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Harlequin by Bernard Cornwell
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Begins slowly but then builds to a fine cracking pace.The story concerns the exploits of Thomas of Hookton who is an English archer,fighting for the King against the overwhelming French forces in various battles on French soil. We end this first book in the 'Grail Quest' trilogy with the battle of Crecy. This battle is told in typical Cornwell fashion at great length and in much gory detail.
A very readable book indeed. ( )
  devenish | Sep 13, 2014 |
This was the first Cornwell book I ever read and I really wanted to like it, but it just didn't happen for me. I didn't find any of the characters particularly relatable, or even likeable for that matter. The plot seemed thin, and consisted mostly of a series of battle and bloodshed, culminating in a huge battle at the end. To his credit, Cornwell writes battle scenes very well, and I really felt like I was on there. However, a 14th century battlefield is not somewhere I want to be, and I didn't find it enjoyable. This book would probably appeal more to those who are seeking lots of action, historical accuracy, but little character development. Not a bad book, but definitely not my cup of tea. ( )
  Tess_Elizabeth | Aug 8, 2014 |
A solid adventure story, from a master of the genre. I have few quibbles about the way his man uses his longbow, Cornwell being better about the minutiae of running a Baker rifle. Still, I had a good time following a man with a grudge about his life gradually adjusting to find a level of success. Readable, and pretty good about the battle of Crecy. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Apr 6, 2014 |
First of the Grail Quest series. Excellent in every way. ( )
  DeanClark | Mar 1, 2014 |
Harlequin is the first of Cornwell's Grail Quest series that follows the life of Thomas of Hookton - a simple English archer who gradually gets to learn of his family's mysterious past.

By far the best way to "read" this book is in the audio version narrated by Sean Barrett (available from audible.com). Mr Barrett's performance breathes gritty, wholesome life into the 14th century life of an archer.
More thoughts at http://pratalife.blogspot.com/2008/10/thomas-of-hookton-and-1215-year-of.html ( )
  pratalife | Feb 9, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
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The treasure of Hookton was stolen on Easter morning 1342.
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Was published as The Archer's Tale in the US.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060935766, Paperback)

A brutal raid on the quiet coastal English village of Hookton in 1342 leaves but one survivor: a young archer named Thomas. On this terrible dawn, his purpose becomes clear -- to recover a stolen sacred relic and pursue to the ends of the earth the murderous black-clad knight bearing a blue-and-yellow standard, a journey that leads him to the courageous rescue of a beautiful French woman, and sets him on his ultimate quest: the search for the Holy Grail.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:19:18 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

After surviving a vicious attack on his village in 1343 A.D., archer Thomas of Hookton joins the army of King Edward III as he prepares to launch an invasion into France, but his quest for vengeance takes him on an epic quest for the Holy Grail. A brutal raid on the quiet coastal English village of Hookton in 1342 leaves but one survivor, a young archer named Thomas. On this terrible dawn, his purpose becomes clear--to recover a stolen sacred relic and pursue to the ends of the earth the murderous black-clad knight bearing a blue-and-yellow standard, a journey that leads him to the courageous rescue of a beautiful French woman, and sets him on his ultimate quest, the search for the Holy Grail. The first volume in this new series begins a medieval quest for the Holy Grail. When his English village is attacked by French marauders led by a vicious knight, young Thomas vows revenge and to retrieve a holy treasure taken from the church. Traveling to France, Thomas joins the army of King Edward III at the beginning of the Hundred Years War, becoming a preternaturally gifted--and deadly--archer.… (more)

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