September Books 18) Harlequin, by Bernard Cornwell
Picked this up ages ago under the impression that it was a first installment of a fantasy epic series. No such luck; it's a gritty account of the 1340s war between England and France, with our dashing hero, whose humble birth belies his noble blood; the women who love him; the bad guy who attempts to thwart him at every stage; and his quest for a sacred relic which turns out to be just a piece of wood. There is a lot of sexual violence, and the gallant English win most of the battles. I don't particularly recommend it.