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1356 [Hardcover]

Bernard Cornwell
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (631 customer reviews)

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Book Description

27 Sep 2012

Go with God and Fight Like the Devil. A fascinating hero and the pursuit of a sword with mythical power - this is the remarkable new novel by Britain’s master storyteller, which culminates at the Battle of Poitiers in 1356.

The Hundred Years War rages on and the bloodiest battles are yet to be fought. Across France, towns are closing their gates, the crops are burning and the country stands alert to danger. The English army, victorious at the Battle of Crécy and led by the Black Prince, is invading again and the French are hunting them down.

Thomas of Hookton, an English archer known as Le Bâtard, is under orders to seek out the lost sword of St Peter, a weapon said to grant certain victory to whoever possesses her. As the outnumbered English army becomes trapped near the town of Poitiers, Thomas, his men and his sworn enemies meet in an extraordinary confrontation that ignites one of the greatest battles of all time.



Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; First Edition edition (27 Sep 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007331843
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007331840
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 18.6 x 24.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (631 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 48,955 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Bernard Cornwell was born in London, raised in Essex, and now lives mainly in the USA with his wife. In addition to the hugely successful Sharpe novels, Bernard Cornwell is the author of the Starbuck Chronicles, the Warlord trilogy, the Grail Quest series and the Alfred series.

Product Description

Review

Praise for Bernard Cornwell:

‘The best battle scenes of any writer I’ve ever read, past or present. Cornwell really makes history come alive.’ George R.R. Martin

Praise for The Burning Land:

‘Cornwell draws a fascinating picture of England as it might have been before anything like England existed’
The Times

Praise for AZINCOURT:

'This is a magnificent and gory work' Daily Mail

'The historical blockbuster of the year' Evening Standard

‘A runaway success’ Observer

Praise for Bernard Cornwell:

‘The characterisation, as ever, is excellent…And one can only admire the little touches that bring the period to life. He can also claim to be a true poet of both the horror and the glory of war.’ Sunday Telegraph

This is typical Cornwell, meticulously researched, massive in scope, brilliant in execution’. News of the World

‘He’s called a master story-teller. Really he’s cleverer than that.’ Telegraph

About the Author

Bernard Cornwell was born in London, raised in Essex, and now lives mainly in the USA with his wife. In addition to the hugely successful Sharpe novels, Bernard Cornwell is the author of the Starbuck Chronicles, the Warlord trilogy, the Grail Quest series, the Alfred series and standalone battle books Azincourt and The Fort.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
80 of 83 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cornwell on form 6 Oct 2012
By Nick Brett TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
After a long gap, author Bernard Cornwell re-introduces us to the characters from his "grail Quest" trilogy.

As the title suggests, this is set in 1356 during the Hundred Years War when the English had the upper hand in France. Archer Thomas Hookton, leader of a bunch of English aligned mercenaries (including a number of the deadly English archers) is given a mission to recover a holy relic which may give considerable power to whoever has it. Dodgy churchmen are also after it so Thomas and his men are involved in a game of cat and mouse with various bad guys until things come to the crunch when Thomas is with the heavily out-numbered English army at the battle of Poitiers.

It's hard to fault the author when on ground as familiar and well researched as this and it is a very entertaining book. Elements are slightly cut short as the story pushes towards Poitiers, but this remains classic Cornwell. Having said that, I detected a slight change in style, there is more swearing and character banter then usual and some very light humour at times. No complaints but it did feel slightly different.

Much to enjoy here and I certainly did.
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94 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 1356, Bernard Cornwell- Book Review 11 Oct 2012
Format:Hardcover
Thomas of Hookton is back in Bernard Cornwell's new book 1356 and as usual, Cornwell does not disappoint with this novel. I have been looking forward to this book release for a very long time. Cornwell's Grail Quest trilogy was the first series of books that I ever read, so Thomas of Hookton holds a dear place in my heart and I couldn't wait to see what happens to him in 1356!

