Benjamin's Reviews > Azincourt

Azincourt by Bernard Cornwell
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Mar 02, 10

bookshelves: historical-fiction
Read in February, 2010

This novelization of this famous battle makes an easy read as long as you can abide the depictions of violence, and I mean the skull crushing, teeth flying, eye-stabbing kind with all the attendant blood and gore. It was a violent period; hand-to-hand combat, the long bow notwithstanding, was the norm. As far as I can tell, the author followed the historical evidence fairly closely, embellishing by telling the story through the eyes of a superior bowman.

This is an easy way to absorb some absorbing history, though I had a couple of gripes. It seems that in this Medieval period horses were never stopped, halted, or brought to a standstill; they were always "curbed." But this is a minor complaint.

My other gripe was the weaving of a secondary story so obviously intended to enhance the battle scene that I found it laughable. The love interest in the novel, Milesande, was caught alone by an evil priest behind the battle line while the French and English armies were about to engage for the first time. The priest is positioned to forcibly deflower Milisande when the author cuts back to the battlefield and describes the resulting mayhem in a series of thrusts, parries, bashings, cuts, pokeing, and such.

Oh my.
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