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Publisher's Summary

Thomas of Hookton is a seasoned veteran of King Edward's army and a natural leader in what will be remembered as the Hundred Years' War. Accompanied by a small but able band of soldiers, Thomas is sent to Gascony to capture the castle of Astarac. But he has ulterior motives for accepting the charge: Gascony is the home of the black knight, Guy de Vexille, who brutally slaughtered his father. It is also reputed to be the place where the Grail was last seen.

While capturing Astarac, Thomas learns of a tragedy in the making: a beautiful young woman named Genevieve, innocent if not pious, is to be burned as a heretic. Thomas prevents the corrupt local priest from carrying out his "God-given" duty, a sacrilege that turns him into an outcast, even among his own men. Eventually he and Genevieve have no choice but to flee. While hidden away at a monastery, they learn of a plot involving the creation of an imitation Grail for a diabolical end; and they witness the murder of a trusted priest at the hands of Guy de Vexille.

At last reconciled with his allies, Thomas leads his brave band in a bloody battle to the death, the outcome of which could determine the seat of power, and the direction of Christendom, forevermore.

Don't miss the rest of Bernard Cornwell's literary masterpieces.
©2003 Bernard Cornwell (P)2003 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

"Perhaps the greatest writer of historical adventure novels today." (Washington Post)

What members say

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  • Overall

A Fitting Conclusion to a Great Series

For those who are familiar with Bernard Cornwell's other series, this one starts with An Archer's Tale and concludes in a very satisfying way with this book. I read this book in paperback on a long flight and decided to listen to the series. The narrator was superb and the story really seemed to come alive. It was exciting without being gratuitously violent. There was romance without lurid details and adventure without meaningless action sequences. Everything in the story contributed to the conclusion and all the story lines were brought together skillfully. I can hardly wait for Mr. Cornwell to start another series about this era of Norman/British history.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story


Would you listen to Heretic again? Why?

Yes, if I could get the unabridged version I'd listen to it again.

What did you like best about this story?

Wonderful main character doing what he's best suited to.

Which character – as performed by Tim Piggott-Smith – was your favorite?

Thomas of Hookton who did was he was best suited to and so made his greatest mark- as himself

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

an Archer's Heart

Any additional comments?

the only thing wrong with this is that it's abridged! I want all of it

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • G.Monie
  • Bethpage, NY, United States
  • 06-10-13

WHERE IS THE UNABRIDGED? otherwise, 4 star story

The only reason I gave the story 3 stars was because it was abridged & I'm sure I missed so many specifics that make Cornwell's books so great to read... I think it takes place at least 5 years before 1356 but it ends a great trilogy... If you haven't read 1356, you should read it to get an extension of the merry band of characters in this book... its quick, highlighted, & to the point, so even though I got the general idea of the story I think I'll have to read the unabridged to get the full effect... If you have coupon $$ I'd suggest using the free cash they give you at times for getting books to get this because its only a bit over 6 hours... but its Cornwell....

  • Overall
  • W.Denis
  • Savannah, GA, United States
  • 08-24-05

Sharp Revisited

The setting is different, but the gore is the same as are many of the battle scenes. I have enjoyed so many of Cornwell's books that it is a shame to see him running out of new ideas. If you liked the Sharp books stay away from this series.

2 of 7 people found this review helpful