When Thomas saves a young Frenchwoman from a bloodthirsty crowd, her father rewards his bravery by joining him in the hunt for the mysterious dark knight and the stolen holy relic. What begins as a search for vengeance will soon prove the beginning of an even higher purpose: the quest for the Holy Grail itself.
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©2000 Bernard Cornwell; (P)2001 HarperCollins Publishers
"Perhaps the greatest writer of historical adventure novels today." (Washington Post)
Even in it's abridged version, this is a wonderful adventure. No one writes a battle scene quite so well as Cornwell, (as seen in his excellent Sharpes series). This is the first book in a trilogy about Thomas of Hookton, an expert archer, who pursues venegence and Holy relics in the 1300's. Great characters, very engaging.
An intriguing story, for sure, if you are enthralled by historical fiction -- but expect also frank and realistic battle descriptions. You'll never picture "war" the same again.
This is an exciting tale of medieval times. There is a lot of focus on the battle scenes, and while they are riveting, I felt almost as weary as the soldiers by the book's end. The author doesn't shy away from depicting violence and brutality, which makes for some intense listening at times. But the characters are strong, and their noble struggles make you realize the terrible cost of war in any age.
I loved this book and went on to read the entire series. I highly recommend any of Bernard Cornwell's books. He is able to wind intricate tales and employ fabulous narrative. I spent many nights thinking "just 15 more minutes" till the middle of the night!
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