Review Blog

May 11 2007

Pagan's daughter by Catherine Jinks

cover image

Read by Kellie Jones.
Louis Braille Audio. 7 CDs.

Age 12+ Readers of the medieval Pagan series will delight in Kellie Jones' narration of the adventures of Pagan's daughter, Babylonne, and newcomers to the series will want to sample more. Threatened with marriage to an elderly invalid by her tyrannical aunt and grandmother, Babylonne decides to run away hoping to join the knights fighting the French. Isodore, a priest who has known her father, is worried for her safety and follows her. This is the story of her coming of age in a time of great danger, a horrendous siege and when women were treated as commodities.

Kellie Jones' voice captures the feisty character of 16 year old Babylonne and her headstrong aim to avenge the death of her mother at the hands of the French. The listener is immediately engaged with Jones' captivating reading and easily follows the internal monologue that Babylonne maintains as well as the real life conversations as she makes her dangerous journey. The horrors of the siege are balanced for the listener by the humour of Babylonne's language and thoughts. Isidore's character is also captured beautifully by Jones' reading. His education, gentleness and tolerance are well portrayed, as well as his steadfast determination to safeguard Babylonne.

The listener is left with Babylonne's voice resonating and large amounts of historical information about the Middle Ages absorbed unknowingly along the way. The book is a 2007 Children's Book Council Notable Book for Older Readers. Highly recommended.

Pat Pledger

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