And the best part is about this book is that it can be read without reading the previous novels in the series as well — like I found out whilst I was reading it. Go with God and Fight Like the Devil. Thomas of Hookton, a veteran of Crecy and many other battles, is the leader of a mercenary company of bowmen and men-at-arms who ravage the countryside east of Gascony. Edward, Prince of Wales, later to be known as the Black Prince, is assembling an army to fight the French once more but before Thomas can join, he must fulfil an urgent task.
La Malice, a sword of mythical power guaranteeing victory to its owner, is thought to be concealed somewhere near Poitiers. With signs that a battle between the English and the French is looming others are seeking the treasure too, and some — French, Scots and even English — are pursuing their private agendas against Thomas. Thomas of Hookton, a veteran of Crecy and many other battles, is the leader of a mercenary company of bowmen and men-at-arms who ravage the countryside Go with God and Fight Like the Devil.
Thomas of Hookton, a veteran of Crecy and many other battles, is the leader of a mercenary company of bowmen and men-at-arms who ravage the countryside east of Gascony. Edward, Prince of Wales, later to be known as the Black Prince, is assembling an army to fight the French once more but before Thomas can join, he must fulfil an urgent task. La Malice, a sword of mythical power guaranteeing victory to its owner, is thought to be concealed somewhere near Poitiers.
With signs that a battle between the English and the French is looming others are seeking the treasure too, and some — French, Scots and even English — are pursuing their private agendas against Thomas. But all — Thomas of Hookton, his enemies and friends and the fate of La Malice — become swept up in the extraordinary confrontation that follows, as the large French army faces the heavily outnumbered English in battle.
Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. Published September 27th by HarperCollins first published More Details Original Title. Grail Quest 4. Thomas of Hookton.
By Bernard Cornwall (The Grail Quest Book 4) Book Review
Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about , please sign up. Should you read the other books of the Grail Quest Series before you read this one?? Gustavo I read only this one. It was my first Bernard Cornwell book ever. I didn't even know that it was a serie. I think that the story of this book is quite …more I read only this one.
I think that the story of this book is quite independent and I like it a lot. Go ahead. I want to read a Bernard Cornwell book. Which one should I start with?
Ted The Last Kingdom. See all 5 questions about …. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Shelves: b-cornwell , historical-fiction. I enjoyed reading this library book very much Thomas is now Sir Thomas and known as "le Batard. Thomas is now the head of a band of mercenaries. There are some well drawn characters: Count of Labrouillade--a nasty, fat pig of a man The Count's wife I enjoyed reading this library book very much There are some well drawn characters: Count of Labrouillade--a nasty, fat pig of a man The Count's wife Bertrille-- a feisty woman Roland de Verrec--a young, very naive knight in search of a quest.
He is still a virgin, believing that purity will help him win in battle. Cardinal Bessieres-- a cunning, evil man scheming to be the next pope Father Marchant-- a vile man who likes to torture people, in the name of god Sculley -- a scarred fighter, very formidable in battle All play a part in this novel of the battle of Poitiers. Most of the novel takes place before the battle. One of the author's strengths is portraying in a very down to earth manner how people lived during this period. You feel as if you were there. View all 4 comments.
Aug 05, Kaora rated it really liked it. While this reads more like a standalone novel rather than a book in the Grail Series, it does reference some of the events in the other books so it is recommended that you pick this up only after you read the previous books. Thomas of Hookton is searching for another holy relic. Known as La Malice, it is the sword of St. Peter, who is believed to give its wielder victory in battle.
But as the English face the French in a battle where they are outnumbered, he is called to action. I thought that thi While this reads more like a standalone novel rather than a book in the Grail Series, it does reference some of the events in the other books so it is recommended that you pick this up only after you read the previous books. I thought that this book wasn't as action packed as some of the other books in this series, but does have an incredible battle scene at the end which won me over to 4 stars.
The tie in between a real battle, and the fictional events is nothing short of amazing. Bernard Cornwell certainly does his research and makes everything seem authentic. I did enjoy catching up with some familiar faces including Thomas, Genevive and Robbie, as well as meeting some new faces. Recommended for fans of this series. View all 3 comments.
