Crispin: The Cross of Lead

June 3, 2009
By Anonymous

While reading Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi, I was swept into the harsh truth of the Middle Ages in the England of 1377. The book reflected some of the very realistic themes that still live today, such as greed, struggle, and trickery. It made me take a look at my own world as I would not have seen it before.
In Crispin: The Cross of Lead, Crispin faces harsh conflicts that are weaved throughout the story. I strongly connected with Crispin as I saw a world full of hate and pain through the eyes of an innocent boy, and the intensity and misfortune of his problems. He made me feel as if, though in a different time, it could've been me in his position.
In the story, Avi depicts Crispin as an ambivalent, hardworking serf whose mother has just died. This is of course a tragedy, but this is only the beginning. Hours after his mothers death, the town priest revealed to the boy, then known as Asta's son, the name he never knew he had, which of course was Crispin.
He also tells of something else. Until then, Crispin thought his father died long ago of a disease and didn't know much about him, but the priest insists he needs to tell him otherwise. Unfortunately, the priest is killed before given the chance to tell Crispin. He is then suddenly and unjustly accused of crimes he didn't commit, and is marked a murderer and thief. Puzzled over the priest's words and frightened of the men hunting him, Crispin must run to save his life.
Shortly after he flees the town, he becomes in need of guidance on his journey. He comes across Bear, a forceful yet playful soul, who takes Crispin as his servant. The story then revolves around their uncertain friendship and brotherhood and the royal family's mysterious hatred for Crispin.
The book reveals the themes of fear, power, and brotherhood. It is a tale of several colorful characters, whose personalities are universal while still representing many of the main themes. The story itself twists and turns in a labyrinth of uncertainty and shocking truths. With a satisfying ending and rich plot development, Crispin: The Cross of Lead is an astonishing novel that I would recommend to anyone with a clever mind and a curious nature!

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on Feb. 14 2011 at 6:49 pm

Parkland Book