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Vagabond (The Grail Quest, Book 2) (original 2002; edition 2006)

by Bernard Cornwell

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1,346285,730 (3.8)33
Member:Philip100
Title:Vagabond (The Grail Quest, Book 2)
Authors:Bernard Cornwell
Info:HarperCollins (2006), Edition: First Harper Paperback/Third Printing, Paperback, 416 pages
Collections:Your library, Have Read
Rating:*****
Tags:None

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Vagabond by Bernard Cornwell (2002)

  1. 00
    The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: These gritty and richly detailed historical thrillers are about redemption and a higher purpose -- in Paris an architect works to hide Jews from the Nazis and in Vagabond a soldier hunts for the Holy Grail.
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Set in the aftermath of Crecy, Vagabond looks further into the chaos and destruction of the Hundred Years War. Thomas of Hookton now also has to deal with the Inquisition, the Scots, and personal difficulties in the English Army, turning the plot darker and more desperate. ( )
  bdtrump | May 9, 2015 |
“Vagabond” did not appeal to me as much as the first book in the Grail series. Certain episodes did draw me in, though, and this author is in my opinion second only to Robert E. Howard when it comes to depicting battle scenes.

I do like the main character – Thomas – and also his Jewish friend who has a passion for checking the colour of people’s urine. Jeanette is also an appealing character. Unfortunately she isn’t in this tale as much as the first one.

I would’ve rated this novel four 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.

The long-winded sentences are often kept going by numerous “ands” plus a “then” or two, like with the quote below:

>David's sheltron had forced the central English battle back across a pasture, they had
stretched it thin and they were closing on the Archbishop's great banner, and then the arrows began to bite and after the arrows came the men-at-arms from the English right wing, the retainers of Lord Percy and of Lord Neville, and some were already mounted on their big horses that were trained to bite, rear and kick with their iron-shod hooves.And then, from where the Scots waited on the higher ground, the drums began to beat.The drums began to beat from where the Scots waited on the higher ground.'Charge now, sir,' he suggested, 'before they can make a battleline.''When this day's done, uncle,' Robbie Douglas said, 'you'll let me go after that priest.''What would happen, Thomas, if you found the Grail?' He did not wait for an answer. 'Do you think,' he went on instead, 'that the world will become a better place? ( )
  PhilSyphe | Mar 26, 2015 |
The non-battle scenes were very enjoyable, but the author is too enamored with the gory details of medieval battle. I don't need to know that someone's intestines were hanging out or that someone's head was split open by an ax. ( )
  BillC. | Dec 7, 2014 |
I've enjoyed reading the whole series of the Grail Quest. This 2nd book carries on the story but, if need be, could be read independently. ( )
  VictoriaJZ | Nov 27, 2014 |
The machinery is noticeably creaky in this second volume of the adventures of Thomas of Hookton...BC has not produced one of my favourite series in this fourteenth century excursion. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Apr 8, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060935782, Paperback)

Vagabond, the second entry in Bernard Cornwell's Grail Quest series, 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, Amazon.co.uk

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:36:18 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

From internationally bestselling author Bernard Cornwell comes the eagerly anticipated sequel to The Archer's Tale, in his acclaimed Grail Quest series, in which a young archer sets out to avenge his family's honor on the battlefields of the Hundred Years' War and winds up on a quest for the Holy Grail. 1347: a year of war and unrest.… (more)

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