Mainly because I discovered, only after I'd started reading the thing, that it's actually the fourth novel in Bernard Cornwell 's Grail Quest series. Now, other people may have no problem picking up and reading a book from the middle of a series, but me? Um, yeah, that doesn't work for me. For better of worse, I tend to be rather OCD about book series: I hate reading books from the middle of one, and the idea of skipping a 3. For better of worse, I tend to be rather OCD about book series: I hate reading books from the middle of one, and the idea of skipping around, reading the books out of order, positively drives me bonkers, giving me an eye twitch and the beginnings of a foamy mouth.
So when I found out was number four in a series, I nearly screamed. However, I have such a backlog of ARCs I need to read and review that the notion of me trying to plow through the first three books and that's only if I were able to find them at my local, woefully lacking, library in the first place while still keeping up with my other ARCs just so I could be comfortable reading nearly gave me the same eye twitch as the one I was trying to develop due to reading in the first place.
Damn, that was an exhausting sentence! So I took myself in hand which is an idiom I've always found vaguely naughty, most likely because of my brain's permanent dwelling place in a nice and comfy gutter , gave myself a stern talking to, and soldiered on with , suffering only the occasional eye spasm in the process. I also had a rough beginning with this book as for the longest time I couldn't identify with or be sympathetic to any of the characters. Eventually, though, I warmed up to Thomas and his band, especially Brother Michael and the Irishman, Keane the latter mainly due to his adoption of a couple of wolfhounds away from the Frenchmen who were hunting down him and Thomas; as an animal lover, it was a particularly satisfying scene.
The story itself is interesting yet oddly forgettable. Revolving around a mythical sword said to be the sword of Saint Peter, a sword said to grant whoever bears it certain victory over his foes, both the French and English army have sent scouts to find it in order to aid their endeavors.
If the year of the book's title doesn't hold any significance for you, it was in that year the Battle of Poitiers took place, which was the second major engagement of the Hundred Years' War. So each side believes they are in the right and that this sword, la Malice, will bring God's wrath down upon their enemies.
In between battle scenes and personal dramas revolving around Thomas and his band we watch as this sword gets shuffled around from place to place and from person to person as it falls into the hands of those who would hide it and those who would abuse it. Eventually it finds itself in the possession of Sculley, a wild Scotsman marginally under the control of the Lord of Douglas, on the side of King Jean. After a brief but bloody sword fight between Sculley and Thomas, the fate of la Malice was something of an anticlimax.
Maybe that was the point, but it just seemed rather disappointing. And that was the overall sensation I took away from my reading experience. It just felt as though the book was missing something, as though I was only getting part of the story. Perhaps it's due to the fact that it is number four in a series. Perhaps it's better read as part of a whole, when all the pieces fit together into a larger, more detailed picture. I also have to disagree with the blurb on the cover from George R.
The Grail Quest: 1356 by Bernard Cornwell – Book Review [Bane of Kings]
Cornwell writes vivid, bloody, stirring scenes, to be sure, but they're nowhere near as atmospheric and breath-taking as Iggulden's. That's not to say Cornwell's writing is flawed. I've read his Warlord Chronicles , which tackled the story of King Arthur, and like those books, is a cracking good read. The dialogue is fast-paced, accessible without being overly-anachronistic, the story moves along and keeps your attention, doling out information in just the right amount without slowing down the action, and he allows the characters to develop as the story moves along so that by the end, though they may not be complex creatures, they're far from cardboard cutouts.
Basically, they're villains because they're villains and nothing more. Thomas is the most three-dimensional character of all; he's obviously one of the good 'uns, yet he does shady, even downright criminal things, he has conflicting emotions between what he's doing and what he should be doing—basically he behaves like a human being, especially one who's often placed between a rock and a hard place and must choose the lesser of two evils in order to move.
That said, I suppose the goal of most writers is for you, as the reader, to empathize with the good guys and Cornwell certainly accomplishes that. Or at least for me he did. Every time one of the characters found themselves in a perilous situation, I suffered along with them, heart beating rapidly, palms sweating, lips gnawed raw as my eyes zoomed across the page, reading as fast as I could in the hope that the character would soon find an escape. So, yeah, despite some flaws and a slow start, in the end I would recommend this book as a good read.
However, I do believe it would've been even better had I gotten to it after first reading the three books that came before it. I need to read these other books first! I think not. In fact, doing so would encourage more sales, in my not-so-humble opinion: First of all, people wouldn't get pissed off about picking up a book in the middle of a series, and secondly, in my experience, people like to buy in bulk, so when they find the first clearly labeled book in a series, they tend to pick up the second one at the same time.
