Monday, December 17, 2012

1356-Bernard Cornwell


Bernard Cornwell

Harper, Jan 8 2013, $20.99

ISBN: 9780061969676

The war between the English and French on France soil continues unabated. However, in 1356 as the hostile forces prepare for bloody hand to hand combat at Poitiers, Black Friar Ferdinand allegedly steals La Malice from an old coffin. La Malice is the sword that Jesus ordered Peter to hide in the garden of Gethsemane and everyone wants Saint Peter’s blessed blade as the legend is the person yielding this sword will rule.

Pursuing Ferdinand is Avignon papal enforcer Father Calade and his hooded hawk. The Earl of Northampton orders his mercenary Sir Thomas “La Batard” Hookton and his band to find Saint Peter’s sword. Having just switched sides over payments due, Sir Thomas obeys the order leading his troop across France fighting his former allies, treacherous friends, and warlord hordes and duplicitous churchmen. At the same time major forces prepare for a bloody hand to hand combat at Poitiers with Sir Thomas and his mercenaries joining the deadly battle.

1356 continues the exciting epic medieval era escapades of Sir Thomas Hookton (see the Grail Quest: Archer's Tale, Vagabond and Heretic) as the pivotal battle of the Hundred Years War looms. Though the myriad of subplots never quite cohesively gel in spite of the various factions converging on Poitiers, historical fans especially of the Grail Quest series (though this is apparently a sidebar tale) will relish this deep at medieval combat with incredible bloody battle scenes as everyone wants to claim through la Malice that God supports their holy cause.

Harriet Klausner

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