Monday 23 April 2012

World Book Night 2012

Today is World Book Night (if that's not a contradiction in terms), during which one million books will be given away by thousands volunteers - and I'm one of them.

The book I wanted to give away was Good Omens, by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, but I'm imagining that was a very popular choice and so I got my second choice instead, Harlequin by Bernard Cornwell.

It was a time when the English went across the Channel and took the war to the French. The English had a secret weapon. The army may have been lead by the King, the great lords and the knights, but it was the bowmen, the common men, who would achieve remarkable success.

Thomas of Hookton was one of those archers. But he also had a mission. He made a promise - a vow to God - to retrieve a relic stolen from his family home by the same French raiders who killed his father.

The search leads him into a world where lovers become enemies, enemies become friends and always, somewhere beyond the horizon that is smeared with the smoke of fires set by the rampaging English army, a terrible enemy awaits him.

Thomas of Hookton has to prevent that enemy from harnessing the power of Christendom's greatest relic - the grail itself. And so begins the quest that will lead him through the fields of France, until at last the two armies face each other on a hillside near the village of Crecy. And Thomas is put to his greatest test.

Harlequin combines a wonderful cast of kings and knights, mercenaries and monks, superb scenes and wonderful set pieces, all led by one of Cornwell's strongest characters and the haunting mystery of the Grail.

Apparently Bernard Cornwell is one of the most borrowed authors in the UK, most famous for his Sharpe books. Harlequin is the first book in his Grail Quest trilogy. Rich with detail, it leads the reader into an extraordinary world.

Preparing the books I'm going to be giving away...

I'll be giving my books away in and around Ealing tomorrow, and I want to give you the opportunity to receive a copy of Harlequin too. All you have to do is write a limerick about one of my books, or a character from one of my books, and the best will receive a World Book Night book as a prize.

So what are you waiting for? You have until 23:59 BST Friday to get your entries in (and yes, you may enter more than once), posting your poem(s) in the comments section after this blog post.

So good luck, and enjoy World Book Night!

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