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The Archer's Tale (The Grail Quest, Book 1) Paperback – November 8, 2005
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Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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- Jane Baird, Anchorage Municipal Libs., AK
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
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
I appreciate the author's knowledge of history but this story is very weak on character development and over the top on describing in graphic detail the battle scenes, which take... Read morePublished 3 days ago by Amazon loyalist
This book set me off on an adventure of all of Cornwell's books. He writes the latterly as if he had been there.Published 18 days ago by L. P. Young
As always, Cornwell's history comes to life. The attention to details and the historical mindset of his characters are always compelling.Published 18 days ago by TMaulhardt
Cornwell is an excellent writer! His ability to weave a story though historical events is unmatched.Published 18 days ago by D. Capelotti
Set in the mid-fourteenth century, “The Archer’s Tale” (titled “Harlequin” in the U.K.) tells the story of Thomas of Hookton, a bastard-born son of a village priest. Read morePublished 24 days ago by Joseph Finley
I really enjoy Bernard Cornwell's writing. The story is a great new outlook on an old tale. Terrific story, writing, and editing.Published 1 month ago by Jeff
Not as the others I'we red from Cormwell. I liked the Vilingserie bether!Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer