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Great story telling.
on 30 October 2015
Bernard Cornwell has completed the Grail quest trilogy, Harlequin Vagabond and Heretic, with a wonderful climax that leaves every loose end tied up and every person, evil or good, dealt their final hand in life.
The story continues to follow Thomas of Hookton as he endures the weight of the family burden (protectors of the grail), and his position as an archer in the English army; now commanding a garrison of men that are charged with taking a castle for the Earl of Northampton.
The battles are, as with both of the first 2 books, well described and equally explained from both sides of the battle-line. Cornwell has presented a far more fictional book than the first two, which were described as historical fiction. This book, according to Cornwell's historical notes at the end of the book, presents some fictional towns and fictional battles that were used to bring the book to a close. As much as I enjoyed the historical portions of the first 2 books, I was not disappointed by the liberty that Cornwell took with the final chapter of the trilogy. Cornwell created places, people and battles that could be used to reach the necessary climax.
The story, despite the lack of historical fact from the time period (the hundred years war), still manages to grab ahold of the reader's attention and hold it until the epilogue is complete.
I was definitely disappointed when I reached the end of the book. I wanted more of the story but, alas, it would seem that the grail quest is complete and I must move on to other Cornwell novels.
The entire trilogy is excellent and is highly recommended for anyone that enjoys history, grail stories, medieval mythology, early catholic history or plain, old good story writing.