Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Vagabond” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Vagabond (Grail Quest #2)

4.06  ·  Rating Details  ·  9,475 Ratings  ·  278 Reviews
From internationally bestselling author Bernard Cornwell comes the eagerly anticipated sequel 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. England's army is fighting in France, and its absence encoura
Published November 26th 2002 by Harper (first published October 7th 2002)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Vagabond, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Vagabond

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Apr 15, 2015 Kaora rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
He could hear the hoofbeats now and he thought of the four horsemen of the apocalypse, the dreadful quartet of riders whose appearance would presage the end of time and the last great stuggle between heaven and hell. War would appear on a horse the color of blood, famine would be on a black stallion, pestilence would ravage the world on a white mount, while death would ride the pale horse.

I love this series.

The search for the holy grail continues with Thomas Hookton, a character I instantly con
Jul 03, 2009 Ed rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Historical Fiction Fans
The second volume in the Grail Series, this story was not nearly as interesting or exciting as the first book in the series, "The Archer".

It opens with the 1346 battle of Neville's Cross in Northern England, which is peripheral to the main plot of Thomas of Hockton's search for the grail which is supposedly under the control of his family and has been hidden by his dead father. It ends with the 1347 battle of La Roche-Derrien in Brittany between the forces of Charles of Blois and the English occ
Učitaj se!
Oct 02, 2015 Učitaj se! rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finished
Povijesna trilogija Bernarda Cornwella prati Thomasa od Hooktona, fikcionalnog lika engleskog strijelca, kroz neke od prvih bitaka između engleske i francuske vojske, za koje se kasnije ispostavilo da su bile samo uvod u ono što će postupno prerasti u Stogodišnji rat između ovih dviju zemalja.

Radnja je napeta, ne samo zbog toga što Thomas iz jedne bitke ulazi ravno u drugu, već i zbog toga što on usput slijedi i put svoje zakletve i svako malo doznaje nešto novo i neočekivano u vezi Harlekina i
Vagner Stefanello
Oct 29, 2015 Vagner Stefanello rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: physical
Review in Portuguese from Desbravando Livros:

Vou começar bem direto: o 2º livro da trilogia é ainda melhor do que o primeiro! Mais batalhas, mais tramas e mais reviravoltas acontecem no segundo volume dessa trilogia. Desta vez, Thomas está mais interessado em procurar o Graal e volta à sua aldeia natal para procurar o santo objeto.

O que ele ainda não sabe é que novos pretendentes à relíquia aparecem a cada dia e a sua tarefa fica mais difícil. Neste livro, Thomas toma partido em lutas que não lh
Sep 28, 2014 Hudson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
**Actual rating 4.5**

Bernard Cornwell is one of my favorite authors so please don't expect any kind of unbiased review here, I loved this book just like I love all his books. (According to GR I have read 22 of his books which puts him in 2nd place behind Stephen King.I don't think anyone will ever catch King.....)

This is the 2nd installment of the Grail Quest series and it takes place in France around 1350. Thomas of Hookton is an English archer and he's on a quest for, you guessed it, the Holy
Apr 21, 2015 Valerie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bernard Cornwell, OBE was born in London, England on 23 February 1944. His father was a Canadian airman, and his mother was English, a member of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force, WAAF. He was adopted at six weeks old and brought up in Thundersley, Essex by the Wiggins family, who were members of the Peculiar People. That is a strict sect who were pacifists, banned frivolity of all kinds and even medicine. So, he grew up in a household that forbade alcohol, cigarettes, dances, television, conventi ...more
The second book of the Grail Quest series. It continues the quest to find the Holy Grail, but as seems to be the case with Grail stories, there are many other people after the same thing.
It continues the exploits of Thomas of Hookton an English archer, who has already fought for king and country against the French at the battle of Crecy, in the first book. He continues the quest and ends up at varying times fighting the Scots, French, Bretons, his own cousin, the clergy and sometimes the Englis
-Más ficción sobre el marco general de la Guerra de los Cien Años.-

Género. Novela Histórica (por lo menos, su trasfondo).

