Grail Quest Books

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The Grail Quest is a series of novels written by popular historical fiction author Bernard Cromwell. The series of novels is set during the Hundred Years War in the 14th Century and is focused on the adventures of Hookton who leaves his hometown of Dorset to go find his father’s killer, only to be drawn into the quest for the Holy Grail.

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Order of Grail Quest Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Harlequin / The Archer's Tale ( By: Bernard Cornwell) 2000 Description / Buy
2 Vagabond ( By: Bernard Cornwell) 2002 Description / Buy
3 Heretic ( By: Bernard Cornwell) 2003 Description / Buy
4 1356 ( By: Bernard Cornwell) 2012 Description / Buy
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Thomas Hookton was an ordinary citizen in Dorset before the massacre of village makes him a raging revenge driven archer in Edward III’s army that is based in France. The novels series begins immediately after he loses his father, and heads out to join the archer’s division of the English Army in Brittany, searching for revenge against his killer.

The first novel in the Grail Quest series, The Archer’s Quest follows the lead character who is witness to the brutal murder of his father by a black clad knight with a distinctive flag, who was part of a French raid on his village. The only survivor of the raid, he vows to revenge the death of his father, by tracking down and killing the knight known as Harlequin.

He joins the English Army in Brittany as an archer, and heads to France hoping to find the flashy knight in the battlefields of France. What follows is a remarkable narrative as Hookton saves a young woman from being lynched by a bloodthirsty mob, only to be invited to join her father in a higher quest – the search for the Holy Grail. It is an incredible narrative that just goes on to show the excellent story telling skills of Cromwell that have seen his novels made into a TV series.


The Archer’s Tale: The first novel in the series is one of the most popular and most highly regarded novels in the Grail Quest series of novels. Featuring the theme of revenge, one of the oldest motivations in the world, and the search for the Holy Grail, also one of the most fascinating of narratives ever told, the novel is sure to captivate any historical fiction fan. Thomas Hookton one of the most gifted archers in England is the lone survivor in an attack on his village of Dorset in England. He sets out to find the menacing Frenchman that had led the attack, and in the battlefields of France, stumbles upon a greater purpose.

Heretic: The third novel in the Grail Quest series of novels is another very highly regarded novel in the series. With more twists and turns than any of the earlier novels, Heretic follows the story of Thomas Hookton who is still on the Quest for the Holy Grail. Starting out with the bloody battle of Calais in the middle of the 14th century, it sees the brave Hookton risk his life time and again to find the Holy Grail. He journeys to Gascony to fight his archenemy Guy Vexille, but is soon rerouted. when he has to face up to the twin enemies of the plague and the church.

Vagabond: Another excellent novel in the Grail Quest series is Vagabond, the second novel. The story is a sequel to the first novel in the series The Archer’s Tale. Incorporating the history of the Inquisition, this is one of the most exciting novels in the series, that sees Thomas Hookton face one of the most sinister of enemies so far. Finding the Holy Grail – Christendom’s most cherished relic is hard enough, but the task is made even harder when he has to confront a bloodthirsty Dominican Inquisitor, who employs torture and other sadistic horrors to turn him away from his mission. Featuring some of the bloodiest and most realistic battles and dark horror, you could expect from a historical fiction novel, the novel is vintage Bernard Cromwell.


Many fans of the Grail Quest series of novels also love the “Outlaw Chronicles” series of novels by Angus Donald. This is a historical fiction series of novels set around the legend of Richard the Lionheart and Robin Hood as written from the perspective of Alan Dale.

Grail Quest fans also enjoyed the “Eagle” series of novels by Simon Scarrow. These are historical intrigue novels featuring the centurion Lucius Cornelius Macro, former imperial slave Quintus Licinius Cato, and various Roman soldiers under the command of Claudius.

What Is The Next Book in The Grail Quest Series?

There doesn't seem to be an upcoming book in The Grail Quest Series. The newest book is 1356 and was released on January, 1st 2012.

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