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Heretic The Barnes Noble Review Heretic is the impressive third novel in the Grail Quest series by Bernard Cornwell, a masterful voice in the historical suspense subgenre Although the first two Grail novels The Archer s Tale and Vagabond have their fair share of mystery, political intrigue, and gripping battlefield action, this sweeping epic practically explodes with nefarious schemes, grandiose conflicts, and surprising plot twists In the year , English archer Thomas of Hookton continues his search for the Holy Grail With the Hundred Years War raging all around, Thomas is fighting in France when he s ordered to his ancestral home of Astarac in Gascony the scene of the last Grail sighting While he and a small group of loyal English archers hold a captured castle against French forces, Thomas confronts his father s murderer, the wrath of a corrupt church, and the secrets surrounding his own lineage A well researched and complex novel, Heretic includes beautiful imagery and intriguing plot strands woven against a detailed backdrop of war Cornwell combines fact and myth, fusing them into vivid scenes of heroism in the face of horrific carnage Yet in spite of so many disparate story lines, the action remains taut and compelling Heretic is destined to become a true classic among historical action novels Tom Piccirilli This series rather plods along, much like the 100 years war in which it is set Cornwell repeats himself a lot I lost count of how many times the different sorts of arrows used by the English archers and the differing merits of the longbow and crossbow were explained Some key characters are under developed or simply disappear along the way, although those disappearances are probably realistic in an age of nearly non existent long distance communications The nefarious antagonists are cart This series rather plods along, much like the 100 years war in which it is set Cornwell repeats himself a lot I lost count of how many times the different sorts of arrows used by the English archers and the differing merits of the longbow and crossbow were explained Some key characters are under developed or simply disappear along the way, although those disappearances are probably realistic in an age of nearly non existent long distance communications The nefarious antagonists are cartoonish and unconvincing Still, I have to give it three stars because whether intended or not I have no idea there is no one I ve read better at illustrating, if not explaining, the deadly twisted kink in the human brain that sends men out to face gruesome, agonizing death over and over again Cornwell does not pretty up death inflicted by axes and swords and arrows, or the toll of destruction, death and casual rape on the populace And the nobility absolutely stink of cruelty, knowingly sacrificing their own troops to make room for a noble knightly charge On horses that cost a fortune to buy and train and which they know will likely die terrified and screaming in pain on the battlefield as the foot soldiers disembowel them or break their legs to unseat their riders But this tale is really too thin to carry the weight of all those battles I thoroughly enjoyed the first two books of the series, so this one was a bit of a let down for me.Bernard Cornwell is great at battle scenes, and creating memorable characters However I found this book not up to the same standards as the other two books There was a lot less action, and while I really felt for the main character Thomas in the last book because his decisions resulted view spoiler in the death of his wife to be and child hide spoiler , but this book I just felt annoyed with I thoroughly enjoyed the first two books of the series, so this one was a bit of a let down for me.Bernard Cornwell is great at battle scenes, and creating memorable characters However I found this book not up to the same standards as the other two books There was a lot less action, and while I really felt for the main character Thomas in the last book because his decisions resulted view spoiler in the death of his wife to be and child hide spoiler , but this book I just felt annoyed with him You would think he would learn from that But nope.In this book, after again making foolish decisions for the sake of ANOTHER woman, Thomas is described by another character as a prick for brains I don t think it could be said any better.The new love interest I found flat and uninteresting, and the romance was skipped over altogether Not something I would normally complain about, but it just seemed that because she was pretty she was automatically Thomas woman No chemistry needed, just looks He d become a fugitive for her Because she was pretty He would sacrifice a friend Because she was pretty He would do anything for her Because pretty.Doesn t hurt that she also likes to take her clothes off and dance naked in a thunderstorm.Bloody prick for brains I really enjoyed this series, even if I totally prefered the first two books better than this last one The constant action kept me reading the story I absolutely find that Thomas is extraordinary, he was even abbandoned by his best friend and excommunicated by saving Genevieve that the church considered heretic Seeing how powerful church men were greedy and did atrocious cruelties in the name of God leaves you thinking Fortunately today it is no longer like this I dare not imagine how many I really enjoyed this series, even if I totally prefered the first two books better than this last one The constant action kept me reading the story I absolutely find that Thomas is extraordinary, he was even abbandoned by his best friend and excommunicated by saving Genevieve that the church considered heretic Seeing how powerful church men were greedy and did atrocious cruelties in the name of God leaves you thinking Fortunately today it is no longer like this I dare not imagine how many innocents have been condemned by the inquisition and reading how they were tortured causes me a lot of sadness This was a great end to this trilogy This ceries is not for the faint of heart There is much killing and cruel tortured described within its pages Enjoy andBe Blessed.

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