The eagerly anticipated follow-up to the bestselling Harlequin, this is the second instalment in Bernard Cornwell's Grail Quest series. In Harlequin, Thomas of Hookton travelled to France as an archer and there discovered a shadowy destiny, which linked him to a family of heretical French lords who sought Christendom's greatest relic. Having survived the battle of Crecy, Thomas is sent back to England, charged with finding the Holy Grail. But Thomas is an archer and when a chance comes to fight against an army invading northern England he jumps at it. Plunged into the carnage of Neville's Cross, he is oblivious to other enemies who want to destroy him. He discovers too late that he is not the only person pursuing the grail, and that his rivals will do anything to thwart him. After hunting and wounding him, Thomas's enemies turn him into a fugitive. Fleeing England, he travels to Normandy, determined to rescue Will Skeat, his old commander from Harlequin. Finally Thomas leads his enemies back to Brittany, where he goes to discover an old love and where his pursuers at last trap their reluctant pilgrim. Vagabond is a vivid and realistic portrait of England at a time when the archer was king of Europe's battlefields.
Thomas of Hookton is one of those archers. When his village is sacked by French raiders, he makes a promise to God: to retrieve the relic stolen from Hookton's church. Escaping his father's ambitions, he becomes a wild youth who delights in the life of an army on the warpath. Driven by his conscience and protected by his fearsome skills, he enters a world where lovers become enemies and enemies become friends, where his only certainty is that somewhere, beyond a horizon smeared with the smoke of fires set by the rampaging English army, a terrible enemy awaits him. This enemy would harness the power of Chistendom's greatest relic: the Grail itself. Here, in the first book of a new series, the quest begins. It leads him through the fields of France, to the village of Crecy where two great armies meet on the hillside to do battle.
The eagerly anticipated follow-up to the number one bestseller Vagabond, this is the third instalment in Bernard Cornwell's Grail Quest series. In 1347 the English capture Calais and the war with France is suspended by a truce. But for Thomas of Hookton, the hero of Harlequin and Vagabond, there is no end to the fighting. He is pursuing the grail, the most sacred of Christendom's relics, and is sent to his ancestral homeland, Gascony, to engineer a confrontation with his deadliest enemy, Guy Vexille. Once in the south country Thomas becomes a raider, leading his archers in savage forays that will draw his enemy to his arrows. But then his fortunes change. Thomas becomes the hunted as his campaign is destroyed by the church. With only one companion, a girl condemned to burn as a heretic, Thomas goes to the valley of Astarac where he believes the grail was once hidden and might still be concealed, and there he plays a deadly game of hide and seek with an overwhelming enemy. Then, just as Thomas succeeds in meeting his enemy face to face, fate intervenes as the deadliest plague in the history of mankind erupts into Europe. What had been a landscape of castles, monasteries, vineyards and villages, becomes death's kingdom and the need for the grail, as a sign of God's favour, is more urgent than ever.
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