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Saturday, December 6, 2014

1356 by Bernard Cornwell

Genre: Historical Fiction

Setting: France, AD 1356

First Sentence: He was lost.

The main character of this novel is Sir Thomas of Hookton.  Fans of Cornwell's novels will recognize the name.  Thomas is the main character of Cornwell's Grail Quest series.

Once again, Thomas's life intersects with a holy relic.  This time it is the sword of St. Peter.  Legend has it that the sword is imbued with holy power.  It is said that the possessor of the sword will have victory in battle.

So the sword is sought by both church and political leaders.  Even Thomas's lord has ordered him to look for the sword.

Thomas has sworn to destroy the sword if he finds it.  Through personal experience he understands the great cost of possessing such a holy relic.

France and England are at war.  Thomas's search for the sword takes him to the English army.  At the head of the army is the Black Prince, Edward the Prince of Wales.

Thomas and his followers join with the English army.  Eventually they fight the French at the battle of Poitiers.  If you enjoy reading about medieval battles, you will enjoy the author's description of this battle.

Cornwell's story is a grand tale of the knights of old.  We have knights in shining armor, castles and sieges, a damsel in distress, a chaste knight, jousting tournaments, and the carnage of battle in the middle ages.

Cornwell's well constructed writing style transports us to those olden days.  For me it was a real page turner, and a fabulous read.


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