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Hawk Quest Hardcover – 5 Jan 2012

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere; First Edition edition (5 Jan. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847444970
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847444974
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 5.3 x 23.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 371,664 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

Quite simply, Hawk Quest is the best book I've read this year. I loved this book. I wish I'd written it. (Ben Kane)

An 11th-century epic with action to equal the best of Bernard Cornwell. THIS is writing (Anthony Riches)

Only once in a generation does a first novel emerge which has such power and depth and scope. With Hawk Quest, Robert Lyndon has shown himself a master storyteller of the highest quality. An absorbing, viscerally moving epic that takes the standard historical fare of love, treachery, passion, and redemption and lifts them into a new stratosphere. I got lost in this for days on end, and never wanted to emerge. Outstanding! (M.C. Scott)

Lyndon's story carries readers from one vivid scene to the next with great style (Sunday Times)

Book Description

A huge, exciting historical adventure epic in the bestselling tradition of Bernard Cornwell, Conn Iggulden and Robyn Young

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Kate TOP 500 REVIEWER on 12 Jan. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I literally counted the days until the release of Hawk Quest. A favourite author of mine, Ben Kane, proclaimed the book `bloody brilliant' and his was not the only voice urging me to grab hold of what will undoubtedly be remembered as one of the best novels of 2012 - not just as a work of historical fiction but as a masterful piece of storytelling. It's a weighty tome and I did resist the handy kindle version, opting instead for the entirely non-handy but rather lovely hardback. At almost 700 pages, and they're pages packed densely, your back and shoulder won't thank you as you struggle to carry it around but your aches and pains will be rewarded.

Hawk Quest transports the reader back to England during the 1070s, a time when Normans were stamping their control on their new kingdom. This was a time of cruel justice, stone walls, hunting, starvation and even, as shown here, cannibalism. The novel begins close to the wall left by the Romans, a reminder that this is not the first time that the English have been conquered. Vallon, a Frankish knight, and Hero, a young Sicilian scholar, have a mission. A Norman knight, Walter, has been captured in Anatolia by Seljuk Turks. His ransom is high - four gyrfalcons. Perfectly white, these falcons are found in Iceland and Greenland and traded in Norway. To find them is dangerous but there is something about Walter that makes the risk worthwhile.

With the ransom demand delivered to Walter's family in England, Vallon, Hero, rough German soldier Raul, the English falconer and serf Wayland with his large and silent dog, set off for the north to find the birds, pursued by Walter's jealous brother Drogo and his men. Their quest will take them to the extreme north and west of the known world.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Parm TOP 500 REVIEWER on 31 Dec. 2011
Format: Hardcover
Review:

Having been told by Ben Kane how amazing this book is had no trouble parting with the cash for it, i wish he had mentioned its a blooming big book (my thumbs ache) 672 pages which is worth £7.79 of any-ones money for pure value for money, but as per the cover quote and his review on there, this book is stunningly well written and yet not overly written, the characters do come alive on the pages, he is a writer who is a natural story teller. There are many writers out there today who write fantastically , but not many that are natural born storytellers: Conn Iggulden, Christian Cameron, Bernard Cornwell, these are masters of this genre and its no small thing to thrust a new author straight into these ranks, but also in this case it's well deserved, another name i would add to this vaunted list of authors is David Gemmell, why? because the characters and at times the story reminded me of the flawed hero approach that that great man always wrote (he was also another natural story teller).

I have been very open about the fact that i think Christian Cameron's God of War will be the book of the year 2012, but damn me if this isn't a close second.

Very very highly recommended.

(Parm)

Book Description
A huge, exciting historical adventure epic in the bestselling tradition of Bernard Cornwell, Conn Iggulden and Robyn Young
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Nick Britten on 4 Jan. 2012
Format: Hardcover
It is very rare that a debut book causes such a stir before it is even released but Hawk Quest was one of them. When writers as good as Ben Kane and Anthony Riches are extolling the virtues of this book, you know you're in for a real treat.

This is an epic story, covering most of Northern Europe and into the Mediterranean. The descriptions of the various countries are amazing, he describes in stunning detail the ravages of war on the English countryside, the bleakness and harshness of Iceland, the barren and dangerous coast of Greenland and then tough journey to Russia and finally to the heat of Anatolia. He introduces arrogant Norman nobles, downtrodden English peasants, Vicious Vikings, tough and hardy Icelanders, ruthless Lap hunters, Russian Princes and finally the Muslim Seljuks who hold Sir Walter captive.

I have rarely enjoyed a debut novel so much, it is such an ambitious story for the first novel but Robert Lyndon has pulled it off. I can not reccomend this book enough. A true page turner!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mr E Evans on 5 Sept. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Hawk Quest was quite an adventure. The longer it went on the less believeable it became...but it is well written and fun. That said, the last few pages are very odd...the author launches into what feels like a "sermon" about the Gospel of Thomas and what seems to be his own personal views about Christianity. This section of the book doesn't seem to fit at all with the story and makes for a very odd ending.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By JPS TOP 500 REVIEWER on 13 Jan. 2013
Format: Paperback
Hawk Quest is a first novel, and a rather good one. Contrary to what its subtitle seems to suggest, it is not really "an epic novel of the Norman conquests". Only the first part of it takes place in AD 1072, in Northern England close to the Scottish border. This is where Vallon, a Frankish warrior, and Hero, a Byzantine from Southern Italy, have travelled to deliver the demand for ransom for Walter, a Norman knight who left to fight for the Emperor and was captured at the battle of Mantzikert.

The ransom is an extravagant amount that Walter's family cannot afford to pay, but there is an alternative that the Turkish Emir has provided: to capture and bring back to Anatolia from the far north (Greenland) four white, very rare and priceless gyrfalcons. The book's title itself is not quite accurate either. Only the second part of the book, which takes place in Iceland and Greenland, is about the "Hawk Quest" itself. The rest of it tells the story of the incredible travel as the expedition gets blown of course North of Norway, goes across Russia, taking the Varangian road and finally crosses the Black Sea to reach Anatolia and the Turks.

To come up with this book, the author seems to have borrowed themes from several other novels. The Norman knight held for ransom reminded me of one of Alfred Duggan's old novels (the Lady for ransom). This was based on the true story of Roussel de Bailleul, a Norman mercenary captain who did take part in the Mantzikert campaign but was only captured by the Turks a couple of years later, and it was his wife who managed to gather and pay his ransom. Another source of inspiration may have been Robert Low's Oathsworn series and Orm's travels across Russia to the Byzantine Empire, although Low's story is about Vikings.
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