Heretic (The Grail Quest, #3)
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Heretic (Grail Quest #3)

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  6,715 ratings  ·  180 reviews
In the flames of unceasing war, a young archer's heart, will, and courage will be supremely tested in the conclusion of an epic quest for vengeance and the greatest prize in all history: The Holy Grail.
Mass Market Paperback, 412 pages
Published September 2004 by HarperTorch (first published 2003)
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Best Historical Fiction
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kit Fryatt
The relative sophistication of Cornwell's approach to religion in the Arthur books is a fluke, I think--he really can't bring himself to be interested in the Cathars or the Brethren of the Free Spirit, both of whom haunt this tale. (if you want archery + heretics, I can recommend Adam Thorpe's Hodd, a rather classier production all round, if you can stand yet another Adso-a-like narrator.) Thomas of Hookton ends up as a bit of a proto-Lollard, if anything, but while there are various feints at c...more
Lisa Rathbun
I really enjoyed this series, although the brutal violence and the constant blasphemies were rather hair-raising. The constant turns of Fortune's wheel kept me riveted to the story: Thomas is triumphant, Thomas is excommunicated, Thomas is a fugitive, etc.

How absolutely frightening was the power of the church! How horrible to see Christianity misused by evil men for selfish greed. I am so thankful for God's Word available to read so we need not kowtow in fear and ignorance to the demands of an o...more
Kelanth, numquam risit ubi dracones vivunt
Dopo la mia recensione sulla saga di Re Artù, recensisco ancora questo autore molto bravo che deve principalmente il suo successo internazionale per la saga di "Sharpe", credo arrivata al decimo o undicesimo libro, che ho in libreria ma che non ho ancora iniziato. Per tornare alla recensione di oggi, credo che tutti più o meno sanno cosa sia stata la "Guerra dei Cent'anni" (per chi non lo sa e vuole approfondire: ), che vide contrapposte l'Inghilterra e l...more
This series by Bernard Cornwell consists of three books: The Archer's Tale, Vagabond, and Heretic. I'm just gonna lump them all together here since there's really not a whole lot to set them apart. By that I mean that they've definitely got the trademarks of an overly prolific author who just churns stuff out within his comfort zone (e.g., I got tired of hearing about how an arrow head "pierced mail and leather" after the fifth time in one book) so that you get largely the same story being told...more
Christine Van Heertum
This final opus in the Grail's Quest trilogy is focused on Thomas' battles with his own believes and quest. The Hundred Years War is far away and a treaty between England and France allows Thomas to go south to search for the Grail. Having saved a young woman, accused of heresy, Thomas is excommunicated; he nevertheless continues his sacred search. But war is replaced by pestilence in its work of destruction and many will die.
Cornwell masterly leads the reader throughout Thomas' pilgrimage. The...more
Bruno D'Afonseca
Este volume encerra a trilogia "A Busca do Graal" do inglês Bernard Cornwell. Depois de "O Arqueiro" e o "Andarilho" termina uma aventura de ficção histórica onde o autor demonstra bem, na minha opinião, a fama de profundo conhecedor da realidade histórica da Guerra dos Cem Anos. Apesar da busca do cálice sagrado que Cristo usou na última ceia ser um tema muito explorado, o autor cria uma trama original onde expõe a realidade social da época de uma forma mais realista do que aquela que nos é tra...more
Roger Hardy
I read this almost by accident as a guest left it in my guest-house and I remember reading some of the Sharpe novels years ago and enjoying them. This is in a similar vein; essentially well-researched authentic Boy's Own stuff. I was fascinated by the historical details related to warfare in the early Middle Ages. The remainder of the the book is a great yarn dealing with the quest for the Holy Grail....yes, the actual Holy Grail.

Did I care much about the Grail quest? Not really, but that's just...more
The third and most exciting novel in the trilogy. Cromwell chose to place this story in a small corner of the Hundred Years' War that is often overlooked; but just as important as the famous battles.

His depiction of the Brittany Campaigns is a microcosm of the war in general and illustrates English military superiority and French dillusions of grandeur leading to the extended war.

Cromwell toned down his depiction of society from the earlier two novels so his tale is more believable accurate.
The final book in the Grail quest series (I didn't realise until recently that 1356 is also a Thomas of Hookton novel but I presume it has a new story arc) ties up the story nicely. This book does not have as much real history as the previous two books as it concentrates on Thomas' final push to find the grail even if he is still not really sure that the grail even exists. There are still some decent skirmishes & the usual attention to detail is there when describing the use of bows, swords,...more
Karen Gennari
Cornwell’s sequel to Harlequin and Vagabond, the Heretic is the continuation of Thomas of Hookton's quest for the Holy Grail. It is vintage Cornwell, this time giving us an uber detailed inside look into 14th century Europe like no one else can.