View all 16 comments. Feb 18, Chris rated it liked it Shelves: read-owned-hardcover , read-owned. This was a decent read, but a bit disappointing to one who has read a lot of Cornwell. It really seemed too light hearted, almost slapstick at times. It was more like a caper than a historical fiction novel, but had a drawn out battle thrown in at the end.
I did like the book, but never felt engaged like I have in other Cornwells. It just didn't match up with the previous books in the Thomas of Hookton series. View 1 comment. Ok I have to admit this book had become background noise. I think I am out of the loop having not read the previous grail series. Nobody look as I try and slip this review through my updates and sweep it under the rug forever.
Oh the excruciating pain of it. I have been such a fan of Cornwell for so long that I feel guilt and embarrassment at my reaction to this book. I had really liked the Grail Quest series and Thomas of Hookton. I had been so excited to discover that after all those years there was to be a fourth instalment. There may have even been a happy dance involved when I heard he was writing a fourth book in the Nobody look as I try and slip this review through my updates and sweep it under the rug forever. There may have even been a happy dance involved when I heard he was writing a fourth book in the series.
But this was not the instalment I had expected and it appears I wasted good energy on that happy dance. To be honest, I do not think I am Cornwell's target audience anymore. I am not seeing the poetry and prose that I once did in his books. Instead, in the last two books I have read by him, Azincourt and , I am seeing simply written pulp fiction. In saying this, I do believe that no author is perfect - even when it is the Grand Wizard of Historical Fiction - and since I have liked and loved 11 Cornwell books in the past then surely loathing two now is acceptable to the world of literary yin and yang.
I worship the Saxon series. It is the series that spurred my love of the historical fiction genre. Book seven of that series is due for release and upon reading an excerpt of that book, The Pagan Lord, I see that same poetic style of writing that brought me to the Bernard Cornwell band wagon.
View all 30 comments. Sep 24, J. Ashman rated it it was amazing. Listened to this on Audible.
Bernard Cornwell Grail Quest Series 4 Books Collection Pack Set 1356 Heretic BN
I read the original Thomas of Hookton trilogy years ago, but it didn't take long to get into this which could be read as a one off and feel like I'd not been away from Thomas and The Hundred Years War. Great characters on both sides, excellent battle scenes and plenty of smiles and grimaces both! Oct 31, Jason Golomb rated it liked it Shelves: medieval , action , adventure , historical-fiction , fiction , war. Bernard Cornwell is known for his meticulously detailed historical fiction, and his incredibly vivid and life like battle-realism. This book has a "They were mercenaries and they called themselves the Hellequin, the devil's beloved, and they boasted that they could not be defeated because their souls had already been sent to hell.
This book has all of that and more, but it's missing something that drives the success of his other stories: a robustly solid plot. The book is positioned as a stand-alone novel set within the world and characters of "Archer's Tale", "Vagabond" and "Heretic", most recently published in Cornwell provides plenty of explanation and backstory to provide the historical context for the characters and their relationships, but what the story doesn't have, and what made "The Last Kingdom" so amazing, for example, is its epic scale and breadth.
The story behind "" would make a fine TV movie. The plot revolves around a quest for a sword of historic and religious significance; supposedly, the holder of 'La Malice' will be the supreme ruler. Once that stage is set, the story is propelled by the different organizations chasing after this weapon of great power: Hookton, known as La Batard, is seeking the object for the English.
A rather nefarious Cardinal who carries some serious Hookton baggage from the previous novels, is out for its power to propel him to the Papal throne. Surrounding this core story are the subplots of kidnapped heroines, conniving Lords, and a reasonably well-developed cast of secondary characters that provide a platform for Cornwell's terrific skills in writing dialogue. Unfortunately, where the entirety of "" feels itself like a subplot of the larger "Grail" suite, the actual subplots of this novel feel even less significant.
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As a fun battle-adventure in middle ages Europe, I strongly recommend this book. While it doesn't go much beyond that, I got a strong enough sniff of Cornwells' Hookton mythology that I plan on digging into "Archer's Tale", the first in the series, very soon. I received this book as part of the Amazon Vine program.
A question. Who writes historical fiction better than Bernard Cornwell? If you have an answer please let me know. The years is , what a surprise, and William Prince of Wales is causing havoc in France and Thomas of Hookton, now Sir Thomas, is in the thick of things. This is the 4th book in the Grail Quest series. In the books 1, 2, 3 Thomas has been a busy boy.
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