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Vagabond Paperback – 2006

4.4 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Paperback, 2006
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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060935782
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060935788
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.4 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 703 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #168,524 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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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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