Synopses & Reviews
"The greatest writer of historical adventures today" (Washington Post
) tackles his richest, most thrilling subject yet — the heroic tale of Agincourt.
Young Nicholas Hook is dogged by a cursed past — haunted by what he has failed to do and banished for what he has done. A wanted man in England, he is driven to fight as a mercenary archer in France, where he finds two things he can love: his instincts as a fighting man, and a girl in trouble. Together they survive the notorious massacre at Soissons, an event that shocks all Christendom. With no options left, Hook heads home to England, where his capture means certain death. Instead he is discovered by the young King of England — Henry V himself — and by royal command he takes up the longbow again and dons the cross of Saint George. Hook returns to France as part of the superb army Henry leads in his quest to claim the French crown. But after the English campaign suffers devastating early losses, it becomes clear that Hook and his fellow archers are their king's last resort in a desperate fight against an enemy more daunting than they could ever have imagined.
One of the most dramatic victories in British history, the battle of Agincourt — immortalized by Shakespeare in Henry V — pitted undermanned and overwhelmed English forces against a French army determined to keep their crown out of Henry's hands. Here Bernard Cornwell resurrects the legend of the battle and the "band of brothers" who fought it on October 25, 1415. An epic of redemption, Agincourt follows a commoner, a king, and a nation's entire army on an improbable mission to test the will of God and reclaim what is rightfully theirs. From the disasters at the siege of Harfleur to the horrors of the field of Agincourt, this exhilarating story of survival and slaughter is at once a brilliant work of history and a triumph of imagination — Bernard Cornwell at his best.
"A literary veteran of the Napoleonic Wars and the U.S. Civil War, Cornwell returns to the Hundred Years War era in this action-packed if slightly melodramatic epic about King Henry V and the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. Nicholas Hook, an English forester, is on the run after interfering with a rapist priest and ends up a mercenary defender at Soissons, where he saves a young and beautiful novitiate, Melisande. With his French prize in tow, he returns to England and signs on with Henry's army as an archer. Back on French soil, he fights and slogs his way to Agincourt, where 6,000 Englishmen confront 30,000 French soldiers. Hearing the voice of St. Crispinian whispering to him in times of personal crisis, Hook has his hands full with the French and defending himself from the vengeance-seeking rapist priest and Melisande's father. The crisply rendered battle scenes are adrenaline rushes of blood, thunder and clashing swords that transport the reader back to the early 15th century. Unfortunately, Hook's Hollywood-ready construction undercuts the 'you are there' feeling of Cornwell's otherwise vivid recreation of Henry V's greatest military triumph." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"The usual splendid stuff from the master of historical battle." Kirkus Reviews
"This fine stand-alone from the author of the multivolume Sharpe novels and the Saxon Tales is a must-read for fans of authentically detailed historical fiction who like their battle scenes drawn with realistically bold, brutal, and bloody strokes." Booklist
"[T]his novel never feels inflated or meandering and perfectly captures the spirit of 15th-century Europe. Most impressive, Cornwell has produced a military adventure with a subtle but powerful antiwar tone, filled with dramatic battle scenes that unsparingly convey the horrors and futility of the Agincourt campaign." Library journal
One of England's most dramatic victories, the battle of Agincourt is more than just history; it was immortalized by Shakespeare in Henry V. Cornwell, the greatest writer of historical adventures today (Washington Post) tackles this most thrilling and rich subject.
Beset by pirates, Knights of Malta, and saboteurs, Matthew Quinton sails to Africa in this buoyant sequel to Gentleman Captain
When a captured Barbary pirate saves his neck with the story of a fabled mountain of gold, Captain Matthew Quinton has his doubts. But King Charles II cant resist the chance to outstrip the Dutch with a limitless source of wealth. With the devious corsair aboard, Quinton embarks on a voyage beyond the maps edge, still convinced that the mountain is mere legend. But as attempts to sabotage his mission draw closer to the mark, he begins to wonder …
Back in England, the king has arranged a wedding between Matthews elder brother, the Earl of Ravensden, and a mysterious lady rumored to have murdered her previous two husbands. Resolved not to fail his meddlesome sovereign, and to return home in time to protect his family and his home, Captain Quinton approaches the coast of Africa with a troubled mind.
“Agincourt is classic Cornwell…[with] attention to historical detail, well-paced action, and descriptive writing that is a pleasure to read.”
Bernard Cornwell, the New York Times bestselling “reigning king of historical fiction” (USA Today), tackles his most thrilling, rich, and enthralling subject yet—the heroic tale of Agincourt. The epic battle immortalized by William Shakespeare in his classic Henry V is the background for this breathtaking tale of heroism, love, devotion, and duty from the legendary author of the Richard Sharpe novels and the Saxon Tales. This extraordinary adventure will captivate from page one, proving once again and most powerfully, as author Lee Child attests, that “nobody in the world does this stuff better than Cornwell.”
In this thrilling Restoration-era sequel to Gentleman Captain, Captain Quinton--beset by pirates, Knights of Malta, and saboteurs--sails to Africa in search of a fabled mountain of gold.
About the Author
Bernard Cornwell is the author of the acclaimed New York Times bestsellers 1356 and Agincourt; the bestselling Saxon Tales, which include The Last Kingdom, The Pale Horseman, Lords of the North, Sword Song, The Burning Land, Death of Kings, The Pagan Lord, and, most recently, The Empty Throne; and the Richard Sharpe novels, among many others.