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(Grail Quest #3)

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  13,521 ratings  ·  371 reviews
From New York Times bestselling author Bernard Cornwell, the sequel to The Archer’s Tale and Vagabond—the spellbinding tale of a young man, a fearless archer, who sets out wanting to avenge his family’s honor and winds up on a quest for the Holy Grail.

Already a seasoned veteran of King Edward's army, young Thomas of Hookton possesses the fearlessness of a born leader and
Paperback, 368 pages
Published September 25th 2007 by Harper Perennial (first published October 6th 2003)
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Average rating 4.14  · 
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 ·  13,521 ratings  ·  371 reviews

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Aug 05, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed the first two books of the series, so this one was a bit of a let down for me.

Bernard Cornwell is great at battle scenes, and creating memorable characters. However I found this book not up to the same standards as the other two books. There was a lot less action, and while I really felt for the main character Thomas in the last book because his decisions resulted (view spoiler), but this book I just felt annoyed with
Steven Walle
Nov 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a great end to this trilogy. This ceries is not for the faint of heart. There is much killing and cruel tortured described within its' pages.
Enjoy and
Be Blessed.
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
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Heretic is the last chapter of The Grail Quest series.
Even though the author admits there are only 2 historical facts in the whole book - at the beginning and the end - this is none-the-less an awe inspiring masterpiece.
With vivid battle scenes, intriquing characters and heart-renching episodes, even though the era itself was a time when close relationships were considered a rareity.
The story was fascinating and spell binding, gripping the reader throughout.
Sorry to see the story of Thomas,
Gabriel Woods
Dec 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book brought me back in time to an era when The Grail and similar such powerful relics were believed to be real. This was a magical time as well was a very violent era when mythology and all things mystical were blended with reality. Throughout the book even the most threatening knight or men-at-arms, as Cornwell names the characters who were soldiers, despite their strength and prowess in battle to be somewhat naive.
The soldiers and many people in Europe, as described by Cornwell in
Aug 01, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, war
The third and final book in the Thomas of Hookton trilogy (following on from HARLEQUIN and VAGABOND) is another triumphant historical novel from Bernard Cornwell. Cornwell is less constrained by the facts in this one - only the opening chapters are based on documentation - which means he's able to deliver a more densely-plotted story than before. In many ways this feels like a hunt-the-man-down thriller albeit in a medieval setting.

And the setting is a great one. The landscape of southern France
Bonnie Wilson
This series rather plods along, much like the 100 years war in which it is set. Cornwell repeats himself .... a lot. I lost count of how many times the different sorts of arrows used by the English archers and the differing merits of the longbow and crossbow were explained. Some key characters are under-developed or simply disappear along the way, although those disappearances are probably realistic in an age of nearly non-existent long-distance communications. The nefarious antagonists are ...more
Dec 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history-fiction
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.
A.L. Sowards
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventure, fiction, 2017
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Phil Syphe
“Heretic” struck me as very different to the first two books in the Grail series. A couple of episodes did draw me in but on the whole I found it lacking. I do like the main character – Thomas – but missed his Jewish friend who has a passion for checking the colour of people’s urine, plus Thomas's one-time lover Jeanette, neither of which appear at all in this volume.

I would’ve rated this novel three stars but, like all the Bernard Cornwell books that I’ve read to date, I’ve deducted a star
Sep 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the final book of this series immensely. However, it seems like I enjoyed it more than most reviewers...

I found the characters multi-dimensional, the back and forth of the battles and occupied castles believable, and the discovery of the Grail spot on!!

