The Pagan series by Catherine Jinks


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The Pagan series by Catherine Jinks

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Aug 22, 2007, 4:45 am

I'm sorta in love with the Pagan series by Catherine Jinks. She writes a lot of other historical fiction too, but I haven't read them. The Pagan series is set in the Crusades, in Jerusalem (and then France), and is about a young man and his Knight. Pagan is a mixed race squire, brought up in a monastery, highly intelligent and very well educated for the time. Roland is religious and doesn't talk much, and sort of just takes orders. And the two of them become very close friends. 'Friends' but they go pretty much obsessed over each other.

The history aspects of it are really interesting too, and it paints a vivid picture of life at the time.
It's also full of sarcastic humour, as it's told from Pagan's point of view, first person. Usually that doesn't work so well, but it really does for this one. It's both very funny and very very sad, so it's not pure humour. But I love it so much.
It's young adult, but I'm 22 and I love them, and it's definitely very well written. I highly recommend it. She's an Australian writer, but the books are available overseas.
Is anyone else a fan of her? I'm sorta desperate to find other fans. and if you have livejournal, here's a community for the series and her, and also her other books.

Here's how Pagan's Crusade starts! This particular part is not slashy, but there are a lot of slashy parts in it.


A big man in brown, sitting behind a table. Big hands. Big chest. Short and broad. head like a rock, face scarred like a battleaxe. He looks up and sees- what's this? A street urchin? Whatever it is, it's trouble. Trouble advanced cautiously.
"They said I should report to the Standard- Bearer."
The big man nods.
"You can call me sir," he says. (Voice like gravel rattling in a cast iron pot.) He pulls out a quill pen. "Name?" he says.
"Pagan what?"
"Pagan Kidrouk."
"Pagan Kidrouk *sir*".
(Christ in a cream cheese sauce.)
"Pagan Kidrouck, sir."
scratch, scratch. he writes very slowly.
"Sixteen. Sir."
"Born in?"
Rockhead looks up. The brain peeps out from behind the brawn.
"Don't worry, sir. It didn't happen in a stable."
Clunk. Another jest falls flat on the ground.
"Rule number one, Kidrouk. In the Order of the Temple you speak only when you're spoken to."
"Yes, sir."
"yes, sir."
Rockhead smells rich and rare, like a well matured piece of cheese. No baths for the Templars. Hot water is for girls and porridge and other soft, wet things. If a Templar wants a bath he can go and stand in the rain. That's what God put it there for.
"And where did you come from, Kidrouk?" (The unspoken question: out of a slop bucket?) Rockhead is highly suspicious. You can see what he's thinking. Just look at this runt! Smells like the Infidel and looks like a bedouin boy. Skin the colour of braised almonds. Built like a horsewhip. Black hair. Black eyes. What in the name of God is this Order coming to? We'll be recruiting stray dogs next.
"I'm a local, sir. I served in the Jerusalem garrison."
"The Night Watch. I patrolled the northern beat.Between the Postern of Lazarus and the Postern of Saint Magdalene."
"You mean the Jewry quarter?"
"That's the one. Sir."
"And why did you leave?"
"Well was the jokes."
Pause. Rockhead's brows roll together like gathering thunder clouds. But the storm doesn't break.
"It was the what?"
"It was the jokes, sir. In the guardroom. not that I object to jokes *as such*. Some of my best friends are complete jokes. But I don't like leper jokes. Or dysentry jokes. Especially when I'm eating."
Rockhead puts his pen down. Game's over.