OST JOHN by Barbara Leonie Picard
Kirkus Star


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A fine author who has proven her skill as a writer before (Tales of The British People, 1961, p. 793, J-271, The Lady of the Linden Tree, 1962, p. 176, J-54, and others) has created a rugged exciting adventure story about the forest-dwelling bandits of the middle ages. John FitzWilliam, fourteen and alone, sets out to avenge his father's death (his father had been killed by Raoul de Farrar, an outlaw). He is captured by some men in the forest, and is brought before their liege to be sentenced. The old lord, Sir Ralf, who had had a prissy son, takes a liking to ""Lost John"", and lets the lad stay on with him. An incredible friendship develops between the two, and is only threatened when John chances to learn from Ralf's son that Ralf is Raoul de Farrar, his father's murderer. Given the chance, John is incapable of killing his friend. Character development is intricate and carefully done for minor as well as major personages. The author demonstrates that she has a sense of the Middle Ages; she makes good use of background and atmosphere throughout. This could well stand as an excellent example of worthwhile historical fiction; the author deserves high praise for a beautifully executed story.

Pub Date: May 16th, 1963
Publisher: Criterion