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Book Review: Crispin At the Edge of the World

February 18, 2012

Remember when I wrote a review of Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi?  I rushed to the library to see if the sequel was available and ended up coming home with part three and had to return to the library later that week to check out the intended Part 2.

The first was action-packed. The children (and secretly, even I) could hardly wait for the next time to read together. Crispin, a boy of questionable heritage, realizes that a humble or a noble birth has very little to do with who you really are. Crispin’s courageous actions prove his mettle to himself the book and satisfies to the reader.

You can see why I rushed to get the sequel!

While Crispin at the Edge of the World was good, it was not the “can’t-put-it-down” read that the first one was. It lacked the mystery and intrigue of the first part.

The author adds a girl to the “family” of Bear and Crispin. Troth, the cleft palette/lip girl is considered “Satan-marked” by society and is an outcast. She has been raised by Aude, and aged midwife who follows the “old religions.” Occasionally we hear incantations and prayers (??) to a deity named Nerthus.

I took these opportunities to discuss with my children other false religions and such these themes. To be fair, in each of the books we see Crispin (like any good medieval Catholic) praying to various saints and such.

Crispin is still heroic and courageous in protecting his “family.” While the book illustrates the admirable quality of valuing others despite  physical deformities, I don’t think this was worth our time as a read-aloud.

I am not sure what we will start next, but two of the contenders are: Anne of Green Gables and The Swiss Family Robinson. I’ll be sure to let you know!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 19, 2012 6:24 am

    I loved Crispin, always thought I’d write a study guide for it. Thought is was great to go with medieval studies. I think I read the sequels but I’m not sure… It’s been awhile.

    • February 19, 2012 7:26 am

      Maybe because we loved the first Crispin so much, that is what made the second part disappointing. Those silly expectations get in the way and squelch our enjoyment. I am so glad TLP made a guide for the first Crispin book. It is excellent.

  2. Maybe no permalink
    April 24, 2014 5:41 pm


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