Vagabond Mass Market Paperback – Oct 2003
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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!
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!
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.Read more ›
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.
Most recent customer reviews
This second book in the Grail Quest Series by Bernard Cornwell has an extraordinary ability to weave historical fact with fictional story telling that is also unpredictable,... Read morePublished on Jan. 11 2014 by CEM
This story is a little different as Thomas is really questing for the Grail and only accidently gets into the battles. Read morePublished on Nov. 13 2003 by John Whitney
I tried to like this book. I really enjoy the early Sharpe work that Mr. Cornwell has written and his King Arthur trilogy is one of the most stirring accomplishments of the last... Read morePublished on July 8 2003 by wellred
if you like the sharpe series and the starbuck series you'll love vagabond and bernard cornwell's new hero, thomas of hookton. Read morePublished on March 29 2003 by T. murphy
This is the sequel to _The Archer's Tale,_ the second novel of the adventures of Thomas of Hookton, English archer in the wars with France during the 1340s, and of his involvement... Read morePublished on Feb. 13 2003 by Michael K. Smith