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by Tim Pigott-Smith,Bernard Cornwell
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Genre Fiction
  • Author:
    Tim Pigott-Smith,Bernard Cornwell
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  • Publisher:
    HarperAudio (November 26, 2002)
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    Genre Fiction
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    1152 kb
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Bernard Cornwell (Author), Tim Pigott-Smith (Reader). Book 2 of 4 in the Grail Quest Series.

Bernard Cornwell (Author), Tim Pigott-Smith (Reader). Harlequin (The Grail Quest, Book 1). Bernard Cornwell. Heretic (The Grail Quest, Book 3).

Narrated by Tim Pigott-Smith. He doubts the grail's existence, and he has other promises to keep, promises that take him back to Brittany where a vicious civil war is about to reach its climax.

The Grail Quest - 2 ). Having survived the battle of Crécy, Thomas is sent back to England, charged with finding the Holy Grail. But Thomas is an archer and when a chance comes to fight against an army invading northern England he jumps at it. Plunged into the carnage of Neville′s Cross, he is oblivious to other enemies who want to destroy him.

In Harlequin he is involved in battle in Brittany and subsequently at the Battle of Crécy.

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Having survived the battle of Crécy, Thomas is sent back to England, charged with finding the Holy Grail.

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He has read many Bernard Cornwell books and enjoys them immensely. I was quite excited to read a book by a new author. The Grail Quest is a trilogy of books set in the 14th Century. Vagabond is the second book in the series. It starts in 1346 with the Battle of Neville’s Cross in Northern England.

Written by Bernard Cornwell, Audiobook narrated by Tim Pigott-Smith. The Grail Quest, Book II. By: Bernard Cornwell. Narrated by: Tim Pigott-Smith. Length: 6 hrs and 3 mins. Categories: Fiction, Historical.

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, send 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 Europe want 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 rival 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.

Performed by Tim Pigott-Smith.

Great read. I learned a lot about the Hundred Years. This sequel to Book 1 is a real page turner. I couldn't put it down. Most of the unresolved issues came to fruition. I'm a bit partial to Bernard Cromwell because of the 13 books I read on Richard Sharp and the Napoleonic wars. This story takes you back to 1346 and the 1st of 3 major English triumphs in the Hundred Years War. I'm looking forward to the Agincourt battle but the protagonist of the Novel will be in his 90's, double his life expectancy.
Whether or not you're a history buff it's likely you'll enjoy Cornwell's novels. I love fiction. I love a great story. I love historical fiction and it is such a treat to find authors that are good at it but when you find one that's great at it, like Cornwell, I consume their work as quickly as I can. The Grail Quest is superior storytelling by a superior writer. Vagabond has internal and external conflict combined with unexpected twists and turns that are interwoven into a fine tapestry of historical reality. Cornwell manages to blend fiction and history so convincingly that it is difficult to tell which characters were real and which are fictional. The protagonist, Thomas of Hookton, (as well as all the other characters) is well developed, believable and complex. The plot follows history but does very well in it's intricacies and could stand alone without the historical context. It also is quite complex, unpredictable and it kept me turning pages. I enjoy this series as much as I enjoyed Cornwell's Richard Sharpe series. I highly recommend Vagabond and the entire Grail Quest series and would suggest you begin with "The Archer's Tale" (U.S. title) and read all the way through. Vagabond is hours of inexpensive entertainment.
First of all I must confess that when I see that a book was authored by Bernard Cornwell I’m already favorably disposed! Vagabond did not disappoint; he accurately places me in the appropriate time and I believe I’m an interested observer and feel the surroundings. His descriptions of the surroundings the attitude of the people, climate and mood of the times is a perfect escape. And he is probable the best in describing medieval battle scenarios of any I’ve read before!
You won’t be disappointed!
More of 14 Century civilization. Once again well researched with military tactics. The brutality of war presented intensely. Genevieve his female companion and Thomas's loyal friends join him in survival and search for the grail. Must contend with his arch enemy his cousin in grali search and this part continues into the next book in the series. Great deal of historical accuracy with fictitious characters fitting in well with historical characters. Much of the book is graphic description or horrifying hand to hand combat and while insightful this aspect of Cornwell's writing seems to overwhelm the story line as far too much of text is combat particulars.
Cornwell's second installment in the Grail Quest trilogy does not disappoint. The fabric of the story telling is, if anything, richer and delves more deeply into some of the most stunning historical battles of Franco/English history. I encourage you to read the entire series if you have any interest in the power struggle for leadership of two of Europe's most powerful countries of the middle ages.
I read this book in two sittings because I didn't want to put it down. I am not generally a fan of military/war novels; I don't actively avoid them, but they haven't been at the top of my "Books I Want to Read List." What I AM is a history buff and a fan of good, page-turning prose, and Cornwell has that in spades. Cornwell's writing is intelligent and adult. He infuses his characters with personality; they're authentic. The battle scenes are riveting (remarkable, given that not-a-fan-of-war stories thing.)

I've had similar reactions every time I've read Cornwell, (in addition to the Grail Trilogy, I've read "Stonehenge", the Arthur Trilogy, and the Saxon Stories.) So if war stories aren't at the top of my "Books..." list, Cornwell IS at the top of my "Authors I Want to Read List (yes, both lists really do exist.)

"Vagabond" is well worth the time, as is the rest of the Grail Quest trilogy. I'd strongly suggest reading them in order. ("Vagabond is the second of the three; the first is Harlequin/The Archer's Tale and "Heretic" is third.) But be warned - once you pick these up. you may not want to do anything else until you finish.
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Are always Bernard Cornwell writes a story of historical significance. His description of the battles are so realistic you can smell the blood and gore and you see and hear the savagely of the battles. His characters are absolutely great and if they are real or made up you fell like you know them.