Bernard Cornwell was born in London, raised in Essex and
worked for the BBC for eleven years before meeting Judy, his
American wife. Denied an American work permit he wrote a
novel instead and has been writing ever since. He and Judy
divide their time between Cape Cod and Charleston, South
Cornwell here picks up where his successful The Archer's Tale left off, taking young Thomas of Hookton on shipboard for a little naval warfare even as he continues his quest for the man who murdered his father and stole a priceless relic. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
'Crackling with good deeds, fine characters and sparkling set pieces, it confirms yet again Cornwell's reputation for masterly historical novels' DAILY MAIL
'It is all spectacular, rattling good stuff: war and torture; love, lust and loss' THE TIMES
'The battle scenes, as always, are masterful; and the vignettes of everyday living, in times of extreme hardship, have the ring of simple truth' SUNDAY TELEGRAPH
'A very fine writer' ECONOMIST
The Hundred Years War is the bloody backdrop to this second volume of Cornwell's new series about the search for the Holy Grail (after The Archer's Tale). Like its predecessor, the novel follows Thomas of Hookton, an archer in the English army in the 14th century. Thomas is the bastard son of a recently murdered priest whose family claims it once possessed the Holy Grail. No one is certain the Holy Grail actually exists, but many believe it does, and kings are waging war and committing murder in the search for it. Thomas has a book of his father's, written in Latin and Hebrew, which might reveal clues to the Grail's location, if only he could make head or tails of it. But others are aware of the book's existence, and Thomas's motley enemies and rivals-including Guy Vexille, the French cousin who murdered his father; Bernard de Taillebourg, a Dominican Inquisitor who loves his job; and Sir Geoffrey Carr, a treacherous English knight-are all hot on his trail. The beleaguered young hero must also fight mercenaries, Scots and Frenchmen in gruesome, long-drawn-out battles. Cornwell is meticulous about historical facts and period detail, and his descriptions of butchery with arrow, mace and battleaxe are nothing if not convincing. As expected, the book culminates with battlefield slaughter on an epic scale. Cornwell fans will eat this up. (Dec. 1) Forecast: Cornwell's Richard Sharpe novels are justly popular, and this new series looks headed for similar success, backed by a strong marketing campaign. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.