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September, 1356. Across France, towns are closing their gates. The crops are burning and the countryside stands alert to danger. The English army—led by the heir to the throne, The Black Prince—is set to invade. The French, along with their Scottish allies, are ready to hunt them down. But what if there was a weapon that could decide the outcome of the imminent war? Thomas of Hookton, known as le Batard, has orders to discover the lost sword of Saint Peter, a blade with mystical powers said to grant certain victory to whoever possesses her. The French seek the weapon too, and so Thomas's quest will be thwarted by battle and betrayal, by promises made and oaths broken. As the outnumbered English army becomes trapped near Poitiers, Thomas, his troop of archers and men-at-arms, his enemies, and the fate of the sword all converge in a maelstrom of violence, action, and heroism. Rich in color and characters, in great adventure and thrilling conflict, 1356 is the magnificent tale of how the quest for a holy relic with the power to change history leads to an epic battle.