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1356 Hardcover – 27 Sep 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 869 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; First Edition edition (27 Sept. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007331843
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007331840
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 3.9 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (869 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 63,178 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


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

From the Back Cover

September 1356. Across France, towns are closing their gates. The crops are burning and the countryside stands alert to danger. The English army led by the heir to the throne, the Black Prince is set to invade. The French, along with their Scottish allies, are ready to hunt them down.

Thomas of Hookton, known as le Batard, has orders to uncover the lost sword of Saint Peter, a blade with mystical powers said to grant certain victory to whoever possesses her. The French seek the weapon too, and so Thomas's quest will be thwarted by battle and betrayal. As the outnumbered English army becomes trapped near Poitiers, Thomas, his fellow troops, his enemies, and the fate of the sword all converge in a maelstrom of violence, action, and heroism.

Rich in color and characters, in great adventure and thrilling conflict, 1356 is the magnificent tale of how the quest for a holy relic with the power to change history leads to an epic battle." --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Nick Brett TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 6 Oct. 2012
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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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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Bit of a suprise this. I had been expecting Mr Cornwell to release another in his excellent 'Saxon' series, rather than a return to his tales of the 100 years war.

No need to worry though, this book maintains Mr Cornwell's recent high quality and to be perfectly honest this new book is actually an order of magnitude better than the last book in the 'Harlequin' series, which personally I found to be one of the author's weakest efforts.

No spoilers here, fans of Bernard Cornwell will know exactly what to expect, skirmishes, duels & an epic battle with a little bit of romance thrown in. Mr Cornwell is nothing if not consistent in his choice of subject matters but fortunately for the reader he is consistently excellent at these rip-roaring boys own adventures.

Quick comment for all those whinging about the kindle price, a couple of years ago, before e-books made reading 'cool' again, all hardbacks were priced between £15 & £20. Even in supermarkets it was unheard of to see them below a tenner (unless it was guaranteed to be a mega seller, like Harry Potter).

Its only very recently that hardback books have dipped below the £10 mark, I suspect in response to the growing e-book market which is in direct competition with the original format.

If you think the e-book is too expensive buy the hard back, you have a choice, nobody has a gun to your head.

Leaving a book review based purely on your personal opinions about what you, as the consumer, feel you are entitled to in terms of value for money is not going to hurt amazon, its not going to hurt the author. It simply renders the review service completely meaningless for other kindle users.
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