I found the beginning rather boring because, believe it or not, I’m finding his battle descriptions rather tedious at this point. How many assorted ways can one describe slashing, maiming, and slaughter of the enemy through the ages, book after book? But...more
The final novel of the Grail Quest trilogy sees Thomas fighting the good fight against the despicable Church, his villainous cousin Guy Vexille, and confronting his family's past in southern France.

In the end, I felt a little odd about Heretic. While the first book was a rousing battle tale, the second a bit listless but exciting where it counted nonetheless, the third book in the Grail Quest trilogy felt like it had lost the energy of the story altogether. What makes this odd, though, is that H...more
Nov 09, 2007 Mike rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: history buff
Good finish to the trilogy. His battle scenes are so good, it really makes me want to learn more about the Hundred Year's War. And a new take on the Grail search makes this a fast, easy trilogy to read.
There are things I'd really like to say about this book but can't for fear of spoiling storylines for you. So, I'll try and stay on safe ground and give hints that you'll only understand once you've read it.
This was my favourite book of the Grail Quest series (3 books; Harlequin, Vagabond & Heretic). The first book was good, but there was something about this last book in the trilogy that appealed to me the most.
The only reason I didn't actually give it 5 stars, was because of a missing chu...more
The people I wanted to live, died. The people I didn't care for, lived. Why does this always happen in books that I love? You may say that I'm asking for it - for being too emotionally invested in stories, for being such a bleeding heart, for caring so deeply for fictional characters - and you may be right. But it doesn't stop me from wondering why I always end up "losing" the characters who meant so much to me. (view spoiler)...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Heretic completes the initial trilogy (Harlequin and Vagabond being the first two) with Thomas Hookton the archer, finally meeting his cousin nemesis Guy Vexille, in his unwilling search for the Grail across medieval France. As usual its a great read, but sometimes I felt that I had read similar tales..of course I had, from Bernard Cornwell himself. The author uses the traditional journey and battle theme, interspersed with the by now predictable evil churchmen, sigh I am getting bored of the au...more
A great end to a fantastic trilogy (The Grail Quest trilogy)...,

Cornwell has completed the Grail quest trilogy, Harlequin (The Archer's Tale in the U.S.) Vagabond and Heretic, with a wonderful climax that leaves every loose end tied up and every person, evil or good, dealt their final hand in life.
The story continues to follow Thomas of Hookton as he endures the weight of the family burden (protectors of the grail), and his position as an archer in the English army; now commanding a garrison of...more
Jul 18, 2010 Ed rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Historical Fiction Fans.
This is the best of the three book "Grail Series". Cornwell manages to tie up all the loose ends while providing the reader with a satisfactory conclusion that does not strain one's credulity.

The story opens with the siege of Calais and ends with the first of the plagues that ravaged Europe for hundreds of years. In between Thomas of Hookton continues his quest for the Holy Grail, which his family is supposed to have or have had in its possession.

In the process he is given an order to try and fi...more
Eric Wright
Mar 19, 2011 Eric Wright rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Eric by: my son, John
Shelves: local-library
Cornwell weaves a well-written and fast-moving historical novel from Medieval times (1347) that without strain or boredom introduces us to an era, its culture and peoples. Cornwell skillfully weaves dialogue and description together into an interesting story that does not lag.

