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Pagan's Scribe: Book Four of the Pagan Chronicles Hardcover – February 3, 2005


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 600L (What's this?)
  • Series: Pagan Chronicles (Book 4)
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick; First Edition edition (February 3, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076362022X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763620226
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.2 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,878,122 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 8 Up–There have been few characters in recent historical fiction more vibrant than the street-smart, fast-talking protagonist of this series. In Pagan's Crusade (2003), Pagan in Exile(2004), and Pagan's Vows (2004, all Candlewick), orphaned Pagan joins the Knights Templar in a desperate attempt to escape the mean streets of Jerusalem and becomes squire to Lord Roland. He follows his master back to his home in southern France and joins him in a monastery when Roland renounces his crude family. In this fourth volume, a young, bookish clerk, Isidore, takes up the narrative. Pagan is 20 years older, now Archdeacon of Carcassonne, and enlists Isidore to serve as his scribe. Pagan's acerbic wit and sharp logic are needed by local lords to argue their case before a marauding army of frustrated Crusaders, turned against their own countrymen to search out heretics. Isidore's breathless description of the often-violent and chaotic world around him creates a page-turning epic. Readers who already know Pagan will be fascinated to see him as an adult, with the same fierce loyalty for his friends and caustic anger that he exhibited as a teen. He develops a protective fondness for Isidore, helping him cope with the epilepsy that is too little understood in medieval France. Pair this book with Kevin Crossley-Holland's King of the Middle March (2004) and Frances Temple's The Ramsay Scallop (1994, both Scholastic) for a multifaceted view of 13th-century Europe.–Connie C. Rockman, Stratford Library Association, CT
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 9-12. Readers expecting the fourth and final book in the Pagan series to take up where Book 3 ended are in for a couple of surprises. Not only does the new volume take up the story 20 years after Pagan's Vows left off, it also has a new narrator-protagonist: Isidore, a 15-year-old boy plagued with seizures. He's a scribe for Pagan, who is now the Archdeacon of Carcassonne. The intervening years have increased Pagan's wisdom and authority, and he finds in Isidore a youth as impetuous and strong-willed as himself, but without his experience of the world. The narrative approach is similar to previous books, recording Isidore's thoughts as well as conversations and events; even the voice sounds familiar. When Isidore gains the friendship and protection of Pagan's beloved mentor, Lord Roland, at the terrible siege of Carcassonne, the story comes full circle. Though many writers present the pageantry of the Middle Ages, Jinks portrays the period with great realism, here dramatizing the siege in all its stench and gore. The book ends with an epilogue and a glossary. A fitting conclusion to a well-researched, idiosyncratic medieval series. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By MooShoo Pork on February 17, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I was a great lover of the first three Pagan books, and so I was overjoyed when I got my hands on this fourth one. It was all that I hoped for and more. This story takes place twenty years after "Pagan's Vows" and in it Pagan is the Archdeacon. Also, this book is told from the point of view of Isidore, a suspicious and bitter youth who is also deeply religious. As usual, the author manages to incorporate many themes including heresy, war.
The only bad thing about his story is that most of Pagan's wit and funnny, clever remarks are lost. The author attempts to recreate this intelligence in Isidore, but the effect just isn't the same,

This book is a real tearjerker, and I was up half the night after I finished reading just thinking about what I had just read. This story packs so many themes in one novel that the reader needs some time to digest all the information. I also particularly like the epilogue at the end. I'm still not sure that this story is true, but the epilogue certainly suggests it.

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the Middle Ages, especially the Crusades. It makes much more sense if you have already read the three others. You cacn still read it without this knowledge but it is muchh more confusing, since many characters and themes are resurrected from Book Two. I recommend the series to anyone who likees to read, though there is some strong languages and a few themes that might not be appropriate for younger readers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Laraine A. Barker on June 28, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The enemy. When will they come? What will they do? What does an army look like, encamped around a city? I've read so much, but I just can't imagine it.

This final novel in the Pagan series is told by bookish and rather delicate Isadore, who leaves his home village, where books are so hard to come by, to become scribe to Pagan, now Archdeacon of Carcassone. Isadore can hardly believe so irreverent a man could attain such a high position in the Church. But he soon learns Pagan's worth, not to mention how dangerous the world outside his little village is, for this is 1209, the year in which Papal forces from the north begin their bloody crusade against the Cathar heretics, and the battle line quickly moves closer to Carcassone.

From the quote with which I start this review, it can be seen that Catherine Jinks doesn't abandon the spare writing style she used for Pagan's voice in the rest of the series. However, readers are left in no doubt that the narrator's character and personality are nothing like those of Pagan. While Isadore has many endearing qualities, most readers will find him less appealing than Pagan. I personally missed Pagan's sarcastic and humorous comments but still found this book as fast-paced and engrossing as the previous three.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jessica Basso on April 30, 2000
Format: Paperback
"Pagan's Scribe" marks a departure from the other three Pagan books. The story is told this time from the perspective of Isadore, a bookworm scribe who is assigned to the company of Pagan, now an Archbishop. The action takes place many years after the events in "Pagan's Vows", and enables us to stand back and watch Pagan, Roland and the other characters from previous books with the critical eyes of Isadore who has no idea what they have been through. This is quite effective; we can appreciate the strength of Pagan and Roland's friendship objectively, which makes the *developments* (I will say no more!) all the more poignant for Isadore's unknowing. Though he has many endearing qualities, Isadore never wins the total support of the reader as a fully-fledged character, his often comical fear and prejudice less appealing than Pagan's smart-alec reluctance of his youth. The description and imagery of medieval life and fighting is as vivid as always, and the tone retains most of its element of humour, even if we are bereft of Pagan's sarcastic comments. The ending is abrupt but expected, and is dealt with delicately and simply as possible (which didn't stop this reveiwer from shedding a few tears!). This is the last installment of the series; it is hard to see Jinks carry on with Isadore, now that the Pagan-Roland theme is no longer possible. Those who have been with Pagan for all his adventures will enjoy the maturity he has achieved, and lament the ending that was inevitable.
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More About the Author

CATHERINE JINKS was born in Brisbane, Australia in 1963. She grew up in Papua New Guinea and later spent four years studying medieval history at the University of Sydney. After working for several years in a bank, she married a Canadian journalist and lived for a short time in Nova Scotia, Canada. She is now a full-time writer, residing in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales with her husband Peter and their daughter Hannah.Catherine is a three-time winner of the Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year award, and has also won a Victorian Premier's Literature Award, the Ena Noel Award for Children's Literature, and an Aurealis Award for Science Fiction. In 2001 she was presented with a Centenary Medal for her contribution to Australian Children's Literature.

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