Lo que nos cuenta. En otoño de 1346, Thomas, su mujer (que no esposa todavía desde la perspectiva más cristiana del asunto) embarazada y el padre Hobbe se encaminan hacia Durham tratando de seguir la pista del Grial, que Thomas desea con fervor que realmente exista. Pero no son los únicos y además una batalla, que transcurrirá entre la niebla, se está gestando. Segundo libro d
Puscas Mircea
Jan 24, 2015 Puscas Mircea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fantastic book , I liked the way the battles were described.
May 07, 2010 Tita rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: meus, livros-2010
Neste segundo volume, continuamos a acompanhar Thomas, arqueiro inglês, a tentar cumprir a sua promessa.
Voltamos a rever personagens do primeiro livro, bem como novos personagens, bastante interessantes, como é o caso do escocês Robbie, no entanto temos também algumas surpresas, pelas quais eu não esperava.
Acho que o ponto forte destes livros é a caracterização quase brutal das batalhas, em que parece que estamos no terreno a combater como Thomas. É também um livro muito mais movimentado, ou de
Apr 27, 2008 Anthony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Adults with an interest in historical fiction of fourteenth century England.
The Grail Quest series is a fascinating look at fourteenth century England and the Hundred Years War between England and France. Don’t let the name of the series dissuade you, the ‘Grail Quest’ ultimately proves to be a small part of the story. It serves more as a backdrop to illustrating the religious beliefs and climate of the era and is not the same worn out ‘Grail Quest’ you have seen a hundred times. As with Cornwell’s Saxon Chronicles, the main protagonist is a fictional character, but man ...more
I actually enjoyed “Vagabond” more than I enjoyed an “Archer’s Story.” Probably because there were less battle scenes and more intrigue. Don’t get me wrong, Cornwell writes the best battle scenes, but I enjoy reading about relationships more. There were a lot of things happening in this book, and Thomas is almost always on the move.

There’s one part in this book I will never forget. I won’t say what it is, but I was truly scared for Thomas. It was so weird too, because here I’m reading this book
The second book in the trilogy starts back in England - Thomas travels to Durham to talk to an old monk that knew his father before he became a priest. But the town is under siege by a Scottish army that thinks the English are vunerable while its army is in France. While Thomas fights, others who search for the grail manage to reach the monk first, with tragic results. With new allies, Thomas must retrace his path, first to Hookton and then back to France, more interested in getting revenge than ...more
Nadia Land-Greene
I was quite impressed with Bernard Cornwell's knowledge of Midieval military campaigns. He actually made the battle scenes fascinating, interweaving the story of warfare with the personal stories of the fictional characters. Great evil villains and a noble hero and sidekick. Wonderful storytelling.
The ending left me wanting more but I realize this is a series of books and am now anxious to read other books about Thomas Hookton's adventures in search of the Grail and the romance of archery (which
Ben Williamson
Oct 20, 2013 Ben Williamson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Vagabond- By Bernard Cornwell
Through the eyes of Thomas (the main character) I was able to create an image of what England was like during the gory battles of the 1300’s. Thomas was a young man whose village had been raided and he had been one of the few lucky enough to survive. After his dying father told him about the Holy Grail, he devoted the next few years of his life to finding both it, and the man who killed his father. Thomas was a very skilled archer who joined the army and was able to
Katie Dunn
Thomas continues his quest during the One Hundreds Year War fighting for England's Earl of North Hampton. Book #2 really dives into the religious environment of the era and the corruption of the Christian church. Many of the main characters are Christians who still practice minor Pagan traditions (such as spitting to avert evil). Cornwell captures the brutality of the time with detailed battle scenes and agonizing scenes of the church's torture agenda. The quest for the grail, although not your ...more
Jan 18, 2015 Mark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another great historical novel which gets you emotionally involved with the characters. I look forward to the next one!
Maria Thermann
The entire first third of the book is devoted to the infamous battle of the Scots and the English that took place at Durham in October 1346. Just before blood-soaked part one of the novel begins in earnest, Cornwell sows the seeds for the actual plot, the meeting between Thomas of Hookton and his arch nemesis, his cousin, the evil Guy of Vexhille. Guy is heir to the ancient aristocratic title Thomas' father once held: Count of Astarac.

And the Vexhille family were once hunted down as heretics, a
Feb 14, 2014 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second volume of a trilogy of the life of Thomas of Hookton. The setting is the years after 1340 both in England and in France during the Hundred Years War. The book places Thomas on a journey to discover his past and what his late father, Fr. Ralph, played in transporting the Grail, if it even exists. Cornwall is great with battles. This book places Thomas outside Durham when the Scottish Army invade England while Edward III and his forces are outside the walls of Calais, across the ...more
Feb 14, 2013 Paul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the 2nd 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 Mr Barrett's performance breathes gritty, wholesome life into the 14th century life of an archer.
More thoughts at
Jan 18, 2015 C.J. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Unlike the first installment of this series, this second volume focuses much more on the grail quest which began with the murder of Thomas’ father. Our protagonist Thomas returns, this time seeking to earn his beloved England a divine victory over the French by finding the Holy Grail. He travels north to the borderlands near Scotland in search of a priest who allegedly knows where to find said Grail, only to embroil himself once again in a larger array of conflicts between lords and kinghts. Sim ...more
Dec 06, 2009 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book in Cornwell’s Grail series. One reason I love Cornwell’s historical fiction is that his writing is so visual. His descriptions of fortifications and battles are so vivid, I feel like I can see a 3-D hologram of the battle fields of La Roche-Derrien – where the ditches and pallisades were and where the noble were hiding in the mill. Cornwell’s characters are three dimensional too. I can’t wait to follow Thomas of Hookton into the next book in the series.
Jun 20, 2013 Shaun rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cornwell is a fun writer. He tells a good story and weaves in enough detail to make the settings vivid and realistic, but doesn't get caught up in geeky detail. Every now and then he'll spend a bit of time detailing some setting, piece of equipment or what ever, but it enhances the story and leaves you feeling like you learned something while on this adventure. I've really enjoyed this grail series, and if you have too, I recommend his six-book, "Saxon Stories" series as well.
Good solid historical fiction. Set during the Hundred Years' War, this is the second book in Cornwell's Grail Quest series about an English archer named Thomas who finds himself with the unwanted mission of locating and retrieving the Holy Grail.

