1356

( 67 )

Overview

September 1356. Across France, towns are closing their gates. The crops are burning and the countryside stands alert to danger. The English army—led by the heir to the throne, the Black Prince—is set to invade. The French, along with their Scottish allies, are ready to hunt them down.

Thomas of Hookton, known as le Batard, has orders to uncover the lost sword of Saint Peter, a blade with mystical powers said to grant certain victory to whoever possesses her. The French seek the ...

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1356

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Overview

September 1356. Across France, towns are closing their gates. The crops are burning and the countryside stands alert to danger. The English army—led by the heir to the throne, the Black Prince—is set to invade. The French, along with their Scottish allies, are ready to hunt them down.

Thomas of Hookton, known as le Batard, has orders to uncover the lost sword of Saint Peter, a blade with mystical powers said to grant certain victory to whoever possesses her. The French seek the weapon too, and so Thomas's quest will be thwarted by battle and betrayal. As the outnumbered English army becomes trapped near Poitiers, Thomas, his fellow troops, his enemies, and the fate of the sword all converge in a maelstrom of violence, action, and heroism.

Rich in color and characters, in great adventure and thrilling conflict, 1356 is the magnificent tale of how the quest for a holy relic with the power to change history leads to an epic battle.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Cornwell, a master of action-packed historical fiction, returns with the fourth book in his Grail Quest series (after Heretic), a vivid, exciting portrayal of medieval warfare as the English and French butcher each other at the Battle of Poitiers in 1356 during the Hundred Years War. Nobody writes battle scenes like Cornwell, accurately conveying the utter savagery of close combat with sword, ax, and mace, and the gruesome aftermath. English archer Sir Thomas of Hookton, called the Bastard by his enemies, leads a band of ruthless mercenaries in France. When the French hear of the existence of the sword of Saint Peter, “another Excalibur,” they must possess it for its legendary mystical powers, but the English have other ideas. Thomas is ordered by his lord, earl of Northampton, to find the sword first and begins, with his men, a perilous journey of raiding and plundering across southern France, fighting brutal warlords, cunning churchmen, with betrayal everywhere, and French and Scottish knights who vow to kill Thomas for reasons that have nothing to do with the sword. With surprising results, Thomas and his men reach the decisive Battle of Poitiers, a vicious melee that killed thousands, unseated a king, and forced a devastating and short peace on a land ravaged by warfare. Agent: Toby Eady Associates, U.K.. (Jan.)
Kirkus Reviews
The most notable English victory of the Hundred Years' War turns on the possession of the sword Jesus bade Peter sheathe in the garden of Gethsemane. At least that's how it looks in Cornwell's fictionalization of the events leading up to the Battle of Poitiers, beginning at the moment that a Black Friar breaks into a 150-year-old coffin and steals off with la Malice, the sword he finds inside. Scant hours behind Fra Ferdinand is an enforcer of the Avignon pope calling himself Father Calade and armed with a hooded hawk who serves as his own enforcer. The large-scale opposition between the English and French forces as they skirmish over ransom for hostages and salaries for mercenaries is complicated by the number of key characters who change sides. Sir Thomas Hookton, who begins by serving the Count of Labrouillade, soon breaks with him over (what else?) the money due him for restoring the faithless countess to his hearth and home. Brother Michael, a Cistercian who's come to Montpellier to study medicine, takes up with Thomas. So does Sir Robert Douglas, who's already fought against the English under his Scottish uncle. Few of these characters have any inkling that a pivotal battle in the endless war for France looms ahead. Neither, for that matter, will unwary readers. For, although every intrigue springs to life under the close-up focus veteran Cornwell (Death of Kings, 2012, etc.) has long since mastered, the strands aren't always closely knitted together: Heroes and subplots blossom and fade with no consistent sense of their connections, and readers approaching the tale without the appropriate historical background will have to survive a long probationary period before they realize where this is all heading. Best for fans of historical fiction who have both a taste for the Hundred Years' War and some base-line knowledge that will allow them to enjoy this swashbuckling recreation.
Reader's Digest
“The first must-read of 2013 arrives….Bernard Cornwell is a master of combining a thumping good tale with a fascinating history lesson.”
Booklist
“In addition to carving out another action-packed martial adventure, Cornwell spotlights one of the most significant but often overlooked battles of the era.”
George R.R. Martin
“Bernard Cornwell does the best battle scenes of any writer I’ve ever read, past or present.”
Lee Child
“Nobody in the world does this stuff better than Cornwell - action set six hundred years ago is as fresh and vital as six days ago, with rough, tough men at war, proving once again that nothing changes... least of all great storytelling.”
USA Today
“The reigning king of historical fiction.”
Bill Sheehan
“Bernard Cornwell is a gifted and prolific historical novelist who seems at home in virtually every era….A lively, accessible account of a remote moment in European history, a book in which Cornwell’s gifts as scholar and storyteller come together spectacularly.”
Billy Heller
“Tired of waiting for another of George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones books? Cornwell’s latest novel may be your best option.”
McClatchy News
“Cornwell is one of the best writers of historical fiction.”
Historical Novels Society
“The legions of Cornwell’s fans…will need little encouragement to devour this latest installment in the Hundred Years Way sequence. Everything you expect of a Cornwell offering is here in abundance: interesting characters, rich historical detail, thrilling battles, war, violence, gore, heroism, wry humour….Highly recommended.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061969676
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/8/2013
  • Pages: 417
  • Sales rank: 679,559
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Bernard Cornwell is the author of the acclaimed New York Times bestsellers Agincourt and The Fort; the bestselling Saxon Tales, which include The Last Kingdom, The Pale Horseman, Lords of the North, Sword Song, The Burning Land, and Death of Kings; and the Richard Sharpe novels, among many others. He lives with his wife on Cape Cod.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 67 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(33)

