Third in the Grail trilogy. I read the first two, Harlequin and Vagabond ages ago. I'm not sure if I had a previous copy that I loaned to my dad but never saw it again. To be honest, I did hesitate giving it a "G" for good but the second half was better than the first which was mainly about fighting and killing. That's not to say the second half doesn't have its fair share but there is more of a story.
Thomas' father was a priest and allegedly, one of the 7 Carthar knights that escaped the siege of their castle by the Pope's crusaders. They fled taking the Holy Grail with them and Thomas has been on a quest to discover if his father, who was driven to madness in his later life, really did know something about the Grail. Thomas's cousin, Guy Vexille, is on the same quest but for different reasons.
During one of the many temporary truces during the 100 years war, Thomas takes a small band of archers and men-at-arms to his family's ancestral home in the hope of luring his cousin there and then to kill him. In the end, almost everyone dies one way or another, either by the sword, arrow or plague. And anyone with the faintest grasp of history will guess that none of them actually live happily ever after.
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