In Heretic, Thomas of Hookton returns to his ancestral homeland, Gascony, both to find the Holy Grail and to engineer a confrontation with his cousin, Guy Vexille. Near the end of the book we discover that Vexille is a fan...more
Apr 27, 2008 Anthony rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Adults with an 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
The final book in the trilogy and Thomas only has one enemy left. His cousin, Guy, who wants nothing else but to find the grail. Thomas takes a few men and manages to capture a fort deep within French territory, hoping to draw Guy to him. But first he has to deal with the local bandits and a brash young Lord, who wants Glory for himself. Guy does come, but not before Thomas has been excommunicated for saving the life of a heretic. But even as the enemies fight and false grails are found and des...more
I don’t have anything bad to say about this book at all but it felt very formulaic and that is why I haven’t given it a higher score. While I have no problem with authors repeating things that clearly work, almost the entire plot of this book is pretty much identical to the last one. I did like the ending, however, and I almost never say that. I thought it was the only way the book could have ended with any sort of credibility at all and I thought it was nicely handled. A good, solid, series of...more
This was the third and final book in the "Search for the Grail" series featuring the English archer Thomas of Hookton. This book followed the Cornwell formula and really was no different than the previous two books. It introduces one new female character, but there is never really a true love interest developed with her. The only real difference between this book and the previous ones in the series is that in the last chapters, the Plague arrives. It was interesting from an historical point of v...more
Jun 09, 2010 craige added it
Is it surprising that the most books I've ever read by a single author are probably by Bernard Cornwell? This is the 3rd in a trilogy about an archer in the early 14th century. Cornwell wrote the Sharpe series, which is about a soldier during the Napoleonic wars, I believe. There are about 70 books in that series, give or take, so I'm not sure I want to embark on that. And Cornwell is still churning them out. I like sticking with a favorite character, sure, but what if he's not totally compellin...more
Evie Maiolo
I picked this one up without reading the first two in the trilogy and actually quite enjoyed reading it. It works as a stand-alone book, but I imagine reading the previous two stories would add many extra elements to the detail in the third.

Set in 14th Century France, the book follows the story of English archer, Thomas - son of a 'mad' English priest claiming to have hidden the Holy Grail, and cousin to his French enemy, Guy Vexille, who will do anything to get his hands on the holy relic.

Joel Neff
The third in the Thomas of Hookton series, Heretic is the usual mix of religion, fanaticism, battle, and absolute, unflinching, cruelty that man inflicts on fellow man in search of the unattainable. Woven into the mix are a simple philosophical question of which would be worse - to find the grail or to never find the grail.

It's an interesting question and one that plagues Thomas as he suffers setback after setback only to ride forth undeterred to reach the end of his quest so that he can go home...more
Der Abschluss von Cornwells Grals-Trilogie ist gespickt mit ausführlichen Gewaltszenen und anderen Beschreibungen eines Zeitalters, was man trotz Mittelalter-Nostalgie nicht wirklich erleben möchte. Einziger Kritikpunkt: Die Trilogie mit ihrer individuell interpretierten Ausführung der Grals-Geschichte endet für meinen Geschmack etwas zu voreilig und "aus dem Hut gezaubert", so dass es sich anfühlt, als ob Cornwell die Geschichte kurzfristig und krampfhaft noch "rund" und damit in sich abgeschlo...more
Overall a good solid read as you would expect from the name on the cover but a little flat.
Where the first two books in the Grail part of Cornwell's series on the adventures of Thomas Of Hookton (ie excluding the post-Grail outing 1356) gave you the feeling that you were on the cusp of battle breaking out almost every half dozen pages, this installment deals with far more plot, intrigue and subterfuge as Thomas narrows in on his search for the Grail.
As such the book is more of a dull thunder com...more
Eine Überraschung. Ich liebe die Bücher von Bernard Cornwell, aber eigentlich laufen (gerade bei Sharpe) die Dinge doch wie erwartet. Hier entfacht sich eine vielseitigere Erzählung. Wendungen, Überraschungen, Einfälle, dazu eine tolle Story, in Abschluss einer Trilogie und geschrieben in einer mitreißenden Sprache. Verdiente volle Punktzahl für tolle Lesestunden im finsteren Mittelalter. Empfehlenswert!
The ending felt a bit anti-climatic but that may have been because I know he wrote a 4th book to the trilogy. He'll have to unravel a few of the threads he so quickly tied off but it wouldn't be the first time in the series that he's jerked us around a bit.

After reading the Arthur series I can't help but feel this was written to converted to a movie. The characters lack true depth never quite letting me care if they're killed off or suffering. Action scene after action scene may have felt more n...more
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Cornwell was born in London in 1944. His father was a Canadian airman, and his mother 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, Cornwe...more
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“Acho que o Santo Graal é um sonho que os homens têm, um sonho de que é possível tornar o mundo perfeito. Se ele existisse, todos nós teríamos sabido que o sonho não pode se transformar em realidade.” 2 likes
“— Mas o que é que você faria com o Graal?

— Eu iria usá-lo.

— Para quê?

— Para livrar o mundo do pecado.

— Seria um trabalho notável, mas nem Cristo conseguiu realizá-lo.

— Você pára de eliminar ervas daninhas entre os vinhedos só porque elas sempre voltam a nascer?”
More quotes…