Colleen read The Inquisitor’s Tale and this is what she thought…
When Jeanne, a peasant girl with visions, William, an immensely strong oblate (monk-in-training), Jacob, a young Jewish boy with healing power, and a baby-rescuing greyhound set out on a journey together, their experiences are nothing short of legendary! This tale is described from many different perspectives as the inquisitor asks all who stop by the Holy Cross-Roads Inn what they know about the three protagonists. He hears stories from a brewster, a nun, a rambunctious jongleur (minstrel), and even more travelers. Readers will be transported with this story from the Middle Ages and the intricate illustrations that border the text in the style of an illuminated manuscript.
My favorite scene is when the children must help save a village from a dragon that ate too much cheese. It is a wonderfully wacky task that they must accomplish on their quest. The children work together and enlist the aid of some wandering knights. The illustrations in this section are particularly hilarious as they depict the scent rolling off the French cheese and the dragon coiled along the edges of the page.
The theme of The Inquisitor’s Tale is shared humanity. The three children have been taught to be distrustful of one another as they are different genders, races, religions, and classes. However, they overcome these differences in the face of their quest and come to recognize their shared hopes for a safe future.
Who would you recommend this book to?
This chapter book is a perfect choice for fans of epic adventures and historical settings. There is an author’s note at the end of the book that describes the real-life events and individuals that inspired this story. Interested readers can learn more by exploring the suggested titles in the annotated bibliography.