Harlequin (Grail Quest #1)
Harlequins are lost souls, so loved by the devil that he would not take them to hell, but left them to roam the earth. In French, the word is hellequin – the name given to the English archers who crossed the Channel to lay waste the towns and countryside.
In the fourteenth century the English were just beginning to discover their national identity, and one of the strongest...more
FYI: The Hundred Years War went on and off from 1337 to 1453 A.D. Basically, the best way to see this, without me waxing eloquent or turning this into a term paper is: view this as a fight between two distant cousins who both had a claim to the French throne (i.e their ancestors had been married to each oth...more
With that statement, I shouldn't really need to say more, but I will anyway.
Forcing myself into reading this book (originally it just sat there and I found myself unsure of whether or not I actually cared about finishing it), I managed to fight through 400 pages of post-Middle Ages fetid turd. Why do I call it that, you ask?
Though the premise of the book begins with fire and promise, and still holds out...more
I don't read Cornwell's Sharpe's series and am only interested in reading books of his such as the Saxon Series, Stonehenge & the Warlord Chronicles. This is the first in the Grail Quest series. The other two are Vagabond and Heretic. Here in Australia, this...more
In this story,(also titled "Harlequin" in its British Edition) the first of The three book "Grail" series, Thomas of Hookton, becomes an archer in the army of Edward the 2nd at the beginning of the Hundred Year's war between England and France (mid 14th century).
In typical Cornwell style, Thomas overcomes his low birth (he's the bastard son of a priest) and more than a few near death experienc...more
First I'll say this....Bernard Cornwell can really lay out the bloody, cruel, reality of the time. This book isn't for anyone with a weak constitution. Be prepared for the casual cruelty of humans. Rape, pillage, rapine, casual murder....not so casual murder...revenge, "Fencing. Fighting. Torture. P...more
As a reader, I get the feeling that if I were to read The Archer's Tale in first person form, I'd have a hard time differentiating Thomas from Uhtred. That's not necessarily a cri...more
Como o romance histórico é um dos meus géneros preferidos, resolvi começar com esta trilogia de Bernard Cornwell.
Gostei da escrita, da forma como a narrativa flui, como aparecem as personagens (algumas reais, outras fictícias) e do modo como ao ler o romance somos transportados para uma época de cavaleiros e guerras.
As descrições das batalhas não têm filtros. São duras, cruéis e sangrentas - embora não seja uma pessoa susceptível fiquei enjoada com algumas atrocidade...more
Unusual for the opening saga of a multistory series, this one has both a satisfying conclusion and a hook to keep the reader wanting to come back for more. I'm hooked.
A very good read.
Characters: flat. The villains are only villains because they are villains, and because the plot requires that there be villains. Actually, almost everyone does things only because the plot requires that they do them.
I shall not be reading the remaining volumes in the trilogy, or, I suspect, anything else by Bernard Cornwell.
With The Archer's Tale (published in England as Harlequin, a title which in the U.S. is redolent of bodice-ripping), Cornwell begins his Holy Grail trilogy, set in France during the Hundred Years War. The hero is a young Englishman named Thom...more
Harlequin is one of the nastier characters in the book, which is the story of the events leading up to the battle of Crecy, told from the viewpoint of an English archer, but heavily interlaced with the English and French viewpoints of the laying waste of French land leading up to the battle with several romantic side plots and a father's dying wish that his son should avenge his death and recover a battle lanc...more
A escrita de Bernard Cornwell não tem nada que possamos classificar como único ou transcendente. O estilo dele é simples, mas é essa simplicidade que torna os seus livros tão empolgantes. Ele não perde muito tempo com descrições desnece...more
It is the fourteenth century, the Hundred Years War is about to begin (lasting until 1428); the Black Plague has already begun ravaging Europe and taking life; and then there is still the Great Schism to come (a time where three popes ruled and the entire area of Christian Europe was excommunicated).
Our hero is Thomas of Hookton. In 1...more
He did a great job with the characters ... and the anticipation during confrontations had me holding my br...more
This is the first book of the Grail Quest trilogy by Bernard Cornwell. I’m a big fan of Cornwell, and this book fulfille...more
In this book he tells the story of Thomas of Hookton. The son of a priest and destined (although not by choice) to follow in his father into the church. His life is turned upside down when a French 'Nob' attacks his village, murdering his father and stealing an ancient lance, a relic of St George from the church.
The killing of his father see Thomas joining the English army as a b...more
Though I only gave this book 2 stars I stayed up way into the night reading it until finished and I will probably read the other books in the "Grail Quest" series. This piece of historical fiction is mindless entertainment filled with war, blood, guts, intrigue, kings and knights, archers, superstition, baudy women and brave men. In other words, a great summer poolside or airport read. The Archer's Tale is not a "woman's" book; don't think Oprah would ever take this into consideration for recomm...more
The story follows the only survivor of the French fierce raid on small English village of Hookton, named Thomas. Thomas who is a young medieval archer will leave his village to become fighter in English forces against the French usurpers. Thomas...more
Maybe not as powerful a series as Sharpe BUT still well done and having been to Crecy (and Agincourt) I feel he made a good stab at the description.