I am reviewing these two books in one blog posting because they are short, quick young adult reads. Crispin: The Cross of Lead* is the first story. Crispin is a young, poor boy growing up in Medieval, rural England. His father died when he was a baby and his mother was raising him alone. His mother rarely spoke about her family or where she came from. She is an outcast in her own village. Just as Crispin tries to learn more, his mother dies and he is accused of murdering the village priest who was to reveal all. Crispin must run for his life from government officials. In his journey he meets up with a traveling jester, called Bear, who is not all that he appears to be.
Crispin: At the Edge of the World, continues the story of Crispin, Bear and some new friends as they continue to run. They manage to escape England on a trading boat headed for Iceland but a storm blows them off course and toward France. The coast of France was mired in war between the English, French, and free range soldiers fighting for themselves. They get caught up in some of the battles when they only wished to escape to a place where they could be free.
The books are fun, exciting stories. Avi is a skilled writer and doesn't waste paper on long descriptive passages. The stories move along at a fast, engaging pace. I enjoyed both. The third, final installment of the story was just released and I look forward to finishing it. I will say the subtitles of each of the stories does remind me of the Pirates movies. The stories do contain some violence so I recommend them for an older teen.
The books I select for review are books which I personally select from my local library. I do not receive any reimbursement from authors or publishers or free books. I do provide links to Amazon as a convenience to the readers of this blog. I do earn a small referral pittance which is not even enough to buy a soda.
*Since the story takes place in medieval England, there were no concerns about children playing with lead during that time.