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This is a review/recommendation of books 1-4 of the Pagan Chronicles.
Hands down my favorite YA series. I discovered it back when I was in high schoolThis is a review/recommendation of books 1-4 of the Pagan Chronicles.
Hands down my favorite YA series. I discovered it back when I was in high school and have re-read it a couple times since; every time it still holds up in my opinion. The premise and cast are still fairly unique among the genre - our narrator is a teenaged Christian Arab boy named Pagan who becomes a squire for a righteous Frankish knight during the Crusades. Pagan is witty, intelligent and literate, all in stark contrast to most of those around him. He survives abuse, questions authority (intelligently!), and perhaps most interesting of all, maintains his faith despite all of the bullying, racism and stupidity it throws his way. The bond he develops with Lord Roland throughout the years is wonderful, showing how two incredibly different people can become intensely devoted to each other, even through endless arguments and disagreements. And on top of it all, the author's knowledge of the time period in which these stories take place is extremely evident on every page. This is very well-researched historical fiction, and even manages to handle the pervasive topic of religion by neither condemning it or proselytizing. Can't recommend this series enough....more
I would probably have given this 5 stars if it weren't coming after the first 4 books in the Pagan Chronicles series. I love Jinks' writing and this sI would probably have given this 5 stars if it weren't coming after the first 4 books in the Pagan Chronicles series. I love Jinks' writing and this series as a whole, but my one significant issue with this concluding story is that Babylonne is honestly just a stand-in for Pagan. She's almost exactly like her father when he was her age. It makes it difficult to think of her as a unique character in and of herself. It was nice to read about a young girl living in this tumultuous time period after the male-centric Pagan books, but perhaps it should've been a story about a completely different character, and not a relative of Pagan's....more
I give this entire trilogy a solid 4 stars. It's entertaining, the characters endearing, and it uses the YA genre to allow itself to sway into areas oI give this entire trilogy a solid 4 stars. It's entertaining, the characters endearing, and it uses the YA genre to allow itself to sway into areas of ridiculousness with the plot that wouldn't really fly in "adult" oriented fiction. One thing I really appreciate about Catherine Jinks is the realism in her casting. The 'Genius' books are filled with social outcasts, ugly kids, fat kids, disabled kids, kids with behavioral problems, etc. And they're not just reduced to stereotypes; they're all fully-fleshed out characters who contribute to the plot, and who are valued by Cadel for all their good & bad qualities. I love that Jinks plays with Cadel's gender expression, if only just a tiny bit. She tackles the subjects of parental abuse, foster care, and emotional manipulation. I love that this is an entire series about pre-teen and teenaged kids and there's no damn ROMANCE subplot to be found! Definitely recommend this series and this author as a whole....more