Thursday, August 28, 2008

book review: "Pagan in Exile" by Catherine Jinks

Catherine Jinks
"Pagan in Exile" is the second in a four-book series about Pagan Kidrouk, a Christian Arab from Jerusalem who joins the Order of the Temple. In this book, 17-year-old Pagan serves as the squire of Sir Roland Roucy de Bram, a Templar Knight, who has gone home to recruit men for the Second Crusade. However, Sir Roland's family is content to stay and wallow in dirt, eat and drink to oblivion, and fight petty wars with neighboring fiefdoms.

The reader experiences the story unfold through Pagan’s eyes and thoughts, and at first I found the chopped up sentences Catherine Jinks uses disorienting, as well as how Pagan can sound devoted to his master one moment and belligerent the next. Still, the book provides a good glimpse into the everyday squalor and violence that characterized the Middle Ages. I would want to go back and read the first book "Pagan's Crusade", as well as read the third and fourth books "Pagan's Vows" and “Pagan's Scribe”, if only for more glimpses into life during that period.


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