Ruth's Reviews > Vagabond

Vagabond by Bernard Cornwell
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's review
Aug 20, 2011

liked it

c2002 - The 2nd entry in the Grail Quest series. Another piece of solid writing by Mr Cornwell and now that the character of Thomas of Hookton (yay - Dorset!)has been well established, this read is much easier than the first book in the series. This book sees him joined by Robbie Douglas of Scotland who quickly becomes quite an endearing character. Baddies abound and Mr Cornwell has a knack of conveying the brutal with a certain straight forwardness that I remember from the Lords of the North series. The blurb on the back from the Daily Mail is "A wonderful cast of kings, monks, cardinals and mercenaries..cracking with good deeds, fine characters and sparkling set pieces, it confirms yet again Cornwell's reputation for masterly historical novels". I am not sure whether this actually relates to this book or the series in general because although the bit about the monks and mercenaries is correct, the rest do not really appear in this particular book. Good deeds - I am also not so sure about - more revenge and greed, and "sparkling set pieces" - what was meant by that? "And now he was deep in the twilight shadow of Hookton's sea valley and he could see the fret of breaking waves flashing white in the late dusk as he rode down beside the stream to the place where his father had preached and died."And, of course, because I had a Dominican Convent education ; "He's a Dominican and most Inquisitors are hounds of God.' He turned his one eye on Thomas.'Why do they call them the hounds of God?'/ 'It's a joke.' Thomas said,'from the Latin. Domini~canis: the hound of God.'/'Doesn't make me laugh.' Sir Guillaume said gloomily. 'If one of those bastards gets hold of you it's red-hot pokers in the eyes and screams in the night.'

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