Besides the Sharpe novels, which I have yet to get into, I have read most of Mr Cornwell's historical fiction novels, and having enjoyed "an Archer's Tale", I was looking forward to the latest addition to the Grail Quest Trilogy.
I read it in a day, all the way through (it really is not very long, the large text in a hardback copy is very deceiving) and although worth the money, this book is very much the second in a planned trilogy, with most elements left open to be wound up in the next and final novel. The characters are interesting and their stories are expertly woven into the social and historical context, making seemingly insignificant chapters in history far more important than what we learned in GCSE History. Yet, dare I say it, the plot is rather uninspired and save for the relevancy to real-life events, disappointly wooden. We can guess that the English are always champion underdogs, and that Thomas and his evil nemesis will fight it out until the very end. The quest for the grail even retains elements of Spielberg's "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" - an ensemble of characters looking for a mythical and all powerful carpenter's cup. But by God Mr Cornwell's writing still flows, and he still makes you wonder what is was really like when life was so much more violent, but at the same time so much bloody simpler. I look forward to the next instalment. Go Thomas of Hookton!