Bernard Cornwell

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Bernard Cornwell

Postby MeadowForest » Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:31 am

In recent years I've started reading some of his novels. Which novels have people preferred and would you recommend any in particular? Is Sharpe good enough to read? I checked on search and there doesn't seem to have been a thread for his work.

I've recently read 'Fallen Angels' which was different to the other books I've read as it's not primarily about medieval battles, being a little more domestic in content. I found it enjoyable a read, probably my favourite of his, with my girlier side coming out what with suitors for the main female character. :D I've also read 'Azincourt', set a long time before the former novel. That too was fairly enjoyable, because there was more of a story built around it rather than just the battle. I find long battles scenes in books and films tedious so I definitely approve of bulking out a situation with personalised situations.

The first novel I read of his two years ago was Harlequin. I quite liked it but didn't keep it. Now I see it was part of a set, so perhaps I should have read the next one.(? ) I also have 'The Winter King' and the other two books of a trilogy ready to read, and 'The Burning Land'.

So, as above, I'm interested in any recommendations and also any discussion of what members think of his books in general. :D
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Re: Bernard Cornwell

Postby Gorthaur the Cruel » Thu Jan 23, 2014 12:21 pm

I loved the Grail Quest trilogy (and last year's 1356 was a fourth novel about Thomas of Hookton). I still think his best was the Warlord Chronicles (The Winter King, Enemy of God and Excalibur). I enjoy the Saxon Chronicles (of which The Burning Land is the fifth of seven, so far) but not as much as the others. I would have said he was very battle focused, but I think he brings characters to life quite well, too, and I especially enjoy his representation of creeping Christianity.

Another favourite is the single volume Stonehenge.

I haven't read any of his Sharpe series but he did send me an autographed copy of one of them after I contacted him about an obvious missing passage in one of the early Saxon books.
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Re: Bernard Cornwell

Postby tarathiel » Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:31 am

Hi guys.
I've bumped the old Cornwell thread.
It covers most of his book series.

Tar
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Re: Bernard Cornwell

Postby Celebrimbor32 » Fri Jun 13, 2014 1:21 pm

Although I've been reading Cornwell for many years now and could recommend several of his titles to newbies of his work, I have to confess that I have sort of fallen out of love with his stuff over the last couple years. He has been at it for a long time now and it is beginning to show with his last few releases, alas. He has become very formulaic and predictable, and even cartoonish at times - a sure sign that he is becoming estranged with his former muse of the old days. His lengthy epic of Saxon novels should have ended two books ago at least. I believe I made it up through the Burning Land and finally called it quits. It's just the same 'ol same ol' over and over again. Each one is the same tiger but with different stripes! Unfortunately, his writing style has gradually fallen into a state of common pedestrianism.

However, having said that I still believe that he can really write well when he has a mind to. His Sharpe series are, for the most part, the best examples of his oeuvre, IMO. If you haven't read them then I suggest you start with those. Also, some of his single tomes, his stand alone novels are very good indeed. My favorite one is probably 'Gallow's Thief", which I read not long ago. The audio version is fantastic! Also I recommend "Redcoat" and "The Fort", both taking place during the American Revolutionary War. "Agincourt" was well done for the most part, but again, the villains were way overdone. Haven't read "1356" yet but I am guessing it will be much in the same vein as "Agincourt" or his Grail Quest trilogy.
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