Set in France in 1292 this book tells the story of three children who are brought together by circumstance. William who is "part-Christian, part-Muslim; part-European, part-African" is a tall very dark skinned young monk. Jacob is a Jewish boy whose parents have been murdered when his village is set on fire. Jeanne is a peasant who suffers from epilepsy, but is thought to be possessed by evil spirits. Jeanne is traveling with a white greyhound named Gwenforte who has died and come back to life. Gwenforte is loosely based on the Legend of Guinefort, one of the "faithful dog" legends. Gwenforte guides and helps the children as they join forces with another monk, Michelangelo di Bologna, to save all the Talmuds in France from being burned by King Louis IX.
So, I love the Middle Ages and The Inquisitor's Tale does an excellent job of capturing the history of the time in which it is set. A lengthy author's note details the truth behind many of the events portrayed in the book. And, more importantly, it has, as a central character, a greyhound and a historic one at that! So why, then didn't I like this book more? To be honest I am not a fan of slapstick humor and there is a fair amount of it here. For me, this detracted from the story, but I'm sure it will make the book more interesting for the intended audience. All in all a very well written story with some surprising twists and turns that are quite clever and unexpected.
Reviewed by Teresa G on Jan 10, 2017
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