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Vagabond Mass Market Paperback – Sep 11 2003


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Canada / Mass Market; Reprint edition (Sept. 11 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060532688
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060532680
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.4 x 17.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 236 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #641,585 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Amazon

Vagabond, the second entry in the "Grail Quest" sequence, has been eagerly anticipated by those who read the first book, and it doesn't disappoint. Thomas has managed to survive the battle of Crécy. Still nursing his wounds, he is dispatched by the king on a mission to look into the matter of his father's inheritance, which is obscurely connected to the Holy Grail. This most precious relic of the Christian faith is a much sought-after object, offering the power of total victory in war to its owner. But Thomas finds himself in the middle of a battle against an army invading the North of England, and other shadowy forces pursuing the grail are prepared to slaughter anyone who stands in their way. In the ruins of his birthplace, Thomas discovers more about his father, and a dangerous voyage to France brings him up against his cousin and arch-enemy, Count of Astarc Guy Vexville. The stage is set for a merciless showdown.

Thomas is a protagonist drawn quite as pithily as his much-loved predecessor, and the sheer verve of Cornwell's storytelling here is irresistible. We are plunged into a distant age: bloody, colourful and dangerous. Roll on, volume three! --Barry Forshaw --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

The Hundred Years War is the bloody backdrop to this second volume of Cornwell's new series about the search for the Holy Grail (after The Archer's Tale). Like its predecessor, the novel follows Thomas of Hookton, an archer in the English army in the 14th century. Thomas is the bastard son of a recently murdered priest whose family claims it once possessed the Holy Grail. No one is certain the Holy Grail actually exists, but many believe it does, and kings are waging war and committing murder in the search for it. Thomas has a book of his father's, written in Latin and Hebrew, which might reveal clues to the Grail's location, if only he could make head or tails of it. But others are aware of the book's existence, and Thomas's motley enemies and rivals-including Guy Vexille, the French cousin who murdered his father; Bernard de Taillebourg, a Dominican Inquisitor who loves his job; and Sir Geoffrey Carr, a treacherous English knight-are all hot on his trail. The beleaguered young hero must also fight mercenaries, Scots and Frenchmen in gruesome, long-drawn-out battles. Cornwell is meticulous about historical facts and period detail, and his descriptions of butchery with arrow, mace and battleaxe are nothing if not convincing. As expected, the book culminates with battlefield slaughter on an epic scale. Cornwell fans will eat this up.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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By A Customer on June 2 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Grail Quest saga continues - and I couldn't be happier with this 2nd outing. Thomas remains a man of his time, no revisionist history or contemporary conceits - a rarity in historical fiction & Thomas as well as the others think and act like they would in 1346. I only mention that because some reviewers (including myself) of the first book (Archer) were a little skeptical about a great 100 Year War story getting bogged down by a quest for the Holy Grail. I think Cornwell does a good job of detailing the "Quest" as well as provide a fairly believable back-story - there's no magic or fantasy elements, which was my fear...this is straight up history.
As in The Archer's Tale, Bernard Cornwell pulls no punches in the battle narrative - and he can write a battle scene as well as anyone - worth the price of admission alone.
Bottom Line: I love this series and hope it doesn't end at Heretic. Thomas is a great character & I would consider this series to be some of the best in ACCURATE historical fiction writing. Enjoy!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
ok, escapism is a noble pursuit, right? not all reading has to better you, right? sometimes, a man can just kick back, escape the wife and kids, and enjoy some historical fiction-lite. and nobody does it better than bernard cornwell in his sharpe series and now the holy grail series. i'm not sure his books deserve 4 stars really. they're not literature after all, but they set out to accomplish entertaining the reader and they're always successful.
here thomas of hookton arrives back in england in 1346, continuing his search for the holy grail, which his father may or may not have possessed. thomas loses a friend and lover, but gains a companion in robbie douglas of scotland. it's a formula readers of cornwell know nearly verbatim, but one cannot help enjoying the ride. cornwell's battle scenes are as usual the highlights of the story, though at one point thomas and robbie are guerillas and i would have enjoyed a bit more of that. so, no surprises here, but a rousing, good read. enjoy!
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Format: Hardcover
Bernard Cornwell's 'Vagabond' picks up where 'Harlequin' ended, though Thomas has left France and is approaching Durham with both Father Hobbe and his pregnant soon-to-be-wife, Eleanor. We are told that Edward III has tasked Thomas with finding out more about the legendary Grail and his family's (the Vexilles) connection to it. Before he can reach Durham to speak to Broker Collimore who was the monk responsible for Thomas' father's, Father Ralph of Hookton, care the wily Guy Vexille, present as the servant of the Inquisition Dominician priest De Taillebourg gets there first and ends up murdering the monk, Eleanor and Father Hobbe. I must confess it was slightly surprising the way these two major characters suddenly got written off but further plot lines dicate it was a necessity.
Thomas ends up defending Durham from the invading Scots under David the Bruce, goaded by the French that northern England lay undefended in the Battle of Neville's Cross and we are treated to another particularly intense battle sequence so common to Cornwell's writing. The introduction of Sir William Douglas (who character provides some levity in a time of war) and his son Robbie ensures that Thomas has a new companion when he returns south to Hookton. Whilst Thomas ensures his enemies are fed false information as to his whereabouts he returns to France, to Evecque and becomes the temporary scourage of the Comte de Coutances who is besieging Sir Guillame. Both Thomas, Robbie and Sir Guillame make their escape with the assistance of the friendly Pierre Villeroy and his doting wife, Yvette.
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Format: Hardcover
In "Vagabond", Thomas of Hookton is the expert longbowman hero that we follow on his quest of the Holy Grail. Actually, as in the first book, "The Archer's Tale", Thomas is not all that interested in the Grail; he'd just rather be an archer; however, he keeps getting sucked into its pursuit by others who hound him about it. These others are generally cruel and hateful characters whose interest in the Grail is to obtain political or religious power, or monetary fortune. They are a threat to Thomas and have all done evil to him and his friends,thereby becoming enemies upon whom Thomas must seek revenge. Thomas is a hero to admire, not because he is particularly charismatic, but because he is humble, honorable, clever, and skilled. He is caught in dangerous times and situations, and carries out his duties for England and his friends as best he can.
This sequel was not as exciting as the first book, but the battle scenes in both books are fascinating, vivid, and gory. Author Cornwell bases these on actual historical battles. This book opens with the Battle of Neville's Cross in which the confident Scots, invading England while England is busy battling in France, nevertheless are slaughtered. The amazing battle of La Roche Derrien in France is the ending scene, in which all but one of Thomas' enemies is vanquished, but the Grail is still undiscovered. This lets us know that another sequel will follow. I have learned a lot about this era of the famous longbow archers and of the 1000 year war between England and France, and Thomas' personal adventures in this period make me eager to continue reading whatever sequels are coming.
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