Harlequin (the Grail Quest, Book 1) Paperback
The first book in Bernard Cornwell's bestselling GRAIL QUEST series, in a bright and bold repackage.
The year is 1342. The English, led by Edward III, are laying waste to the French countryside.
The army may be led by the King, but it is the archers, the common men, who are England's secret weapon.
The French know them as Harlequins. Thomas of Hookton is one of these archers. But he is also on a personal mission: to avenge his father's death and retrieve a stolen relic.
Thomas begins a quest that will lead him through fields smeared with the smoke of fires set by the rampaging English, until at last the two armies face each other on a hillside near the village of Crecy.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 496 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
- Publication Date: 28/05/2009
- Category: Historical fiction
- ISBN: 9780007310302
Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.
Review by scubasue59
I read this whilst on holiday in France, a perfect setting for a good read.
Review by PhilSyphe
Set in the mid-fourteenth century, during the early stages of the Hundred Years War between England and France, Bernard Cornwell recreates the battle scenes so vividly that you'd think he'd witnessed them first hand.Many characters are based on real historical figures, including the kings, princes, earls, etc., while the main character is the fictitious Thomas.Thomas is an expert archer who often lands himself in trouble. But he also has a knack of surviving. One of my favourite quotes comes from a friend of Thomas's after they meet following another of the archer's near death experiences:"So here you are, and with a beautiful girl as well! I tell you, Thomas, if they forced you to lick a leper's arse you'd taste nothing but sweetness. Charmed, you are."The author has a talent of blending humour and horror in these types of bloodthirsty tales. He also manages to inject some romance. Thomas has two loves.I won't state which lady prevails, though will say that Jeanette is well-crafted by the author, proving to be one of the strongest characters in the book. Apart from the author's usual habit of inserting needless dialogue attribution - needless because it's obvious who's speaking - which is especially annoying when placed in the middle of a sentence, thus disrupting the narrative flow, this is well-written, fully-researched novel.A good read.