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(Grail Quest #2)

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  15,585 ratings  ·  455 reviews
From New York Times bestselling author Bernard Cornwell, the sequel to The Archer's Tale—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.

In 1347, a year of conflict and unrest, Thomas of Hookton returns to England to pursue the Holy Grail. Among the flames of the Hundred Y
Paperback, 416 pages
Published January 3rd 2006 by Harper Perennial (first published October 7th 2002)
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Average rating 4.11  · 
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 ·  15,585 ratings  ·  455 reviews

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Aug 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
He could hear the hoofbeats now and he thought of the four horsemen of the apocalypse, the dreadful quartet of riders whose appearance would presage the end of time and the last great stuggle between heaven and hell. War would appear on a horse the color of blood, famine would be on a black stallion, pestilence would ravage the world on a white mount, while death would ride the pale horse.

I love this series.

The search for the holy grail continues with Thomas Hookton, a character I instantly con
Stjepan Cobets
Mar 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans historical literature
The search for the Grail continues, Tomas of Hookton continues its adventure in the border of England and Scotland. King Edward the third sent him to find out whether there is truth to Grail. But this adventure brings him only pain and suffering because he is not the only one seeking the Grail. Continuation of the book is a bit more intriguing than the first part but still good.
Jason Koivu
Jul 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
I wasn't prepared for the setting to switch from France to the Scottish/English border in this second installment of Bernard Cornwell's Grail Quest series. I was thrown off and needed time to acclimate, but once I got my feet under me again, I fell into the flow of another battle-packed book by one of historical-fiction's best!
Mike (the Paladin)
Well...what can I say here? It took me forever (not literally of course) to get around to this book. It's one I kept moving other books "in front of" so to speak (please forgive the poor grammar).

Thomas is still somewhat undecided here...well actually he's not. He simply wants to lead archers in battle but he's been charged with finding the Holy Grail (sadly he doesn't really believe the Grail is real and he does believe that his father was a bit...well...cracked[?]) So accordingly he makes some
Anna Maria
Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Sequel of a breath-taking and captivating book, even this one is a page turner. What can I say? Only that the reading was superb, I loved it right from the first page. Couldn't put it down, the story was just so gripping and it kept me going through the book at a very fast pace. I loved this book, there were many twists and a lot of action. I will immediately start reading the next book of the series, hoping that it will be as gripping as the first two books. While I was reading it felt as if I ...more
Dec 17, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Historical Fiction Fans
The second volume in the Grail Series, this story was not nearly as interesting or exciting as the first book in the series, "The Archer".

It opens with the 1346 battle of Neville's Cross in Northern England, which is peripheral to the main plot of Thomas of Hockton's search for the grail which is supposedly under the control of his family and has been hidden by his dead father. It ends with the 1347 battle of La Roche-Derrien in Brittany between the forces of Charles of Blois and the English occ
Oct 31, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Master of battle scenes and the details of the soldier. It gets you thinking about life in the middle ages and how you might have suvived the age. Couldn't put it down.
Charles Bronson
Jul 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5*. I have not read a book from Cornwell that I have not throughly enjoyed. Is it possible this streak will be compromised? I doubt it. Time will tell.
B.J. Richardson
Sep 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is book two of Cornwell's Grail Quest series also called The Archer's Tale series. They follow Thomas of Hookton as he travels around somehow managing to entangle himself in every single major battle England fought during the early part of the Hundred Years War. The early part of this book was very familiar to me but the last third or so was not. I am guessing that my first time through I DNF'd this book right about the point Thomas got caught up by the (SPOILERS).

I feel like a broken reco
Apr 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
A lot better book than Archer's tail! It began quite interesting and then came the boring part. Luckily, very quickly it became very intense and unpredictable. The book has finished quite interesting luring us to read the next one in the series.

This one surprised me actually. I was postponing reading it because I didn't want to deal with a lot of boring descriptions and prolonged battles. This time it was quite the opposite, battles were the best parts, a lot of things happend in short time, m
Steven Walle
Nov 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a great book. This is the second of three. I will give a full review later.
Be Blessed.
Val Penny
Apr 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bernard Cornwell, OBE was born in London, England on 23 February 1944. His father was a Canadian airman, and his mother was English, a member of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force, WAAF. He was adopted at six weeks old and brought up in Thundersley, Essex by the Wiggins family, who were members of the Peculiar People. That is a strict sect who were pacifists, banned frivolity of all kinds and even medicine. So, he grew up in a household that forbade alcohol, cigarettes, dances, television, conventi ...more
Sep 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
**Actual rating 4.5**

Bernard Cornwell is one of my favorite authors so please don't expect any kind of unbiased review here, I loved this book just like I love all his books. (According to GR I have read 22 of his books which puts him in 2nd place behind Stephen King.I don't think anyone will ever catch King.....)

