The Archer's Tale by Bernard Cornwell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I find myself in a funny and odd situation as I read this. I’m a big fan of epic fantasy, and yet, for some reason, I have generally ignored regular historical fiction.
I DON’T KNOW.
For let me put this very clearly: all the action, characterization, siege warfare, interpersonal conflicts, lords, ladies, general grunts, and the clergy are all heavily represented in BOTH genres. Indeed, both historical fiction and epic fantasies are separated ONLY by the author’s willingness to add a little magic (not even necessary in most books) or make worldbuilding that is created out of whole cloth.
In this case, I’m just pointing my finger at events in here that is reminiscent, happily so, of a previous trilogy that sets up the events of the current trilogy, as if I were reading a long Epic Fantasy work, but in this case, it’s just my knowledge of England’s History. Hey now! It’s the Black Prince and the start of the Hundred Year’s War! I’m thinking of Shakespeare’s Edward II and Richard the II and all the class warfare and the heavy reliance on Long Bows to turn the tide of battles and just how F**ked the French were.
And for me, it’s JUST like reading a huge, complicated Epic Fantasy.
Like I said, it’s odd. Or rather, I’m odd. And I’m really liking this. It’s great Epic Fantasy, people… even if it is a meticulously researched and accurate accounting of ACTUAL HISTORY.
Maybe that ought to count for something, too. :)
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