4 Star

(13)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(12)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 68 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2013

    Another Awesome Book by a Master Storyteller!!

    Bernard Cornwell can certainly bring a period of time that I know very little about to vivid, roaring life! First, for those of you wondering what the book is about: 1346 is a continuation of the story of Thomas of Hookton (Grail's Quest series) and it definitely ties up loose threads by destroying some VERY irritating people (bessieres to name one). For those of you who haven't read the series I would definitely recommend that you read the first three novels before this one but honestly, you could muddle through it if you don't choose to read the others first. All in all...this was a wonderful book and I'm just bloodthirsty enough to be glad that some very bad guys got theirs in the end. This series has been wonderful from beginning to end(?).

    13 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 20, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    1356 by Bernard Cornwell Thomas of Hookton returns to life in t

    1356 by Bernard Cornwell

    Thomas of Hookton returns to life in the spellbinding second chapter in Cornwell's Grail Quest Trilogy. This time, Cornwell bases his story on the famous battle of Poitiers, held on September 19, 1356, between Edward, Prince of Wales and son of King Edward III of England, and King Jean II of France.

    The story starts with Thomas of Hookton, or Le Batard, as he is known, in a mercenary war with the Bishop of Lavence to avenge the count of Labrouillade, whose wife has abandoned him for the younger and handsomer Lord of Villon. After rescuing the count's wife, Bertille, the count cheats Thomas of his spoils and Thomas strikes back at the count.

    Chased throughout France, Thomas is given a task by his lord and protector, the Earl of Northampton to find La Malice - St. Peter's sword used to defend our Lord, Jesus Christ when he was captured in the Garden of Gethsemane - and bring it back to the English. The French seek the sword too, so the story narrates Thomas' adventures as his quest is thwarted at every turn and betrayal, by promises made and broken until Thomas joins forces with Prince Edward to defeat The French.

    The book is a pleasure to read. Well researched, well written - each change of point of view is clearly marked so that reader can follow easily. The character development is excellent - my favorite character was the picaresque countess of Malbuisson, an octogenarian at the convent of Saint Dorcas, who not only comes to Thomas' rescue, but also helps him decipher the clues of the saint who held la Malice - St. Junen of Poitous - and also manages to rob Thomas of a small fortune as he is forced to gamble with her to keep her entertained all night.

