Agincourt

  • by Bernard Cornwell
  • Narrated by Charles Keating
  • 16 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Bernard Cornwell tackles his richest, most thrilling subject: the heroic tale of Agincourt. Young Nicholas Hook is dogged by a curse, haunted by what he has failed to do and banished for what he has done. A wanted man in England, he is driven to fight as a mercenary archer in France, where he finds two things he can love: his instincts as a fighting man, and a girl in trouble. Together they survive the notorious massacre at Soissons, an event that shocks all Christendom. With no options left, Hook heads home to England, where his capture means certain death. Instead he is discovered by the young King of England, Henry V himself, and by royal command he takes up the longbow again and dons the cross of Saint George. Hook returns to France as part of the superb army Henry leads in his quest to claim the French crown. But after the English campaign suffers devastating early losses, it becomes clear that Hook and his fellow archers are their king's last resort in a desperate fight against an enemy more daunting than they could ever have imagined. One of the most dramatic victories in British history, the battle of Agincourt, immortalized by Shakespeare in Henry V, pitted undermanned and overwhelmed English forces against a French army determined to keep their crown out of Henry's hands. Here Bernard Cornwell resurrects the legend of the battle and the "band of brothers" who fought it on October 25, 1415. An epic of redemption, Agincourt follows a commoner, a king, and a nation's entire army on an improbable mission to test the will of God and reclaim what is rightfully theirs. From the disasters at the siege of Harfleur to the horrors of the field of Agincourt, this exhilarating story of survival and slaughter is at once a brilliant work of history and a triumph of imagination Bernard Cornwell at his best.

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What the Critics Say

"The greatest writer of historical adventures today." (Washington Post)
"Nobody in the world does this stuff better than Cornwell. (Lee Child, author of Nothing to Lose)
"Readers who haven't discovered Bernard Cornwell don't know what they are missing....He may well be the best historical novelist writing today -- and Agincourt may well be his best novel yet. (Vince Flynn, author of Extreme Measures)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Fantastic!

I have almost unknowingly been looking for a book like this for a long time! I am a fan of Stephen Pressfield's historical fiction books and George RR Martin does a great job mixing fiction and reality into his own realm (phenomenally so); but Cornwell does a great job of making his book, although grounded in history, into a story that puts you there in a way that few other historical fictions ever have managed! I am truly in awe! it is worth a read (or listen... the reader is great by the way)! Highly Recommend!
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- Andrew

Engrossing

This book has a slightly different appeal than the Sharpe books for which Cornwell is justly famous. Because it is a one off without the support of a long established central character, it is slightly less rich in its biographical texture, but Nick the archer does not lack for complexity and humanity. As always, Cornwell shines in his ability to create the detail, color and emotional reality of a bygone era. Since a good deal of the book is about combat, the realism may be too much for some readers, but it is always aimed at communicating the truth of the moment rather than at its shock value. If you like Patrick O'Brian, you are pretty much a lock to love Cornwell. Exhaustively researched and meticulously recreated both physically and emotionally.
No review of this book would be complete without a bow to the narration which raises it from four to five stars. Brilliant work.
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- David "Actor/director/teacher. Split my time between Beijing and Seattle now. Listen to Audible on the subway and while driving or riding my bike."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-20-2009
  • Publisher: HarperAudio