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The Archer's Tale (The Grail Quest, Book 1) Paperback – November 8, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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We learn in the prologue that Thomas is the illegitimate son of the Hookton parish priest, an educated man of mysterious noble origins. Thomas learns Latin and French from his father (which is puzzling because we find out later that the priest's native tongue is langue d'Oc) and archery from his maternal grandfather. French pirate overrun Hookton killing everyone except Thomas. They are led by the priest's nephew who wants an important relic his uncle has hidden in the Hookton church.
Thomas then joins the King's army in order to find and take revenge on the man who massacred his family and his town. Like Sharpe, Thomas soon comes to the attention of a powerful historical figure, the Earl of Northhampton. He also has Sharpe's knack of making deadly enemies of the venal and the villainous -- in this case a knight who serves in the Earl's command. Two women of noble status play key roles in Thomas' life as he fights his way from Brittany to Normandy and into France. The climax of the book is the battle of Crecy.
"The Archer's Tale" is filled with the wealth of historical detail that gave the Sharpe series its air of authenticity. The reader learns the minutae of using the English longbow in battle, about life in a medieval army, and about medieval life in general. Lest I give the wrong impression, the book is stuffed with plenty of exciting, gory, mayhem too. Thomas is an altogether worthy replacement for Sharpe. His intriguing antecedants and his secret quest promise further adventure.
The book is historically very acurate, with a minimal articstic liberties taken, and sparked me to learn more about the period. I found it so enchanting that I read the other two books in the series, and started researching more about the war itself... Highly recommended!
Cornwall opens in England with the deliberate sack of Hookton by the French knight-pirate, Sir Guillame and the enigmatic figure of the Harlequin. Their prize is the legendary lance of St George. After this prologue we are swiftly deposited in France where Thomas has become an archer of some note in the English army under the leadership of Will Skeat. We are at the walls of La Roche-Derrien which the English are desperate to storm and eventually manage to do with the guile of Thomas. It is during this period the main characters are established, Thomas' immediate enemy - Sir Simon Jekyll, Jeanette Chemier, Comtesse d'Amorique (though known initially as the Blackbird), niece of Charles de Blois, Father Hobbe - who seems to spend most of time acting as Thomas' conscience in a manner that more befits the slave whispering in the triumphant imperator's ear - Eleanor and an assortment of other minor characters.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Terrific first installment in another fantastic series by Bernard Cornwell. He has become one of my favorite authors as his books are a treat for anyone who enjoys historical... Read morePublished 18 hours ago by James M Brauer
Well written and easy to read. I find the storyline to be continuously interesting...Published 1 day ago by C. Geisen-kisch
My first four star review of Cornwell. While I did like the book and am now reading book 2.....it just somehow did not seem to be as well written as the Saxon tales. Read morePublished 26 days ago by ILUVmyGrandKids
A typical, page turning, riveting Cornwell novel that keeps the reader glued to the story of Thomas, a English archer who is searching for the thief of St George's spear stolen... Read morePublished 1 month ago by David E. Meadows
Reveals a great picture of 14th century English/French history while maintaining good story line.Published 2 months ago by James Crandall
I would put this book up there with Game of Thrones. It is a good read and will keep you turning the page (Or swiping the screen. I bought the Kindle version)Published 2 months ago by Austin K.
Very similar in style to other Bernard Cornell series. Highly entertainingPublished 2 months ago by RHF consumer