This isn't some over-romanticized King Arthur version of history. Cornwell's depiction of life and death during the Middle Ages is so brutally honest that you can almost smell the blood and sweat of the battlefield.
Phil Syphe
“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,
Gerald Matzke
Jan 04, 2014 Gerald Matzke rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was another one of Bernard Cornwell's Grail series. The story follows Thomas of Hookton's search for the Grail which is supposed to have been in his father's possession if indeed it did exist. These are questions that weigh on Thomas throughout this book. While it begins with one of Cornwell's excellent battlefield narratives, it also includes a surprising section that shows that Thomas is vulnerable. I look forward to reading the third book on the series.
Balthazar Lawson
Jun 23, 2011 Balthazar Lawson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second in the Grail Quest series. I read the first some time ago but had trouble finding this book. Even though there was a gap between the books they flowed together nicely. This is a enjoyable read about knights, archers and men at arms battling to the death and seeking fortune during the 100 Years War between England and France that focuses on an archer who is on a quest to find the grail that is part of his family's history.
Un secondo libro in una trilogia che, stranamente, riesce a mantenere il livello ed il tono del primo, dando origine ad un altra buona prova, un romanzo d'avventura senza eccessive pretese, ma capace di fare il suo dovere d'intrattenimento, alternando grande azione, battaglie e scontri fisici ad un buon approfondimento psicologico, accontentando anche chi non cerca solamente fisicità e concretezza in una lettura di questo tipo.
Ho trovato questo libro una lettura nel complesso piacevole, riuscen
Mar 14, 2012 Elderberrywine rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library
All right, I give. These books are still amazingly bloody and horrifically gory, but I suppose the Hundred Years' War was no one's idea of a romp through the daisies. I've got the third and last of the series on order now. I must say, the bad guys are knocked off in a highly satisfactory albeit breathtakingly gruesome manner. Put our hero on the rack, will you? Ahahahaha. *maniacal laugh*
Gustavo Nascimento
Uma boa continuação para O Arqueiro com melhores coadjuvantes e melhores antagonistas, onde a busca do Graal realmente torna-se um dos pontos centrais da trama com um toque de "Indiana Jones". Como sempre ótimas batalhas!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • King's Man (The Outlaw Chronicles, #3)
  • The Eagle's Prophecy (Eagle, #6)
  • Crusade (Brethren Trilogy, #2)
  • Conqueror (Conqueror, #5)
  • The Prow Beast (Oathsworn, #4)
  • The Road to Rome (Forgotten Legion Chronicles, #3)
  • King's Man (Viking, #3)
Cornwell was born in London in 1944. His father was a Canadian airman, and his mother, who was English, a member of the Women's Auxiliary Air Force. He was adopted and brought up in Essex by the Wiggins family, who were members of the Peculiar People, a strict Protestant sect who banned frivolity of all kinds and even medicine. After he left them, he changed his name to his mother's maiden name, C ...more
More about Bernard Cornwell...

Other Books in the Series

Grail Quest (3 books)
  • The Archer's Tale (The Grail Quest, #1)
  • Heretic (The Grail Quest, #3)

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“You're giving up the hunt for de Taillebourg?' Thomas asked. He had learned the priest's name from Robbie. 'No.' Robbie still had his head back as he stared at the magnificence of the transept's ceiling. 'I'll find him and then I'll gralloch the bastard.' Thomas did not know what gralloch meant, but decided the word was bad news for de Taillebourg.” 2 likes
“I am not sure,' Mordecai told Thomas, 'whether omens can be trusted.'
'Of course they can.'
'I should like to hear your reasons. But show me your urine first.'
'You said I was cured,' Thomas protested. 'Eternal vigilance, dear Thomas, is the price of health. Piss for me.”
More quotes…