1356 sees Thomas and his group of rogue archers and men-at-arms (or otherwise known as the Hellequin) fighting as mercenaries in the French countryside. Thomas and his men are content; they are becoming rich off the warring French aristocracy and are able to help Frenchmen kill Frenchmen. However, Thomas knows that war is looming and when a message arrives from his liege Lord, the Earl of Northampton, Thomas is expecting to be wielding his bow back against the King of France. But, the letter is not what Thomas is expecting. The Earl of Northampton wants Thomas and his men to find a legendary relic called La Malice. La Malice is the sword of Saint Peter. The holy sword the Saint used to defend Jesus from the Romans.

The Earl of Northampton stresses how important La Malice is and Thomas sets out to reclaim it for the Kingdom of England. However, Thomas is not the only person looking for the sword! Thomas's nemesis Cardinal Bessieres is also looking for the relic in a vain attempt to become the next Pope! Both parties intertwine within the book, but the great finale between these two, and who ends up with the sword, is decided at the Battle of Poitiers! Will it be Thomas and the English or Bessieres and the French?

As usual, this was a great read from Bernard Cornwell and I'm glad that he has returned to this series because my favourite period in history is the Hundred Years War.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Something's not right 11 Nov 2012
By HW
Format:Hardcover
First off, even though im giving this 4 stars, i still reccommend it. As a novel, its worth 5 stars. As a Bernard Cornwell novel, though, its not quite up to his usual standards.

The book takes us back to our old friend Thomas of Hookton, with another relic related quest for him (that makes it 3, if im not mistaken). Usual deadly enemies, quirky friends, and big messy battle at the end (Poitiers). It's all what we're used to.

But, something's missing, and im not sure what it is. The plot never really gets going, and a surprisingly small amount happens for such a thick book. Characters appear for no real reason, serving no purpose other than to be mentioned once every other chapter. The twists dont come out quite right, and the whole thing is a bit of an anticlimax.

There are good aspects, however. All our old friends from the grail quest trilogy come back into the light, and there are plenty of loose ends tied up. The battles, as always, are set out so well that you might as well be reading a newspaper from the time (well, if they had had them), and you do learn a few new things.

The only explanation i can think of for the anticlimax and vestigial characters is if this is going to get a sequel someday. God, let it be so.
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53 of 56 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
1356 is - as any history buff will know - about the Poitiers campaign which culminated in the crushing defeat of the French by the Black Prince. Cornwell reintroduces use to Thomas of Hookton - now older, married with a son. We follow his fights against the normal crop of enemies that Thomas seems to accumulate: fat counts, sadistic churchmen, power mad cardinals (plus a meeting with the Pope who at that time was resident in Avignon)... Sir Thomas (yes knighted by the Earl of Northampton!) has a group of archers by his side who follow him on his adventures picking up damsels in distress, a dodgy sword - oh and a "perfect gentle-knight" who possible takes chivalry a little bit too far....

It all ends at Poitiers - where one of the great English (ok plus Gascon and Welsh!) victories of the 100 Years War occurs.

The book stands apart from the Vagabond trilogy - prior reading is not required (although it will help if you have read them of course if only to get the characters) and is characterised by Cornwell's detail to historical accuracy (as always the historical note section at the end of the book is fascinating).

Oh: violence and blood. Lots of it ....
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Brilliant
Published 3 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A good read and well up to the high standards one has come to expect from Bernard Cornwell
Published 7 days ago by 2356STOTT
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good read, just like the rest of his books. Make sure you read the series in cronological order.
Published 7 days ago by Jeff
5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting read
It is a Bernard Cronwell novel and therefore highly enjoyable I thought this one excelled.
Published 10 days ago by bill jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good read
Published 13 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Cornwall series.
Completes my Cornwall series. Good quality and price.
Published 17 days ago by gary medcalf
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Non stop and could not put book down. Thomas was a great person that u believed in.
Only downside was ended to quick not knowing what Thomas did next
Published 19 days ago by ian,lowe
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Always enjoy Bernard Cornwell books, they are such a good read. Book condition fine.
Published 23 days ago by Radio Fan
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
very good read, would recommend as an interesting holiday read.
Published 23 days ago by lynda mccarthy
5.0 out of 5 stars If you loved the Grail series...
I finished this book within 5 days because I couldn't put it down, I probably should have read the grail series again to refresh the story in my mind but I'm glad Bernard Cornwell... Read more
Published 23 days ago by mr s gumble
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Does the Grail Quest need to be read in order? 0 22 Dec 2012
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