Books: The First Must-Read of 2013 Arrives | Reader's Digest

Books: The First Must-Read of 2013 Arrives

By Dawn Raffel

Bernard Cornwell is a master of  combining a thumping good tale with a fascinating history lesson, a formula that tends to land him squarely on The New York Times bestseller list.  His newest action-packed  novel, 1356, comes out on January 8 and is, not surprisingly, about the year 1356. More specifically, it’s about the Battle of Poitiers, which the London-born Cornwell claims was one of the more decisive but lesser known battles during the 100 Years War between France and England.  (His previous novel, Agincourt, is about a far more storied battle during that long war.)

Here’s  a video of the author discussing the world of 1365: Edward, Prince of Wales (the Black Prince) is engaging in a brutal method of warfare against the French, and both sides are enmeshed in a quest to find the legendary lost sword of Saint Peter, which is believed to have mystical powers.

If you’re looking for an escape from the fiscal cliff and the January weather, kick back, dig in, and learn something new.