The year is 1072.
The Normans have captured England. The Turks have captured a Norman knight. And in order to free him, a soldier named Vallon must capture four rare hawks.
On a heart-stopping journey to the far ends of the earth, braving Arctic seas, Viking warlords, and the blood-drenched battlefields, Vallon and his comrades must track down their quarry one by one in a relentless race against time.
The scale is huge. The journey is incredible. The history is real. This is Hawk Quest.
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Robert Lyndon has been a falconer since boyhood. A keen student of history, he was intrigued by accounts of hawks being used as ransoms during the Middle Ages. Some of the scenes in Hawk Quest were inspired by Lyndon's own experiences as a falconer, climber and traveler in remote places. He has written many books and articles on history and exploration.From Booklist:
*Starred Review* Readers who settle into this utterly engrossing historical adventure thinking it’s going to be about the Norman Conquest are in for a surprise. Yes, it begins in 1072, and several of the major characters are Normans, but its reach extends far beyond the shores of England. Vallon is a Frankish soldier of fortune who stumbles reluctantly into a quest of unimaginable proportions when he rescues a Sicilian medical student who needs help: a Norman leader’s son has been captured by an emir in distant Anatolia, who has set a seemingly impossible ransom: bring the emir four pure-white gyrfalcons, and the prisoner will go free. Vallon accepts the challenge for reasons of his own and embarks on a journey that takes his motley crew from England to Iceland, Greenland (home of the gyrfalcons), and on to Russia and Anatolia (now part of Turkey). Transportation being what it was in the eleventh century, that is some journey. And the distance to be traversed is only the beginning: along the way, the intrepid adventurers must fend off piratical Vikings, angry Laplanders, even angrier Russians, and the double-dealing Anatolians (not to mention the occasional rampaging polar bear). One might think that the parade of adversaries and climatological disasters could grow repetitive, but first-novelist Lyndon never loses control of his material, mixing fascinating descriptions of the inhospitable landscape with full-bodied portrayals of the principal characters (including a bit of romance), all the while ratcheting the tension and sense of danger to ever-higher levels. For readers who relish high-concept adventure well grounded in historical detail, this remarkably well-orchestrated epic delivers the goods. --Bill Ott
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