Libby Ames's Reviews > Troubadour

Troubadour by Mary Hoffman
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's review
Jan 04, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: historical-fiction, young-adult-fiction

When young Elinor’s parents insist she marry a much older man, Elinor runs away and becomes a troubadour—a traveling poet and minstrel. However, thirteenth century southern France is not a safe place to travel. A large army is invading in the name of religion, but really in an attempt to gain more profit and land. Elinor and her friends are caught in the conflict and the politics.

Hoffman’s writing is full of historical detail about a lesser known time period in southern France. She includes battle and political details, but also does an effective job at describing culture and everyday life. The storyline is a little slow, but the characters are intriguing enough to keep readers interest.

My only complaint is that it doesn't quite fit the audience she was writing for. Elinor starts out as a 13-year-old girl, but in that time period it puts her at marriagable age. I think it might a little hard for teen readers to relate to. Also, the historical detail might be more than they would be interested in. I enjoyed it, but I wonder about a younger audience.

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