I have only one new book to share with you this week, but that one book got me thinking about the author so I'll tell you my thoughts on him as well.
Agincourt, by Bernard Cornwell - Here's an excerpt from the author's website:
Agincourt is one of the most famous battles ever fought; the victory of a small, despised, sick and hungry army over an enemy that massively outnumbered it. [This book] tells the story of that small army; how it embarked from England confident of victory, but was beaten down and horribly weakened by the stubborn French defence of Harfleur. ...[B]ut Henry V was stubbornly convinced that God was on his side and insisted on marching from Harfleur to Calais to prove that he could defy the great French army that was gathering to crush him. He believed he could evade that army, but the march, like the siege, went disastrously wrong and the English were ... forced to fight against an enemy that outnumbered them six to one.I have sort of a love/hate relationship with author Bernard Cornwell ...
[This] is the tale of Nicholas Hook, an archer, who ... finds himself in that small army trapped at Agincourt. The novel is the story of the archers who helped win a battle that has entered legend, but in truth is a tale, as Sir John Keegan says, 'of slaughter-yard behaviour and outright atrocity'.
LOVE: I loved his ALFRED THE GREAT series. The characters he created in those books were what drew me in. That series tells the tale of 9th century England when the Viking warriors controlled much of the land. King Alfred (the only king in English history to be called "the Great") starts as a minor character but gains prominence through each book. The main character is Uhtred, a English boy raised to manhood by the Danish conquerors. This is a FANTASTIC series. I listened to the audio version of the first three books and highly recommend them. The final book, SWORD SONG, wasn't out on audio when I finished the third book back in January of last year. It is now though, and I've just requested it from the library - yeah!
HATE: I hated - passionately - his stand-alone novel STONEHENGE. It was one of the first books I reviewed on my blog. Suffice it to say that between the vivid descriptions of infant sacrifice, the horribly brutal murders, and the grating voice of the audio book narrator, it was quite possibly one of my least favorite books ever.
WHAT TO DO?! Will AGINCOURT be more like the ALFRED books or more like STONEHENGE? I guess I'll have to give a try to find out.
Check out other Friday Finds over at MizB's blog.