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Publisher's Summary

1347 is a year of war and unrest. England's army is fighting in France, encouraging the Scots to invade their old enemy. Thomas of Hookton, sent back to England to follow an ancient trail which suggests his family once owned the Holy Grail, instead becomes embroiled in the savage fight when the Scots come to Durham. Out of the horror he finds a new companion for the quest, but also discovers a new enemy in a Dominican Inquisitor. All of Europe wants the grail. Many may doubt it exists, but no one would willingly allow an enemy to find Christendom's most precious relic, and Thomas finds himself in a murderous race with the Inquisitor and with Guy de Vexille, the mysterious black rider who murdered Thomas' father. Thomas' father bequeathed him a mysterious notebook which confirms the grail's existence and offers clues to where it might be hidden. But his rivals have the advantage of the torture chamber of the Inquisition. Thomas, seeking help to decipher the book's cryptic pages, is delivered instead to his worst enemies. He finds refuge in Brittany with the Countess of Armorica, but fate will not let him rest. He is thrust into one of the most desperate fights of the Hundred Years' War, the battle of la Roche-Derrien, and amidst the flames, arrows, and butchery of that night he faces his enemies again.
©2002 Bernard Cornwell; (P)2002 HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"Cornwell is meticulous about historical facts and period detail, and his descriptions of butchery with arrow, mace, and battleaxe are nothing if not convincing." (Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By John on 07-13-07

Great!!

This series could be the next Rome for HBO. Could not read this fast enough.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful


By Gregory on 02-03-06

Outstanding action in the Middle Ages!

This is a continuation of the story of Thomas of Hookton, begun in 'The Archer's Tale'. We meet up again with characters introduced in the first installment, such as Jannette, Sir Will Skeet, and new character are introduced, such as a nefarious Inquisitor. Several good battles, some surprises, good, good, good. And the narrator is absolutely excellent, and can play the voices of French and Scottish, as well as English, perfectly. Highly recommended!

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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