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Heretic (The Grail Quest, Book 3) by Bernard…
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Heretic (The Grail Quest, Book 3) (original 2003; edition 2007)

by Bernard Cornwell

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1,245276,363 (3.83)20
Member:Philip100
Title:Heretic (The Grail Quest, Book 3)
Authors:Bernard Cornwell
Info:HarperCollins (2007), Paperback, 368 pages
Collections:Your library, Have Read
Rating:*****
Tags:None

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Heretic by Bernard Cornwell (2003)

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Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
“Heretic” struck me as very different to the first two books in the Grail series. A couple of episodes did draw me in but on the whole I found it lacking. I do like the main character – Thomas – but missed his Jewish friend who has a passion for checking the colour of people’s urine, plus Thomas's one-time lover Jeanette, neither of which appear at all in this volume.

I would’ve rated this novel three stars but, like all the Bernard Cornwell books that I’ve read to date, I’ve deducted a star because they are all let down by substandard elements of style. Long-winded sentences are plentiful. The needless dialogue attribution drives me to distraction whilst the overuse of the word “then” is surprising for such a seasoned author.

This, of all the books I’ve *ever* read, may well hold the record of overusing the word “then”. Sometimes it’s in consecutive sentences. Occasionally it’s used twice in the same sentence. The best authors avoid using “then” wherever possible. It is achievable to write a long novel without using this word at all, except maybe in dialogue, but in the main narrative it sounds like a child’s voice. Think of a seven-year-old telling you about their holiday: “And then I did this, and then I did that, and then …’

Take this for example:

>Then the routiers would take a new oath, go to war and fight until a truce was called, and then, knowing no trade except killing, they would go back to the lonelier stretches of countryside and find a town to savage.The routiers would take a new oath. They’d go to war until a truce was called. Knowing no trade except killing, they’d return to the lonelier stretches of countryside and find a town to savage.The valley where that poor village lay had already been plundered, and so he meant to stop in the next valley where a slew of plump settlements were strung along the road south from Masseube, and then, when his men were busy about their devil’s business, he and a few men would ride with Robbie to the hills overlooking Astarac and, if there were no coredors or other enemies in sight, let the Scotsman ride on alone.‘I was reminded the other day,’ he said, ‘of one of the psalms of David.'‘I am Galat Lorret,’ Lorret said.He was dressed all in black. Black boots, black breeches, black jerkin, black cloak, black broad-brimmed hat and a sword scabbard sheathed in black cloth. ( )
  PhilSyphe | May 29, 2015 |
A fun read on the Hundred Years War and the rise of the Black Death, the plot nevertheless moves slower and the characters are less diverse and interesting as in Books 1 and 2. ( )
  bdtrump | May 9, 2015 |
Final volume of the Grail Quest. The violence[including raping and pillaging] gets old, but it is a violent age and Cornwell doesn't glorify or overdue its gruesomeness. He does a good job of wrapping up the tale ( )
  VictoriaJZ | Nov 27, 2014 |
We are thinning out the non-player characters with this installment of the "Grail Quest" trilogy. As it's the last volume, there are numerous grudges to pay off, as Thomas of Hookton heads away from the siege of Calais, and into the Black Death. It's a good wind-up book. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Apr 14, 2014 |
The Reich, or the Workers' Paradise, or the Umma - whatever, they are all the same. They are lying promises of Peace and Paradise on Earth, to be brought about by self-designated elites who exempt themselves from guilt for any amount of larceny and murder.

In this volume, in 1347 Gascony, Thomas of Hookton fights the final battle with his evil doppleganger, who claims that his plans will ". . .bring the Kingdom of Heaven to Earth. . . That is all I want, Thomas."

"So my father had to die for that?"

"I wish it had not been necessary, but he was hiding the Grail. He was an enemy of God."

And so Thomas kills in combat the man who had murdered so many defenseless people. ( )
  jzdro | Sep 15, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
The usual Cornwell bull’s-eye.
added by mysterymax | editKirkus Reviews (May 10, 2010)
 
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HERETIC
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Book description
Already a seasoned veteran of King Edward's army, young Thomas of Hookton possesses the fearlessness of a born leader and an uncanny prowess with the longbow. Now, at the head of a small but able band of soldiers, he has been dispatched to capture the castle of Astarac. But more than duty to his liege has brought him to Gascony, home of his forebears and the hated black knight who brutally slew Thomas's father. It is also the last place where the Holy Grail was reported seen. Here, also, a beautiful and innocent, if not pious, woman is to be burned as a heretic. Saving the lady, Genevieve, from her dread fate will brand Thomas an infidel, forcing them to flee together across a landscape of blood and fire. And what looms ahead is a battle to the death that could ultimately shape the future of Christendom.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060748281, Paperback)

Already a seasoned veteran of King Edward's army, young Thomas of Hookton possesses the fearlessness of a born leader and an uncanny prowess with the longbow. Now, at the head of a small but able band of soldiers, he has been dispatched to capture the castle of Astarac. But more than duty to his liege has brought him to Gascony, home of his forebears and the hated black knight who brutally slew Thomas's father. It is also the last place where the Holy Grail was reported seen. Here, also, a beautiful and innocent, if not pious, woman is to be burned as a heretic. Saving the lady, Genevieve, from her dread fate will brand Thomas an infidel, forcing them to flee together across a landscape of blood and fire. And what looms ahead is a battle to the death that could ultimately shape the future of Christendom.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:22 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

"Already a seasoned veteran of King Edward's army, young Thomas of Hookton possesses the fearlessness of a born leader and an uncanny prowess with the longbow. Now, at the head of a small but able band of soldiers, he has been dispatched to capture the castle of Astarac. But more than duty to his liege has brought him to Gascony, home of his forebears and the hated black knight who brutally slew Thomas's father. It is also the last place where the Holy Grail was reported seen. Here, also, a beautiful and innocent, if not pious, woman is to burned as a heretic. Saving the lady, Genevieve, from her dread fate will brand Thomas as infidel, forcing them to flee together across a landscape of blood and fire. And what looms ahead is a battle to the death that could ultimately shape the future of Christendom." -- back cover.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 9 descriptions

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