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1356by Bernard Cornwell
Synopses & Reviews
"The most prolific and successful historical novelist in the world today" (Wall Street Journal) has delivered another blockbuster with this thrilling tale of peril and conquest at the Battle of Poitiers.
September 1356. All over France, towns are closing their gates. Crops are burning, and through-out the countryside people are on the alert for danger. The English army—led by the heir to the throne, the Black Prince—is set to invade, while the French, along with their Scottish allies, are ready to hunt them down.
But what if there was a weapon that could decide the outcome of the imminent war?
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 at every turn by battle and betrayal, by promises made and oaths broken. As the outnumbered English army becomes trapped near Poitiers, Thomas, his troop of archers and men-at-arms, his enemies, and the fate of the sword converge in a maelstrom of violence, action, and heroism.
Rich with colorful characters, great adventure, and thrilling conflict, 1356 is a magnificent tale of how the quest for a holy relic with the power to change history may culminate in an epic struggle.
"Cornwell, a master of action-packed historical fiction, returns with the fourth book in his Grail Quest series (after Heretic), a vivid, exciting portrayal of medieval warfare as the English and French butcher each other at the Battle of Poitiers in 1356 during the Hundred Years War. Nobody writes battle scenes like Cornwell, accurately conveying the utter savagery of close combat with sword, ax, and mace, and the gruesome aftermath. English archer Sir Thomas of Hookton, called the Bastard by his enemies, leads a band of ruthless mercenaries in France. When the French hear of the existence of the sword of Saint Peter, 'another Excalibur,' they must possess it for its legendary mystical powers, but the English have other ideas. Thomas is ordered by his lord, earl of Northampton, to find the sword first and begins, with his men, a perilous journey of raiding and plundering across southern France, fighting brutal warlords, cunning churchmen, with betrayal everywhere, and French and Scottish knights who vow to kill Thomas for reasons that have nothing to do with the sword. With surprising results, Thomas and his men reach the decisive Battle of Poitiers, a vicious melee that killed thousands, unseated a king, and forced a devastating and short peace on a land ravaged by warfare. Agent: Toby Eady Associates, U.K.." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Bernard Cornwell, the "master of martial fiction" (Booklist), brings Thomas of Hookton from the popular Grail Quest series into a new adventure in 1356, a thrilling stand-alone novel. On September 19, 1356, a heavily outnumbered English army faced off against the French in the historic Battle of Poitiers. In 1356, Cornwell resurrects this dramatic and bloody struggle—one that would turn out to be the most decisive and improbable victory of the Hundred Years War, a clash where the underdog English not only the captured the strategic site of Poitiers, but the French King John II as well. In the vein of Cornwells bestselling Agincourt, 1356 is an action-packed story of danger and conquest, rich with military strategy and remarkable characters—both villainous and heroic—transporting readers to the front lines of war while painting a vivid picture of courage, treachery, and combat.
About the Author
Bernard Cornwell is the author of the acclaimed New York Times bestsellers Agincourt and The Fort; the bestselling Saxon Tales, which include The Last Kingdom, The Pale Horseman, Lords of the North, Sword Song, The Burning Land, and most recently Death of Kings; and the Richard Sharpe novels, among many others. He lives with his wife on Cape Cod and in Charleston, South Carolina.
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