1356 : The Grail Quest

  • by Bernard Cornwell
  • Narrated by Jack Hawkins
  • Series: The Grail Quest
  • 11 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Shortlisted for: Popular Fiction Book of the Year – Specsavers National Book Awards 2012
Go with God and fight like the Devil.
A fascinating hero, the pursuit of a sword of mythical power, and one of England’s greatest and least known battles: the Battle of Poitiers in 1356. This is a remarkable novel by Britain’s master storyteller.
Thomas of Hookton, a veteran of Crecy and many other battles, is the leader of a mercenary company of bowmen and men-at-arms who ravage the countryside east of Gascony. Edward, Prince of Wales, later to be known as the Black Prince, is assembling an army to fight the French once more, but before Thomas can join, he must fulfil an urgent task. La Malice, a sword of mythical power guaranteeing victory to its owner, is thought to be concealed somewhere near Poitiers.
With signs that a battle between the English and the French is looming, others are seeking the treasure too, and some - French, Scots, and even English - are pursuing their private agendas against Thomas. But all - Thomas of Hookton, his enemies and friends, and the fate of La Malice - become swept up in the extraordinary confrontation that follows, as the large French army faces the heavily outnumbered English in battle.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Cornwell on form: action, pace and good history.

This is a great continuation of the "Grail Trilogy" but can be enjoyed on its own. The central characters are embroiled in a new adventure but with the same mix of corrupt churchmen, scheming, stupid and dangerous nobles and savage violence. In such a landscape, honour is an elusive concept and fragile in the face of fear and temptation.



Much of the power and attraction of the novel rests in the detail. Knights in full armour wetting and fouling themselves in fear, the art and savagery of combat, the realities and struggle of domestic survival, are woven into the tale and stand comparison with any academic, historical text.



Real, vital, convincing and gripping: it's a great tale and well narrated.
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- John

OK

I would start by saying that I initially fell in love with Thomas of Hookton a long time ago, when he was a Heretic, and although I still love this older version of Thomas I didn't find the story quite as exciting. However, of course the amazing Bernard Cornwell has written beautifully and Jack Hawkins has done a cracking job narrating the story. I would have to suggest the reader/listener make their own decision on whether to take up this story and maybe if you are making this your first story starring Thomas of Hookton - which could be a stand alone story - you might want to, at some stage, either before or after, read the Grail Quest trilogy.
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- mollymoon1

Book Details

  • Release Date: 27-09-2012
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Limited