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Reviews for The Book of Boy

by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

Horn Book
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Secundus, a pilgrim, and Boy, a goatherd, travel together from France to Rome in 1350, each mysterious character on a quest. Murdock is in complete control of her medieval material, limning a world of bleak, plague-decimated villages and steeped in religious belief. The fantastical story is beautifully served by its generous page design, thick deckle-edged paper, and gorgeous woodcut-style illustrations. Most remarkable is the complex, compelling character of Boy. (c) Copyright 2019. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Light and darkness have never clashed with such fierce majesty and eloquent damnation.Murdock weaves an engrossing tale set in medieval France, filled with charismatic characters, daring deeds, and more sinister duplicity than a certain serpent in the Garden of Eden. The titular Boy is thought a simpleton, a disfigured child who has lived a life of ridicule. Accepting of his sorry lot in life, the humble servant wants nothing more than to live in the shadows and avoid the ill-tempered attention of the likes of town bully Ox. That is, he accepts it until the arrival of the shadowy pilgrim, Secundus, enlarges Boy's world beyond the small boundaries of his village and introduces him to a world filled with greed, hunger, joy, deceit, and victory. Along with a story that unravels to reveal that not everything in the world is as it appears, Murdock delivers a wickedly fun-filled quest that twists and turns with lyrical fire. Boy ponders: "Pilgrim he might be but this man has sin stitched into his soul." The story is, among other things, an exploration of religion, Secundus' thieving quest for relics a counterpoint to Boy's stalwart faith.Blend epic adventure with gothic good and evil, and add a dash of sly wit for a tale that keeps readers turning the page, shaking their heads, and feeling the power of choice. (Historical fiction. 8-12) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.