Crispin: The End of Time. Avi. 2010. June 2010. HarperCollins. 240 pages.
Bear was dead. That sweet and kindly man, the wisest I had ever known, the one I considered friend, teacher, and even father, was gone. Would I could be half so fine. God keep his saintly soul!
Though I no longer had a father or a mother, I had, thanks be to God and Bear, a name: Crispin. And since I was bound to no land, kin, lord, or for that matter, any man, I considered myself free. As long as I could keep myself out of bondage, I'd be true to Bear's teaching. And so it was that beyond all else, I was determined to keep my freedom.
This concludes the trilogy. The first two books are Crispin: The Cross of Lead and Crispin: At The Edge of the World. These three are set in the fourteenth century. And reading about medieval wanderers may not be for every reader. (I always find it amusing to see the kinds of comments these two posts receive.)
While I enjoyed the first one, I can't say that I enjoyed the other two as much. Not even close. It's not that I stopped caring about Crispin exactly. It's just that with Bear being put through so much in the second book (and then dying), well, it was a joyless read. (If that makes sense.) And it's hard to like a book like that. I will say this about the third book, in some ways, the worst is over. Now that Bear is gone, what more can they do to me?
Can Crispin learn to be more like Bear? Can Crispin find his place in the world? Can Crispin find trustworthy companions to help him along the way? Is his dream of going to Iceland even possible? You know since he has no idea where it is or how to get there? How much is Crispin willing to sacrifice to live his life according to the What Would Bear Do philosophy?
I wanted to like this one more. I wanted to find it more interesting than I did. More compelling. But I struggled with this one here and there. It just wasn't holding my interest. It could be a mood thing. Maybe you have to be in a certain mood to read about wandering boys who've lost their way. I don't know. Or it could be a case of trying to read this one after reading Megan Whalen Turner's oh-so-compelling Queen's Thief series.
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