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22 August 2006 @ 10:52 am
Avi's CRISPIN: THE CROSS OF LEAD (4.5 stars)  
"I keep asking myself if I felt different, if I was different. The answer was always yes. I was no longer nothing."

What's so important about a name? Does it give you something? Does it lay out a path for you to follow? Does it tell you who you are?

Crispin doesn't know his name because his father died years ago in the plague. "Asta's Son" is all anyone has ever called him. Doing their best to survive in meager conditions, he and his mother live among the poorest of the poor in fourteenth-century medieval England. Until his mother dies. Then, on a midnight trip to Father Quinel's quarters to learn the truth about his father, Crispin interrupts John Aycliffe, the steward in those parts, meeting secretly with a strange man in the forest.

Next thing Crispin knows, Father Quinel has been murdered and people are trying to kill him. He is labeled a Wolf's Head, which means anyone who finds him can kill him without impunity. On the run from everything relating to his prior life, without a name or a plan, he is stopped by an enormous man who calls himself Bear. In exchange for letting him live, Crispin if forced to vow service to Bear as his Master now. Where this will take Crispin, he doesn't know, but he isn't sure he wants to find out. People are still hunting for him, but why? And how will he ever find a new life under these conditions?

Avi's CRISPIN: THE CROSS OF LEAD tells the heartmoving story of a young boy in search for his name, and not just any name, a name he can live by. Set against the backdrop of medieval Christianity, Crispin's prayer is this: "Let me play the music well. Let me be a credit to my master. And I beg Thee, let me have a soul, that I too may sing and dance."

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Troubleliteraticat on August 22nd, 2006 06:55 pm (UTC)
The sequel came out today.
The Blog of Author Jonathan Stephensjonstephens on August 22nd, 2006 06:59 pm (UTC)
Oh, seriously? What's it called?
Trouble: claudetteliteraticat on August 22nd, 2006 07:27 pm (UTC)
CRISPIN AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD.
The Blog of Author Jonathan Stephensjonstephens on January 15th, 2008 04:42 pm (UTC)
I started reading the sequel. Thanks for the heads up so long ago.