing a medieval battle to life in the mind's eye of the reader.
If you like historical fiction, this is a must read. It tends towards the pulp novel at times but is still thoroughly enjoyable. The reader does a fine job of bringing the characters alive.
I really enjoy well researched historical fiction. I love non fiction too but the personalities that Cornwell writes are believable, the a gore is also classic of the period - but don't read it you dislike swearing and gore. These are not great literature and Cornwell certainly has a "typical" male and female characters which nearly all his books have, but someone this pulls one in as you can (hopefully) relate in the honor or at least nobleness of the characters outcome. Here we go to one of my favorite battles of the Hundred Year's war in Poiters, but getting there is loads of fun.
Enjoy, worth a listen.
This is a cracking story. I've listened to the original three grail quest stories on audiobook over the years. The first two had me gripped with a great story and good narrator, but the third was a real let down only because of the truly horrendous attempts of the narrator to put on Scottish and French accents.
They've made the same mistake here. Jack Hawkins as an English man can do justice to all of the English characters, especially Thomas of Hookton, but listening to him butcher the French, Scottish and especially Irish accents (i'm Irish) is equivalent to taking a grater to my ears.
There are many far more talented narrators out there who could really make this audiobook shine but this narrators attempts ruin the listening experience.
" I have my mind... & a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." -T.L.
Cornwell takes a favorite character (Thomas of Hookton) & blends this historical fiction into a fantastic novel that is also well read... From the naïve, nasal voice made for the king & princess of France to the strong voices of Hookton & the Irishmen the author gets better as the book progresses, Cornwell is one of the few authors that can take a huge battle of ten thousand plus troops be astounding & add so many side stories that you wait to be resolved.
I've listened to the final battle at least a few times & its always great, In terms of 'battle vision' he does it better then HHM, few can compete with him, HHM brings the undercurrent, behind the scenes of court politics along with large scale battles, but this book is more adventure/battle then the Tudors/battle if it can be an accurate distinction. I love his stand alone books even though the grail series & Sharpe series are great as well... although it does leave me WANTING MORE lol....
I'd recommend reading some of Cornwell's other books regarding Hookton to get a better feeling for the story although you absolutely don't need to read them to enjoy this book... When you compare this to the actual history of the battle it was a GREAT fictional historical roller coaster ride
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