Grail Quest

The first book of the series is Harlequin, unless you live in the United States where the book, to my considerable annoyance, was retitled as The Archer’s Tale. Which is not a particularly bad title, but I hate it when publishers do that. Their reason was that there is a well-known series in the States called Harlequin Romances, much like the British Mills and Boon, and it was thought that folks would get confused and, thinking they were buying a bodice-ripper with heavy breathing, find instead that they had a tale of the Hundred Years War with arrow-spitted Frenchmen. So what? Maybe they would have enjoyed the read, because more than one bodice gets thoroughly ripped in Harlequin.Vagabond is a follow-up to Harlequin (The Archer’s Tale in the US) – and starts almost as soon as the earlier book ends, carrying on Thomas of Hookton’s story. He has been sent back to England to pursue his father’s mysterious legacy which hints that the Holy Grail might exist and gets tangled with the Scottish invasion of 1347. He survives that only to discover that various powerful folk in France are pursuing the same quest, a complication that takes Thomas back to Brittany and the brutal fighting about La Roche-Derrien. The third book in the series is Heretic and begins with the fall of Calais.

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Heretic (2003)

Regional Editions:
  • GB
  • US

Heretic is the third in the ‘Grail Quest’ series, and it takes Thomas of Hookton south into Gascony and to a final confrontation with his cousin, Guy Vexille. The novel begins with the fall of Calais, and most of the events occur in the subsequent truce, but for Thomas and his companions there can be no truce, only a vicious small war which ends with them being besieged, not just by enemies intent on finding the grail, but by the Black Death.

vagabond_uk

Vagabond (2002)

Regional Editions:
  • GB
  • US

Vagabond is a follow-up to Harlequin (The Archer’s Tale in the US) – and starts almost as soon as the earlier book ends, carrying on Thomas of Hookton’s story. He has been sent back to England to pursue his father’s mysterious legacy which hints that the Holy Grail might exist and gets tangled with the Scottish invasion of 1347.

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archers_tale_uk

Harlequin (2000)

Regional Editions:
  • GB

Harlequin (US title The Archer’s Tale) begins a series of stories set in the middle of the fourteenth century, an age when the four horsemen of the apocalypse seem to have been released over Europe. This first book tells how Thomas of Hookton leaves his native Dorset to fight aginst the French in Brittany and, afterwards, at the battle of Crecy in Picardy. It is a tale of longbows and butchery, especially when England’s archers swarm into the Norman city of Caen.

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