I recently discovered historical fiction author Bernard Cornwell and he is now added to my favorite authors list! His characters have depth, passion, color and are all too human. It is easy to lose oneself in his stories, only occasionally coming up for air and food!
I have been rotating between two series, The Grail Quest Trilogy and The Saxon Novels, as they have come available on Paperback Swap. It’s been a bit of a mental stunt. The Grail Quest books take place mostly in France during the beginning years of The Hundred Years War (the first book beginning in 1342) while the Saxon books cover the reign of King Alfred of Wessex (England), the first book beginning in 866, and chronicles the fight for England between the Saxons and the Danes. Both are very interesting time periods, but very different times and places. One aspect is similar; they were times of warfare. Battle scenes have always been something that I tend to skim over, not really following all the maneuvers and machinations, but Cornwell is able to describe these so that I do not lose interest and follow the battle scenes to their end.
The Archer’s Tale, Vagabond, and Heretic are the three books comprising the Grail Quest Trilogy. The Archer’s Tale begins with Thomas of Hookham witnessing the slaughter of his father and the rest of his small English coastal village in a raid by an unknown black-clad knight. In his journey to avenge these deaths, he becomes the key figure in the search for the Holy Grail, a search that leads him to France as an English archer, the battle of Crecy, the Inquisition, and the chance to solve the mystery of his family’s past. Of course, there are beautiful women to rescue and love, friendships to make and lose, and questions of loyalty and religion to resolve. Long before the end of the first book, you are glad there are at least two more books in which you can follow Thomas and his adventures!