The second book in the highly amusing, award-winning Pagan Chronicles. Entertaining historical fiction.
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Catherine Jinks was born in Brisbane, Queensland, in 1963. She grew up in Papua New Guinea and later spent four years studying medieval history at the University of Sydney. She has had numerous children's novels published including Eye to Eye and What's Hector McKerrow Doing These Days?, and has been shortlisted for several state and national awards, twice winning the Children's Book Council Book of the Year Award. After working for a few years as a journalist, she now writes full-time and lives in the Blue Mountains with her husband, Peter, and their daughter.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
What's everybody staring at? . . .
Look at that fellow there, gawking away. Face like a gob of spittle, he's staring at me! Why don't you get yourself a mirror, Spitface, if you really want something to stare at.
A one-armed child makes a rude gesture. Runs away as I poke out a viciously threatening tongue. No backbone, little coward.
"Pagan." Roland's voice is cold and stern. (Doesn't want his squire eroding the dignity of his arrival.) "Please behave yourself."
"It's not my fault. What's wrong with them? They don't seem very pleased to see you."
"It's been a long time, Pagan. Six years. They may not remember who I am."
Six years. Imagine what it must be like, coming home after six years. A quick glance at his profile, jolting along not two arm-lengths away. . . . But there's no expression on Roland's chiseled face. His eyes aren't even misty. Not that I was expecting anything different: you'd see a pig become Pope before you'd ever see Lord Roland Roucy de Bram in tears.
He twitches his reins and it's time to turn right. Another narrow little street lined with pale sandstone houses, all sporting those funny peaked roofs. . . .
People clustered on doorsteps, staring.
They're staring at Roland, too, of course. You have to admit he's worth a look. The golden-haired knight on his glossy black horse with his blue eyes and wide shoulders and white tunic (well, off-white really, I haven't washed it in weeks), and the distinctive red cross on his chest. You don't often see a vision of Saint George wandering past your scrap bucket on an overcast afternoon in the middle of nowhere. It's like watching a stained-glass window come to life. People push and whisper and cross themselves. A sort of hush seems to follow us down the street.
This is really embarrassing.
PAGAN IN EXILE by Catherine Jinks. Copyright (c) 2004 by Catherine Jinks. Published by Candlewick Press, Inc., Cambridge, MA.
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Book Description HarperCollins Children's Books, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P11000715318X