PAGAN’S SCRIBE by Catherine Jinks
Kirkus Star


Age Range: 12 - 15
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Jinks brings her utterly addictive “Pagan Chronicles” to a wrenching close, taking irreverent former street urchin Pagan Kidrouk through the horrors of the 13th-century Albigensian Crusade. Now some years since the close of Pagan’s Vows (2004), Pagan has been dispatched on a mission to bring the heretic Cathars back into the Church—a task made all the more difficult by the rampant ignorance and cupidity of the local clergy. But larger forces are at work, and southern France soon finds itself invaded by armies from the north, authorized by the Pope to root out all heresy and eager to do so as violently as possible. Changing narrators for this final installment, Jinks introduces Isidore, a learned but naïve young clerk with a sullen attitude, who becomes Pagan’s amanuensis and rabid admirer, and through whose eyes readers will get unforgettably vivid views, both of the squalor of medieval daily life, and of the campaign’s tragic outcome. The story stands alone, but familiarity with the continuing characters will make it a stronger reading experience. Rich in authentic detail, humor, grief and deep insight into the life of the mind as well as the heart, this makes a fitting close to a high-water mark in historical fiction. (Fiction. 12-15)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-7636-2022-X
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Candlewick
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2005


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