Reviews for Crispin: at the Edge of the World : At the Edge of the World
Booklist Reviews 2006 September #2
/*Starred Review*/ Avi's engrossing follow-up to his Newbery-winning Crispin: The Cross of Lead (2002) begins with Crispin and his father figure, Bear, tasting freedom briefly before Bear is recognized and shot with an arrow. Fleeing into the forest, they meet Troth, a girl shunned because of her cleft lip. Her protector, old Aude, nurses Bear's wound, but when villagers brutally turn against Aude, Crispin and Bear must flee again, this time with Troth. The three, now a family, make a stormy voyage to Brittany, where English soldiers force them to help in a ruthless attack on a church. Unlike many stories set in the Middle Ages, this novel doesn't romanticize the era; instead, it portrays England and France as places where poverty, superstition, and violence were commonplace. Crispin, Bear, and Troth face each new situation with dread born of painful experience, well aware that the people they meet are as likely to harm them as to help them. The love connecting the three main characters is so vital that maintaining the bond and protecting each other become driving forces in their choices. Along with plenty of action and adventure, this displays a solid emotional base. The combination will make fans eager for the final installment. ((Reviewed September 15, 2006)) Copyright 2006 Booklist Reviews
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2007 Spring
Picking up where [cf2]Crispin: The Cross of Lead[cf1] left off, this tale, which reeks with fourteenth-century detail, finds Crispin and the minstrel Bear making their way across the English countryside, one step ahead of Bear's former confederates, who are certain he has sold them out. The somber ending leaves Crispin with the determination to live free. An author's note provides historical context. Copyright 2007 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2006 #5
Picking up directly where Crispin: The Cross of Lead (rev. 9/02) left off, this tale finds Crispin and his newly rescued mentor, the minstrel Bear, making their way across the English countryside, one step ahead of Bear's former confederates in revolution, who are certain he has sold them out. When Bear is wounded in a hostile encounter, the two are forced to seek shelter with Aude, an old wise woman, and Troth, her cleft-lipped apprentice. Avi plays the metaphor of the edge of the world deftly: the literal edge -- the coastline -- offers false hope of escape, while Crispin finds himself continually expanding his own conceptual edges. The deeply Catholic Crispin struggles with Aude and Troth's adherence to older gods; then with the possibility that Bear, like all humans, has feet of clay; and finally with the necessity of living life without his protector. Like its predecessor, this offering fairly reeks with fourteenth-century detail, the offhand brutality of the age showing itself again and again. The inevitably somber ending yet leaves Crispin with a friend -- Troth -- and the determination to live free. An author's note provides historical context. Copyright 2006 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2006 August #1
An orphan boy continues searching for freedom amid the social and political chaos of 14th-century England in this swiftly paced sequel to Crispin: The Cross of Lead (2004). After discovering his true identity, Crispin and his fierce, but genial, protector Bear seek refuge in the countryside. Pursued as an informer by members of a secret brotherhood, Bear is wounded. Alone and desperate, Crispin is forced to trust an ancient healer and her disfigured young companion Troth. Bear survives, but is greatly diminished. Crispin, Bear and Troth journey to Rye, a coastal city pillaged by the French. But with the brotherhood still tracking Bear, they must flee again, this time aboard a seafaring cog to Brittany. As the tightly bonded trio faces life-threatening events, Crispin "must think and act as a man" to protect those he loves and preserve the freedom he and Bear cherish. This moving, history-packed adventure leaves Crispin on the edge of the world and readers on the edge of their seats. Super storytelling. (author's note) (Historical fiction. 10-14) Copyright Kirkus 2006 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2006 November #1
Crispin: At the Edge of the World by Avi continues the adventures of the hero begun with Crispin: The Cross of Lead (in a starred review, PW wrote, "It's the compellingly drawn relationship between Crispin and Bear that provides the heart of this story"). Just when the duo feels free, events from the past overshadow the pair, and Bear becomes seriously injured, leaving Crispin in charge of both their futures. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal Reviews 2006 October
Gr 5-9 At the conclusion of Crispin: The Cross of Lead (Hyperion, 2002), Crispin and Bear have escaped and are enjoying their hard-won freedom, planning to resume their 14th-century lifestyle as traveling minstrels and jugglers. But that freedom doesn't last long because they soon find themselves hunted again by men who believe Bear to be a traitor to the Brotherhood (which is planning a revolt against the oppressive rulers of England). And, with Bear severely injured, Crispin has to make crucial decisions about their future, which for Bear means confronting the sins of the past. The thoughtful introduction of Troth, a disfigured girl, and the trio's fearful journey across the Channel add historical relevance and bring home a critical lesson in tolerance. This second book in a planned trilogy explores even more thoughtfully the themes of religion, war, the motives of men, and the meaning of family. This is an extraordinary work of lyrical simplicity, nearly flawless in its execution, and a haunting tale of love and loss. Readers will devour this story and eagerly anticipate the conclusion of Crispin's adventures.Melissa Moore, Union University Library, Jackson, TN [Page 147]. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
VOYA Reviews 2006 October
Sequel to award-winning Crispin: The Cross of Lead (Hyperion, 2002/VOYA June 2002), this second of a trilogy continues the adventures of the courageous orphan. Set in England in 1377, the story begins as fugitives Crispin and Bear, having escaped from prison in Great Wexly, head for the coast. Bear, a juggler who was arrested for membership in John Ball's rebel brotherhood, now flees his own comrades who believe that he revealed their names and endangered their lives. One of them wounds Bear, but by chance, he is found and nursed back to health by an ancient midwife, Aude, and her disfigured daughter, Troth. Later Aude is blamed for an unsuccessful birth and is murdered, leading Bear, Crispin, and Troth to declare themselves a "family." The three eventually board a "cog," or small merchant ship headed for Flanders, but as bad luck would have it, they wind up shipwrecked and starving on the coast of Brittany instead Blending simple language, action-packed plot, and strong characterization, Avi manages to convey a good deal of accurate historical information. Appropriate for ages ten and up, the novel could also entertain advanced younger readers. This thrilling page-turner has an open-ended conclusion that will leave youngsters hungering for the third book.-Laura Woodruff 4Q 4P M J Copyright 2006 Voya Reviews.