Book Four of the Pagan Chronicles
By Catherine Jinks
(Candlewick, Hardcover, 9780763620226, 368pp.)
Publication Date: February 3, 2005
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Pagan's final adventure finds our sarcastic hero a bit older and wiser as he leads his young scribe out of the world of books to brave the real-life dangers of a papal crusade.
Impressed by the bookish Isidore, Pagan Kidrouk — now Archdeacon of Carcassonne — hires the boy as his scribe. Eager to flee a cloistered existence, naive Isidore quickly discovers that the real world isn't as the poets and philosophers claim. The year is 1209, and papal forces from the north are driving their bloody crusade against the Cathar heretics to Carcassonne. With the battle lines inching ever closer, the world of Father Pagan, Lord Roland, and Roland's mysterious brother grows more real to Isidore — and more terrifying — by the day. The last of four books in an acclaimed series, PAGAN'S SCRIBE casts the worldly, wise-cracking Pagan in an unexpected role as friend and mentor to a young soul in need.
Catherine Jinks is a medieval scholar and author of young adult books — a background that is evident in this fourth and final story about Pagan Kidrouk. Catherine Jinks's books have garnered numerous awards, including the prestigious Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year. Pagan grew out of a university course Catherine Jinks took about the Crusades and her fascination with the real Order of the Templar. She was also heavily influenced by British comedies like MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL. She didn't expect, however, that she would end up writing four books about Pagan Kidrouk. "He was such a strong character," she explains, "that he sprang into my head fully formed, and wouldn't go away until I'd worked out his entire life span. He's certainly the strongest character I've ever written about. The cutest, too, I think."