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The Book Without Words: A Fable of Medieval…
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The Book Without Words: A Fable of Medieval Magic

by Avi

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"Dura lex sed lex the law is hard but it is the law..." one of the many quotable quotes found in this fable. Avi is a masterful storyteller who creates some very memorable characters: a reeve who is power hungry, a sorcerer who is greedy for life, a Raven who speaks, a monk who resembles a walking corpse, an apprentice who yearns for riches, and a couple of orphans. One way or another they all come to realize that "magic takes what it gives." I predict this story will fare well with the Newberry committee this year. ( )
  daatwood | Nov 21, 2013 |
It rather seemed like half the story was missing. None of the characters were that interesting, nothing much happened, and the end kind of fizzled. It was my first try for a book by this author, but I'm not sure I'm going to try any others given this let down. ( )
  Krumbs | Mar 31, 2013 |
This was certainly an easy book to read, but I admit, it wasn't all that quick for me. I was not drawn into the story; I didn't much care for the main character of Sybil. I didn't feel any compassion toward her or her plight, and therefore, I was not pushed to turn pages as I often am in children's novels. There was very little heart in this story. ( )
  HippieLunatic | Aug 15, 2012 |
Well, I don't know if this counts as reading it, but I did begin it! I got so frustrated with the overabundance of adjectives that I just couldn't take it any more. I stopped reading shortly into Chapter 2. Now I know why I got it for $1 on the Borders Clearance rack! ( )
  Emlyn_Chand | Sep 18, 2011 |
This was a random find in the bargain section at Borders. The cover had a very Edgar Allen Poe sense about it so I bought it. It was a quick read, definitely for kids, I would say ages 8-12. It was a good solid story taking place in medieval England. It's about alchemy, magic, and talking birds. I enjoyed it. I'm just disappointed the bird didn't say, "Nevermore" at any point in the story.

"A life unlived is like a book without words." ( )
  simply00complex | Jun 11, 2011 |
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Epigraph
A life unlived is like a book without words. ~Old Proverb
Dedication
For Susan Raab
First words
It was in the year 1046, on a cold winter's night, when a fog, thick as wool and dank as a dead man's hand, crept up from the River Scrogg into the ancient town of Fulworth.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0786816597, Paperback)

In the ancient Northumbrian town of Fulwich, there is an old man whom nobody knows. This man, Thorston by name, has lived a secret life so that he may stay alive--forever. -Call him an alchemist but-his posession of The Book Without Words contains the secret of immortality. - But to make this secret a reality, he must sacrifice his minion, Odo, a coal-black raven, and Sybil, his thirteen-year-old servant. - Just as Thorton is on the brink of imortality, Sybil decides she wants to live her own life, and Odo wants the gold he believes Thorton as made. - Who then will live, and who will die? - And who will get the gold?

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:51:49 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

The Book Without Words appears to be a volume of blank parchment pages. But for a green-eyed reader filled with great desire, it may reveal the forgotten magical arts of making gold and achieving immortality. For generations, its magic has been protected from those who would exploit it. But on a terrible day of death and destruction, the Book Without Words falls into the hands of a desperate boy.… (more)

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