This is the 2nd installment of the Grail Quest series and it takes place in France around 1350. Thomas of Hookton is an English archer and he's on a quest for, you guessed it, the Holy
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Sequel to Harlequin.
Another fantastic book of early English battles, torture, death and victory.
The Holy Grail moves a little further forward in revealing its secret hiding place and unlikely friends band together to hunt it down while revenging family honours.
Again the characters are wonderfully portrayed and the book moves with ease through all the turmoil associated with the mid 1300's.
Can't wait to move on to the third and last book in this series " Heretic ".
Jun 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Amazing detail of a "new" slash and burn type of war. Continues the rush of action and character development of The Archer's Tale
A. L. Sowards
Jul 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, adventure, 2017
The Battle of Neville’s Cross near Durham stretching all the way to page 130 was a little long, but the rest of the book made up for it. (Don’t get me wrong—the battle was well written, but after about 100 pages I was ready for something else to happen.) I loved Robbie (maybe because of my Scottish ancestry), hated the Scarecrow, and of course cheered for Thomas the entire book. I liked Jeanette, too, even though in the first book I was kind of neutral about her. I’ve got my predictions about th ...more
Puscas Mircea
Aug 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fantastic book , I liked the way the battles were described.
Maria Thermann
Jun 08, 2015 rated it liked it
The entire first third of the book is devoted to the infamous battle of the Scots and the English that took place at Durham in October 1346. Just before blood-soaked part one of the novel begins in earnest, Cornwell sows the seeds for the actual plot, the meeting between Thomas of Hookton and his arch nemesis, his cousin, the evil Guy of Vexhille. Guy is heir to the ancient aristocratic title Thomas' father once held: Count of Astarac.

And the Vexhille family were once hunted down as heretics, a
Jun 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Thomas of Hookton is back again. He's still searching for the grail, as his father's book is stolen and restolen by his enemny. Romance is found and lost as the story continues.
Jamie Connolly
Apr 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books
Will skeat! What a great character! All the characters are so well done. Fill their roles perfectly. The battles are incredible. 5 stars.
Jeff P
Feb 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Book Two of a three book series about an English archer's quest for the Grail, that his father may or may not have had at one time. I enjoy the actual history that Cornwell uses.
Justin Langlois
Oct 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Vagabond was a nice follow-up to The Archer's Tale. Thomas of Hookton continues on his quest to find the man who murdered his father and to find the "Holy Grail". Cornwell continues to impress me with his amazing attention to historical detail. I've learned more about Europe during the time leading up to the Black Plague then I ever thought I would!
Stan Vlieg
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, war
4.5 stars but the glass is half full.

Mister Cornwell delivers yet again. It's amazing how all of his book i read to this date have been pushing all the right buttons for me. He is very good in creating a world of history where the characters come to life. From torture to love, you can't help to feel for Thomas of Hookton. Although the recipe in his storys are quite similar it still keeps me on edge. It's a pleasant feeling to know i still have his Sharpe series (22 books) to entertain myself wit
John Newcomb
I like to read Bernard Cornwall's book every now and then. In this one, Richard Sharpe becomes Tom, an English Archer fighting the Scots and French during the 100 years war. With his usual band of side kicks and women, nasty enemies and eventual victory in the face of adversity and some real life historical characters to add to the veracity, it all leads to a romping good read.
Apr 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Adults with an interest 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 second book of the Grail Quest series. It continues the quest to find the Holy Grail, but as seems to be the case with Grail stories, there are many other people after the same thing.
It continues the exploits of Thomas of Hookton an English archer, who has already fought for king and country against the French at the battle of Crecy, in the first book. He continues the quest and ends up at varying times fighting the Scots, French, Bretons, his own cousin, the clergy and sometimes the Englis
Dec 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I actually enjoyed “Vagabond” more than I enjoyed an “Archer’s Story.” Probably because there were less battle scenes and more intrigue. Don’t get me wrong, Cornwell writes the best battle scenes, but I enjoy reading about relationships more. There were a lot of things happening in this book, and Thomas is almost always on the move.

There’s one part in this book I will never forget. I won’t say what it is, but I was truly scared for Thomas. It was so weird too, because here I’m reading this book
Geoff Boxell
Dec 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Another one of my "second reads" - something I am doing a lot of since I retired and cash is not so easy to come by, mind with 2,500+ books I have a selection to choose from!
Whereas the first in the Grail series can be read as a stand alone, this one is obviously only part of the overall story.
Cornwell's tales often start and end with a battle, and this is so in this book: Nevilles Cross and the amazing La Roche-Derrien (in the first book it is the England besieging the town, in this book it is
This first book in the "Grail Quest" series ended with the hero, an English archer named Thomas of Hookton, on the winning side of the Battle of Crecy. Now back in England, he is dispatched to learn more about his father and whether or not he had any connection to the Holy Grail. Also hot on the trail of Thomas and the Grail are his murderous French cousin, a Dominican member of the Inquisition, and a nasty English knight. This trio of villains is perhaps one too many, serving to dilute the tens ...more
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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 n ...more

Other books in the series

Grail Quest (4 books)
  • The Archer's Tale (The Grail Quest, #1)
  • Heretic (The Grail Quest, #3)
  • 1356 (The Grail Quest, #4)

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“People like mystery. They want nothing explained, because when things are explained then there is no hope left. I have seen folk dying and known there is nothing to be done, and I am asked to go because the priest will soon arrive with his dish covered by a cloth, and everyone prays for a miracle. It never happens. And the person dies and I get blamed, not God or the priest, but I!” 4 likes
“I am not sure,' Mordecai told Thomas, 'whether omens can be trusted.'
'Of course they can.'
'I should like to hear your reasons. But show me your urine first.'
'You said I was cured,' Thomas protested. 'Eternal vigilance, dear Thomas, is the price of health. Piss for me.”
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