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Pagan in Exile by Catherine Jinks

Pagan in Exile

by Catherine Jinks

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I didn't like this one as much as I liked the first, but I do very much like Pagan as a character. Roland's turning out to not be very bright. The setting this time was France, and there's a lot of action but the plot wasn't strong. The only good thing was Pagan's voice- and it was good enough that I'll be picking up the next book in the series. With trepidation, but still. ( )
  satyridae | Apr 5, 2013 |
The middle ages must have been disgustingly dirty and cruel; why do we look to the good old days? Sir Roland's family is mean, sneaky, deceitful, stingy. ( )
  herbcat | Feb 11, 2011 |
I really hadn’t intended to pick up any more novels until I’ve read some of my TBR pile, but what can I say? I was on vacation and checking out the local bookstore. I HAD to buy something! And, I certainly do not at all regret picking up this book, although I have to say if I had a larger selection I might have missed out on it. This particular tale is the middle book of an ongoing young adult, historical fiction series of a teenage squire during the time of the Crusades. Despite coming in at the middle, the story line was very easy to pick up. I didn’t feel as if I missed anything by not having read the first few books of the series. Pagan is the Arab/Christian squire to Templar Knight, Lord Roland. Born and raised in a monastery in Bethlehem, when his Lord’s quest takes him home to England to enlist his family’s assistance in the Crusade, Pagan feels himself dreadfully out of place. But, the reactions of the local peasants to his appearance are nothing compared to the horror that is Lord Roland’s family and when Roland reluctantly takes up the championship of the local heretic it may change their destiny forever.

When I first started reading I really wasn’t sure I’d like it. Personally, I always found the ideal behind the Crusades rather distasteful, being fully of the mindset that people should be allowed to think for themselves, both in their religion and in every other aspect of their life. However, even though the book is told from the POV of a squire dedicated to his Lord’s ideals, Pagan is a free enough thinker that I didn’t feel preached to at all. Also, I found the way the book was written to be wonderfully unique, written in the first person, but without excessive use of “I” (at least that I noticed). The story was more told by reading Pagan’s mind. Once I got used to it, I really enjoyed it a lot! Pagan himself is a delightful mix of wry humor, intelligence, naivety and complete loyalty to his Lord. I really loved this quote about hunting, which made me crack up entirely:

“How terrible to think that for all these years, I’ve missed out on the joys of hunting. The thrill of standing behind a bush for half a day. The breathless excitement of gnat bites. The gut-wrenching sound of dogs sniffing each other’s genitals. Now I can see what all the fuss is about.”

I do think the story was probably written with teen boys in mind, but I (not being either a teen or a boy) also found it to be very enjoyable. I’d highly recommend it to all teens who enjoy adventure/fantasy and adventure/historical type tales and adults who enjoy the same. ( )
3 vote Jenson_AKA_DL | Feb 24, 2008 |
Book two of Pagan's adventures is a good bit bleaker than book one. Pagan has accompanied Sir Roland back to France, anticipating a triumphal homecoming for his much revered knight. Alas, it is not to be. Sir Roland's family manor is small, squalid, and noisome, and the de Brams family is, if anything, worse than their surroundings. Almost immediately the pair is plunged into a rapidly escalating conflict between some of the de Brams' family's retainers and a local monastery. Between family machinations, familial disrespect, and an ill-fated romantic yen, Sir Roland sinks into depression, and Pagan is at a loss as to what to do to help.

Poor Pagan. Jinks' descriptions of medieval life remain spot on and Pagan has lost none of his quick wit, but unfortunately, there just isn't as much to be funny about when things are this dark. Hopefully volume three will allow a return of some humor and hope, or this series is going to be historically accurate, but very, very depressing. ( )
1 vote SunnySD | Feb 11, 2008 |
Rather depressing. No solutions/resolutions in this one - it's all a setup for the next book. And there are a lot of genuinely nasty characters here. Again, interesting take on that period, with which I am reasonably familiar (mostly in England, though, and this is in France). ( )
  jjmcgaffey | Jan 21, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0763626910, Paperback)

"The setting is medieval, but the issues addressed have twenty-first century parallels. . . . Jinks's writing is the tour de force of young adult prose." —VOICE OF YOUTH ADVOCATES

The year is 1188, and Jerusalem is in the hands of the Infidel. Upstanding Crusaders and their squires — like Lord Roland Roucy de Bram and Pagan Kidrouk — are returning to Europe, hoping to rally more knights to their cause. The sardonic young Pagan expects Lord Roland's family to be the picture of fortitude and good manners, but he's in for a rude awakening. Brutish and unfeeling, the de Bram clan cares nothing for the Crusades, or indeed for anything outside their neighborhood in France. Meanwhile, local unrest is brewing. Church authorities are duking it out with the de Brams over a group of "heretics" living nearby. And now Pagan and Roland, sworn to defend Christianity, are left to decide for themselves who to stand by — and whom to trust.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:00 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

After fighting the infidels in Jerusalem in 1188, Lord Roland and his squire Pagan return to Roland's castle in France where they encounter violent family feuds and religious heretics.

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Candlewick Press

2 editions of this book were published by Candlewick Press.

Editions: 0763620203, 0763626910

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