Pagan in Exile: Book Two of the Pagan Chronicles
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"The setting is medieval, but the issues addressed have twenty-first century parallels. . . . Jinks's writing is the tour de force of young adult prose." —VOICE OF YOUTH ADVOCATES
The year is 1188, and Jerusalem is in the hands of the Infidel. Upstanding Crusaders and their squires — like Lord Roland Roucy de Bram and Pagan Kidrouk — are returning to Europe, hoping to rally more knights to their cause. The sardonic young Pagan expects Lord Roland's family to be the picture of fortitude and good manners, but he's in for a rude awakening. Brutish and unfeeling, the de Bram clan cares nothing for the Crusades, or indeed for anything outside their neighborhood in France. Meanwhile, local unrest is brewing. Church authorities are duking it out with the de Brams over a group of "heretics" living nearby. And now Pagan and Roland, sworn to defend Christianity, are left to decide for themselves who to stand by — and whom to trust.
that you should consider. My lord, the Viscount of Carcassone was excommunicated ten years ago, because he was a heretic. If you allow free entry of heretics into Bram, then you may be accused of the same crime –’ ‘Roland.’ A breathy hiss, like the voice of a serpent. ‘Let me make one thing clear. I’m not interested in what you think. What happens in Bram is my business. Now get out of here before I lose my temper.’ Come on, Roland. (Tugging his sleeve.) You don’t want to kill yourself. Can’t
damn you! Why 134 don’t you come? I need something cold on my face. I need – what was it? Bay oil? I need herb tea. Straw is so uncomfortable. I hate it, I hate everything here. Thinking about Jerusalem. Thinking about dates. I love dates. Stuffed dates, in syrup. Loaf sugar. Apples of Paradise, long and yellow. Food stands, in the Street of Flowers. Night watch. Cock fights. Money changers. Bervold, spitting . . . and the alleys, down by Saint Anne . . . fires . . . blue . . . going far . . .
vomit, and beneath the carved stone Judgement over the western door. There’s a strong smell of wine. Wine and incense and something else. Horses? It can’t be. Advancing into the candle-lit gloom. Whoops! Ferry almost trips over a body which can’t be dead, because it groans and rolls over. Wounded? No, drunk. It’s Pons, and he’s drunk. The light trickles in through broken windows, splashing onto the tiled floor and painted walls and the 190 columns which stand to attention on both sides of the
recovered by the time I return, Brother. I certainly hope so, otherwise this is going to be even more difficult than I anticipated.’ Yes, that’s right, go away. Get lost. Waiting until he’s disappeared from sight: turning to Roland – he still hasn’t moved – but at least he’s breathing. ‘My lord! My lord, are you hurt? Are you all right? Answer me!’ He raises his head a little. His beard is soaked in blood and sweat. There’s a ragged cut extending from the bridge of his nose all the way down to
you’re here to request my hospitality.’ A pause. ‘Wearing what, may I ask?’ God preserve us. Here it comes. Roland straightens his shoulders and sticks out his chest. ‘My lord, this is the cross of the holy order of the Knights Templar.’ His voice is clear and firm. ‘I am a Templar, now.’ ‘Is that so?’ (Ominously.) ‘Then let me tell you that as a Templar, you’re not welcome on these lands.’ ‘My lord –’ ‘Don’t interrupt me!’ (Gulp.) ‘Your friends the Templars seem to think they have some