Young Nicholas Hook is dogged by a curse, haunted by what he has failed to do and banished for what he has done. A wanted man in England, he is driven to fight as a mercenary archer in France, where he finds two things he can love: his instincts as a fighting man, and a girl in trouble. Together they survive the notorious massacre at Soissons, an event that shocks all Christendom. With no options left, Hook heads home to England, where his capture means certain death.
Instead he is discovered by the young King of England, Henry V himself, and by royal command he takes up the longbow again and dons the cross of Saint George. Hook returns to France as part of the superb army Henry leads in his quest to claim the French crown. But after the English campaign suffers devastating early losses, it becomes clear that Hook and his fellow archers are their king's last resort in a desperate fight against an enemy more daunting than they could ever have imagined.
One of the most dramatic victories in British history, the battle of Agincourt, immortalized by Shakespeare in Henry V, pitted undermanned and overwhelmed English forces against a French army determined to keep their crown out of Henry's hands. Here Bernard Cornwell resurrects the legend of the battle and the "band of brothers" who fought it on October 25, 1415.
An epic of redemption, Agincourt follows a commoner, a king, and a nation's entire army on an improbable mission to test the will of God and reclaim what is rightfully theirs. From the disasters at the siege of Harfleur to the horrors of the field of Agincourt, this exhilarating story of survival and slaughter is at once a brilliant work of history and a triumph of imagination Bernard Cornwell at his best.
©2009 Bernard Cornwell; (P)2009 HarperCollins Publishers
"The greatest writer of historical adventures today." (Washington Post)
"Nobody in the world does this stuff better than Cornwell. (Lee Child, author of Nothing to Lose)
"Readers who haven't discovered Bernard Cornwell don't know what they are missing....He may well be the best historical novelist writing today -- and Agincourt may well be his best novel yet. (Vince Flynn, author of Extreme Measures)
For me the first two thirds of the book was a little slow. The last third, however, was classic Cornwell and the battle details and descriptions were terrific. The ending more then makes up for the slow start.
Carefully researched and highly detailed fictionalized depiction of the battle at Agincourt. If you enjoy meticulously written battle scenes, and don't mind reading extremely descriptive details about the violence, blood, gore, filth, and the horrific smells of a battlefield, this is a good read. If you're offended by these things, stay away.
Assuming the fundamentals of the book to be factual, it provides a wealth of information about the politics, religion, and social structure of that time, which was fascinating.
Criticism would be the characters are wooden; even the main protagonist never engages.
I can't say enough good things about Cornwell's <i>Agincourt</i>. Incredibly well-researched, vividly descriptive of the harsh realities of medieval Europe, and stirringly narrated by Cornwell's prose and Keating's voice.
Yes, it's graphic. So was live in the 1400s. Deal with it. This book is to Agincourt what <i>Pillars of the Earth</i> was to cathedrals. I'm certain I will listen to this again and again.
This is a fascinating historical period and the book was interesting. However, the main character seemed to have little to no personality, which made the exciting events and battles far less interesting than they otherwise would have been. Also, the narrator did not do a good job of distinguishing between the "voices" of the different characters. Most of them ended up sounding like querulous old men.
I enjoyed this book, even with its great, long stretches of blow-by-blow battles. The characters were a little flat, though, and the narrator's voice characterization wasn't very broad -- everyone sounded like an old, crotchety man. Still I would recommend it to all but the most sheltered kids who might be put off by the rampant cursing. A great way to learn about English history.
This was an outstanding title and extremely well done. You can really get lost in the sweep of 15th century Europe and feel like you were there, besieging Hafleur and later standing in the mud at Agincourt. The mix of historical facts with the fictional storyline was very well weaved together by the author.
The narration was so exciting that I actually wondered if different people were playing different roles. This guy isn't a narrator, he is an Actor in the finest sense of the word.
I really enjoyed this. If you like history and fiction, this is an excellent book.
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