Back to the Saxons!!
Oct 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reading some of the other reviews people complain that there isn't as much action. There are fewer battles, but the story progresses much more than Vagabond did. I enjoyed all three books, and have not been disappointed by Mr. Cornwell yet!!
Justin Langlois
Loved the wrap up to this trilogy! I hope to hear from Thomas of Hookton again!
This book was originally the end of Thomas's story before he added the 1356 spinoff. And as the end of the story it is very disappointing. The more Cornwell strays from history the more shaky his story becomes. Archers Tale was great because it was essentially all real and Thomas was apart of all of it. Heretic has a very brief battle at the beginning, which again felt forced in the story, then is all the shaky make believe quest for the grail. The plot rarely supports itself as Cornwell bounces ...more
Aug 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Although this is the first series I have read that was written by Bernard Cornwell, I hope to read more. His historical novels come to life, and constantly make me grateful I did not live in that time. It is much more fun to read about the the 100 Year War and the Plague than to experience it. In any case, Mr. Cornwell's characters are believable and authentic, with internal strengths and weaknesses that drive them to perform feats that are sometimes honorable, and sometimes despicable. The ...more
Feb 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
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 ...more
Sep 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Izandra Mascarenhas

This is the end of "The Grail Quest". Amazingly, with things that no reader would think possible, Cornwell closes another trilogy with gold key, giving the end that it deserves. Thomas is smarter and with more precise aiming than ever before, challenging the Church at a level beyond the imaginable. Maximum score for the genius of Cornwell in this historical work.

Este é o final da saga "A Busca do Graal". Surpreendente, com coisas que nenhum leitor pensaria ser possível, Cornwell
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
Dan Claffey
Jan 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was the best book in the series, I finished reading it in 1 1/2 days simply because I couldn't wait to find out what was going to happen to Thomas and Genevieve. You can't help but cheer for Thomas, a very unlikely hero who rises up against the church and lords, leading men who would likely follow him to their deaths of he asked. Cornwell had always been one of the best battle writers I've ever read and this entire series further exemplifies those skills. If you like historical fiction, ...more
Apr 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
The graphically gory and ultimately compelling conclusion of Cornwall's medieval trilogy. Thomas of Hookton, mad priest's bastard and master of the long bow, continues his search for the Holy Grail in Gascony, one step ahead of his evil cousin. With death, destruction, and the Black Death at his heels, he realizes his family's heritage, and ends his quest in exactly the right way.

Unlike many a trilogy, this is the strongest book of the three, or maybe I've just developed a fondness for the
Gerald Matzke
Feb 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was book three of the Grail Quest series by Bernard Cornwell. It is filled with the strategies and battles that are Cornwell's signature. A love triangle played an interesting role in the plot which centers on the search for the Grail. As in many of Cornwell's novels, the place of religion in the lives of his characters helps to drive the story. I've read many of his books and I think this is one of the best.
Jun 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I read this book in just a few days, I normally spend a couple of weeks on my book, but I found this end of the trilogy so gripping. Again, wonderful research and detail by Cornwell I just love his ability to make you feel like you are in the place, almost smelling it. What was gripping to me in this book though, was the all-pervasive, all-encompassing, all-penetrating power of the Church during that time. It seemed almost claustrophobic.
Oct 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've just finished Heretic, the third (and presumably last) of the Grail Quest series. This one contains far fewer historical references, except the opening battle for Calais, but still manages to convey the reality of the period.

The tale is, as always, very well told with genuine drama and peril - leaving little to the imagination when it comes to the graphic (and gruesome) battle scenes.

A great read and the series has opened my mind to trying more historical fiction. Thanks. MLS
Apr 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
In the last book of the trilogy, Thomas sets off for Gascony in search of the Holy Grail. As long as he doesn't offend anyone important, i.e. the church, he can't go wrong. So, saving a young woman condemned to be burned at the stake for heresy doesn't seem to be the best move and is soon dis-communicated by the church.

Forced out by his men and pursued by his cousin and the inquisition, will Thomas prevail or is all lost...

Excellent conclusion to the Grail trilogy.
After the battle of Calais the French and English agree to a truce which leaves Thomas of Hookton free to finish his quest for the Holy Grail. Lots of action, blood, gore, and a touch of the plague made this an exciting listen. The audio was narrated by Sean Barrett who helped add to the entertainment.
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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 birth mother's maiden ...more

Other books in the series

Grail Quest (4 books)
  • The Archer's Tale (The Grail Quest, #1)
  • Vagabond (The Grail Quest, #2)
  • 1356 (The Grail Quest, #4)
“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.” 4 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…