My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I stumbled across this book on display at my library at the beginning of the summer of 2013. I was unaware that it was part of a series and checked it out solely because of the blurb from George R. R. Martin on it saying that "Cornwell writes the best battle scenes in the business". I actually had no intent of reading it, but handed it off to my wife thinking she might enjoy it and I requested the audiobook. When I ended up with extra housework to do at the end of the summer and lacked an adult fiction novel to read I chose this one.
Although the book was good historical fiction and the story was interesting at times, I personally was very disappointed with the battle scenes. I think of The Wheel of Time series for good battles and this one paled in comparison. Honestly, now that a year later I have finally read three of the five so far released in A Song of Ice and Fire I have been disappointed there too with the battle scenes, so maybe his recommendation wasn't the best to uphold.
The premise of this book was interesting. The French and the English are at war with one another in Normandy during the Hundred Years War and both sides are seeking a relic, La Malice, the sword of St. Peter that was used to cut off the ear of a Roman solider when Christ was arrested.
"Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.)" John 18:10 [ESV]
I don't think I'll read others in the series or more of Cornwell but it wasn't a bad book, I just went in with expectations that were too high.
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