PAGAN IN EXILE by Catherine Jinks


Age Range: 12 - 15
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In the second of a projected four episodes, medievalist Jinks sends her wise-guy squire Pagan Kidrouk and his beloved, sternly moral Knight Templar Sir Roland Roucy de Bram, from Jerusalem, which has just been retaken by Saladin, to Roland’s native Languedoc. The two crusaders arrive to find the de Brams, a brutal, dysfunctional family if ever there was one, engaged in an escalating feud with the local monastery. Without slowing the plot down a whit, the author limns her 12th-century setting in extensive, usually stomach-wrenching, detail; through Pagan’s eyes the castle-dwellers live in disgusting, almost comic squalor, their mores and behavior seeming all the more vicious in contrast to that of a small, pious (doomed) community of “heretic” Cathars dwelling nearby. Despite Roland’s best efforts, events spiral into a series of bloodbaths that leave him and Pagan both broken-hearted, ready to take up a monastic life rather than stay in their violent world. Readers will laugh and weep along with these vividly rendered wanderers. (glossary) (Fiction. 12-15)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-7636-2020-3
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Candlewick
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2003


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