PRISON WINDOW, JERUSALEM BLUE by Bruce Clements

PRISON WINDOW, JERUSALEM BLUE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

As traveling performers, Sydne and her younger brother Juls tour the south of England with their parents, ""juggling, walking on their hands, making music, and acting out stories."" The family act is broken up, however, when marauding ""Vykings"" ransack the town of Osso Wisoff and take Sydne and Juls as slaves. Once in Linkbing, Denmark, the children become embroiled in the schemes and counterschemes of the local powerbrokers: the old lord is dead; his elder son Herjolt (whose own son, Thyri, is ""brainstruck"") has assumed leadership but is threatened by a treacherous uncle, Thorolf. Promised freedom by Thorolf if they present a play which mocks Herjolt and his retarded child, Sydne and Juls instead expose Thorolf at the Harvest Celebration and are subsequently promised safe passage back to England. Although the fact that there's so little dialogue distances the drama--at times it's like watching the action from balcony seats--the 9th century backdrop seems authentic and Clements has done a good job of casting. Sydne and Juls are a canny, self-sufficient pair with an easy, caring relationship. But it is the Vykings--savage, superstitious, yet adhering to a crude code of honor--who really steal the show and energize the production.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1977
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux