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4.7 out of 5 stars106
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 13 August 2013
What a pity Errol Flynn isn't still alive. I'm sure he'd love this book.
Grail Knight is the latest of Angus Donald's Robin Hood adventures and I was delighted to have been sent a copy by the author.
What a roller-coaster read it is.
Donald is a superb story-teller, weaving a plot which carries the reader along at a war-horse's speed. The plot is tight with lots of surprises but Donald manages all with a deft touch. He is a master of end of chapter hooks by the way.
Donald tells the story from the point of view of Alan Dale, a clever touch because Alan, a knight and sometime outlaw, is able to move across the social divide of Plantagenet England and view events with a wider perspective than others who he meets. He is a complex character, with a range of strengths and weaknesses, especially when he is in the company of the charismatic Robin Hood.
Although I enjoyed reading about Alan I would have liked a little more about Robin, his character and his motivation. He plays the role of trickster, which he was of course, but I sense there is more about him than we see. Other characters who I enjoyed are Alan's wife Goody and the fascinating Nur.
Some historical novels focus on events and action and Grail Knight is no exception. Donald's existing characterisation show that he could give us greater insight into character and motivation without detracting from the story and I hope that he develops this strand more in future novels.
Donald is adept at taking us into medieval times. I am especially interested in this as my novels are set in broadly the same period.
He is especially good at battle scenes although I sometimes thought that his characters bordered on the super-hero in terms of energy and strength, a fact which jolted my sense of belief on occasions. Nevertheless, you get a real sense of the danger and fragility of life and how robust people needed to be in order to survive.
The other great strength of this novel is that Donald writes about a simpler, more credulous age without judgement. We can understand the importance of the spiritual and the magical to his characters. Yet they still talk to us across the centuries.
If you want a stirring and gripping read then you will not be disappointed by Grail Knight.
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on 23 May 2014
I've followed this series of books since the start and I just love the story.

Grail Knight is a fantastic read, I literally couldn't put it down. Its got adventure, romance and tons of action with some brilliant characters.

One thing I've always liked about Angus Donald is that he mixes real events which have happened to blend in with his story which I think is great.

If your looking for an 'edge of your seat' book, I suggest you give this one a go.
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on 20 May 2014
Angus Donald has taken the tired, clichéd story of Robin Hood and brought him to life as never before. Seen through the eyes of Alan Dale, the whole series of books will take you on a bloody, bruising adventure through medieval England (and France) the likes of which you've never been on before. This series appeals to all ages, I'm 43 and my daughter was 13 when she started reading them. We're now both firm fans. Mr Donald has the craft of a master story teller. Not to be missed.
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on 21 July 2014
Adventure is one word that sums up this latest tale of a certain infamous thiefs life. It is certainly the most heart wrenching of them all which was a nice surprise considering all the other experiences we have shared as a reader of these tales. This particular set of adventures does follow neatly on from Warlord in Robin's hungry pursuit of the Holy Grail which later proves to be exactly what Alan A Dale needs to save his beloved wife from Nur's curse. Team that up with an ideal of revenge against a certain mad mastermind and you have a classic band of warriors facing always uneven odds that makes it a truly gripping adventure. Each chapter left me hooked and gasping like a freshly caught trout. The end of Part 1 was particularly shocking - a true OMG moment I have never experienced and Angus just kept the shocks coming. Even right till the final few chapters where his true writing genius is shown. Again his has surpassed himself and yet another impressive sequel that will demand another highly impressive sequel. If you havent started this series I recommend it. If you have finished Warlord then seek out Grail Knight as if its the Grail itself. You will not ever be disappointed. Cant wait for the Iron Castle to arrive and see what has become of dear Alan and the fearless Robin.
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on 20 May 2014
As with all previous novels by Angus Donald Grail Knight (Book 5), I pre ordered this and eagerly awaited release, when the day finally came I wasn't disappointed, yet again Angus produced a thrilling read that leaves you wanting more, extremely well written and as any reader of Angus Donald's work knows, I was once again dragged into the world of Robin and his men, without hesitation this is a 5 star and I for one cannot wait for the next instalment.
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on 27 November 2014
The usual full blooded offering from this author. Certainly can't be accused of glamourising the Middle Ages. A good read that doesn't drag at any point. Even though some of the attributes of most of the leading characters do not invite your admiration, you are inexorably drawn into their world and can't help identifying with them in a world that did not enjoy the benefits of 20th century moralities.
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on 17 September 2014
This really is an excellent series. Amongst the very best historical action fiction I have read. The stories are perfectly paced to keep ypu enthralled. Enough 'fight' scenes for those who like them but not too many to make it boring. The characters are interesting and more than one dimensional. Robin espeically appears like a rogueish 'Errol Flynn' at one moment but a rutheless and cold killer the next.

Critics could say the main characters lead too charmed lives and some new characters appear, it seems, just to be killed off - much like the poor unknown in the Star Trek landing party - but do I want my main charcters to be killed off? Probably not (I haven't finshed this book yet so maybe someone is).

The main character Alan does have some very up to date views on life - but then again what would be a realistic portarayal of an ordinary person from the medieval period, their views and beliefs? We can only guess. I can live with my main character being quite tolerant and open minded - and his dilemmas over some of the church's rules and his own beliefs add to the story and his character.
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on 10 September 2013
After an immensely busy end to July, and an even busier start to August, finding time to read Grail Knight became impossible. I was gutted because I love the series and I knew I was missing out.

After finding time to sit down and read it, I have to say, it's my favourite so far. With every new introduction to the Outlaw Chronicles, Angus Donald produces a book which surpasses the previous. This is again the case with Grail Knight.

Perhaps the best thing about the book would be the progression of the story. Warlord presented new characters which tuned out to be some of the most evil characters that I've ever encountered in historical literature. Grail Knight has continued this trend successfully an the result is a thoroughly enjoyable read.

Please give this book the time it deserves and enjoy. Now for the agonising wait for Iron Castle - book 6 of the Outlaw Chronicles.
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on 12 May 2014
I have loved each and everyone of the books in this series and The Grail Knight did not disappoint. Excellent story with some emotional ups and downs - especially the turn of events at the end - did not see that coming Mr Donald !
Looking forward to The Iron Castle with eager anticipation. :o))
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on 7 March 2014
The continued story of Alan Dale, Robert of Locksley et al is continued with the search for the legendary Holy Grail. The appearance of Nur and the death of some of the Companions is surprising and final but on he whole is a good thrilling adventure.
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