There Will Be Wolves

Karleen Bradford, Author
Karleen Bradford, Author Dutton Books $15.99 (208p) ISBN 978-0-525-67539-6
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-0-14-038371-3
Hardcover - 978-0-00-647938-3
Prebound-Other - 978-0-606-14349-3
Ebook - 224 pages - 978-1-4434-1193-6
Prebound-Other - 978-0-613-12182-8
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Fans of historical fiction may yawn at the prospect of yet another tale about a high-spirited heroine who is accused of being a witch mainly because she can read. But the heroine's conviction for witchcraft serves a startling purpose--as a plot device to get 16-year-old healer Ursula and her apothecary father away from 11th-century Cologne to join the People's Crusade. Bradford, who won the Canadian Library Association Young Adult Book Award for this novel, stumbles a bit with the dialogue, which is an odd pastiche of prim archaisms and modern English. But she shines at portraying the often brutal lives of common people in medieval Europe. Focusing on the Crusaders' slaughter of Rhineland Jews, she demonstrates that intolerance and savagery toward ""outsiders"" was as unconscionable then as it is now. Ursula and her stonecutter companion, Bruno, are horrified at the carnage; later, they refuse to join their fellow crusaders in pillaging and plundering the villages en route to Constantinople. Although Ursula's safe return to Cologne and marriage to Bruno end the story on a happy note, the preponderance of the novel hangs heavily with woe and suffering. Ages 12-up. (Sept.)
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