9780060532840 / 006053284X

Heretic (The Grail Quest, Book 3)




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About the book:

Heretic is the third book in Bernard Cornwell's much-acclaimed Grail Quest series, a series that many were initially cautious about because it represented something of a change of pace for the master historical novelist. But Cornwell quickly demonstrated that this period of history was well within his remit, and the sequence has proved to be among his most mesmerising work.

Heretic begins with a bloody battle outside Calais in 1347, a short time before the city fell to the English. The sympathetic Thomas of Hookton is bending every sinew at the service of his master, the Earl of Northampton; after risking his life time and again, Thomas finds himself commissioned to track down the most sacred relic in Christendom, the Holy Grail. He travels to Gascony, seat of power of his nemesis, Guy Vexille. Utilising his archers, Thomas conducts a fierce guerrilla war against Vexille, and yearns for a face-to-face encounter. But then Thomas is routed and finds his campaign in shreds, facing the twin enemies of the church and the plague.

In this third book, Bernard Cornwell ups the ante in every sense: along with the splendidly realised battle scenes (a Cornwell trademark), the evocation of the Middle Ages is more crowded and bustling than one might have thought possible without subsuming the protagonists. But most of all, it's the character of Thomas that powers the narrative; having his hero fall in love (sensitively handled here) sets off the ultimate conflict with his mortal enemy perfectly. Leave the 21st century behind and venture into a dark and foreign era--it's a journey you won't regret. --Barry Forshaw

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