    I read the book in three days, and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical fiction as much as I do.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2013

    Wonderful

    Great characters and story. Ending seemed a bit abrupt being all '....and..... the wars over' but thoroughly enjoyed the story.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 14, 2013

    Please rate the book and not the marketing video. It skews the r

    Please rate the book and not the marketing video. It skews the reviews for those of us who are interested in the actual book. My five starts is a start at getting the review back to a typical rating for a Cornwell book.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2013

    Rate a product by using/reading it not by viewing the advertisment onky and then drawing conclusions about the whole work.

    Ifail to comprehend how several people have rated this book with only one star. If the people who rated this wonderful book with only one or two stars had actually read the work instead of drawing all of their information from only the synopsis video they would have rated ir much higher. A question to all the people who obviously rated this novel based solely on the synopsis is this; if i were to show you an advertisment for a steak that was the best ad you had ever seen would yiu rate the steak as the best tasting steak you've ever eaten? No, of course you wouldn't you would rate it based on the taste. So why then do you rate a book before you've even read it. People look at reviews to see how others who have read the book liked it not to see how good the synopsis was.
    So here is my review, this book is a must read it is much better than the one star rating would have you believe

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2013

    You want us to pay $17.00 for a book no one knows anything about

    You want us to pay $17.00 for a book no one knows anything about and doesn't have a product review. That's likely.

    3 out of 39 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 12, 2013

    I'd like to rate the book, but what the hell is it about?? what

    I'd like to rate the book, but what the hell is it about?? what battle? What war between France & England??? that video was no help at all!

    3 out of 42 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 12, 2013

    HELLO, PEOPLE! You are supposed to watch the video. Not that tha

    HELLO, PEOPLE! You are supposed to watch the video. Not that that really helps a whole H of a lot of help. Something about a lopsided battle between Brit and French troops and 20 yrs of war. Sorry, HCP, that does not cut it as adequate product detail. Might work for a movie, but if you want to sell a book to people who READ for entertainment, you need to use WORDS!!!!

    3 out of 40 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2013

    Cornwell at his usual excellent

    It was good to see a few old friends and some new characters as well. He presents a marvelous historical novel with few competitors. It's all there, everything you could expect in history; courage, brilliance, faith, stupidity, the man doesn't miss a trick

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 22, 2013

    Another triumph for our archer

    A worthy continuation of the grail series. It held my attention such as I read too fast and the book was finished too soon. Well worth the read, I heartily recommend it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 20, 2013

    Grail Quest Book 4. As good as the first 3 of the grail quest s

    Grail Quest Book 4. As good as the first 3 of the grail quest series. All our characters we liked in the series have returned in this installment. As another reviewer wrote you can read and enjoy this book as a stand alone, but I wouldn't skip over the first three books, they are just as well written as 1356. Thomas' character evolves well and I loved reading all four books.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2013

    Great a always!

    Great a always!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 13, 2013

    A nice little video does not tell the prospective buyer a thing

    A nice little video does not tell the prospective buyer a thing about the product. As said before, please assume we are literate and write a synopsis!

    2 out of 29 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2013

    I have no Idea. No review or synopsis was provided. Just an empt

    I have no Idea. No review or synopsis was provided. Just an empty box

    2 out of 33 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2013

    As always, Bernard Cornwell brings history alive.

    As always, Bernard Cornwell brings history alive.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 2, 2013

    Cornwell never misses.

    Cornwell never misses.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2013

    Rate the book. The negative ratings on the video harm the abili

    Rate the book. The negative ratings on the video harm the ability to sell the book. That affects the author as well as the publisher. This may be poor marketing, but if the book is good then rate it as such.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 12, 2013

    Well I wouldn't know what to think because you don't tell me any

    Well I wouldn't know what to think because you don't tell me anything at all about the book! What kind of silliness is that? Was is Agincourt? There the English were incredibly outnumbered. But it did not last 20 yrs. Where does it say anything about 20 yrs anyway? Well, we can get a sample. Or look it up in the regular book section and maybe there's more of an outline.

    1 out of 29 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2013

    QWERTYUIOP

    Is this book good?????

    1 out of 47 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2014

    *****

    Best yet!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 68 Customer Reviews

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