Monday, June 25, 2018

Crispin: At the Edge of the World by Avi

Crispin:  At the Edge of the World is a riveting historical fiction novel set at the end of the 14th century in the turmoil after King Edward III’s death and in the middle of the 100 Years War.  How did all these events of kings affect a common boy?  This novel is second in the series set after the events of Crispin:  The Cross of Lead.

After being attacked in the previous novel, Bear is in a weakened state.  Crispin tries to hide him from those who wish him harm, but he’s not sure how to care for his wound.  Luckily, he meets Troth and Aude in the woods.  Scared of them as they obviously don’t follow the Christian faith, Crispin eventually realizes that they are still good people. Troth was born with a harelip and is viewed with suspicion and violence wherever she is seen. After an unfortunate incident, Troth makes a trio with Bear and Crispin and they set off overseas to find their fate.  Will they be able to outrun Bear’s past?

I enjoyed this look at the middle ages through a boy’s point of view as did my 12-year-old son Kile.  I am still sad that he spoiled the book for me as he read it first and I edited his book review for class.  He really liked the adventure and the fact that there is a sea voyage.  I liked that Crispin is growing and realizing there is a larger world where everything isn’t black and white, good and evil.  I can’t wait to read the third book in the series after Kile finishes it.

Favorite Quotes:

“But then men fear most what they understand least.  Ignorance makes fear.”

“Then best learn:  freedom is not just to be, but to choose.”

“In truth, a wise man has as many hopes as reasons.”

Overall, the Crispin series is great historical fiction that can be enjoyed by both parents and young readers a like.  My ten-year-old son is not a fan of the series, but my twelve-year-old son loves it.

Book Source:  The Kewaunee Public Library


  1. This sounds like excellent historical fiction about the Middle Ages, for all ages. Very nice review, Laura!