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The Great and Terrible Quest

by Margaret Lovett
187 pages, Historical Fiction
Reviewed by Lady Meriwen

A lovely and well-written read.

Plot

Trad is an orphan, alone in the world except for his abusive grandfather, and with no hope for the future. But one day when a wounded stranger stumbles into Trad's life, everything he assumed about himself and his grandfather is undermined. He and the mysterious man set out on a quest with a nearly impossible goal--which may only be so difficult because it's closer than they think.

Morality

Good fights against evil, evil tortures good, and good triumphs.

Spiritual Content

One of the main characters is an amazingly well-drawn Christ figure. There are also one or two references to priests and the state of Christendom, but it isn't shown in a brilliant light; the clergymen of Medieval Europe were fairly corrupt as a whole. Aside from that, God doesn't have an explicit place in the story.

Violence

The stranger had been axed in the head, resulting in amnesia. The descriptions of his wound may be a bit disturbing for some readers.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Beer and wine are consumed.

Sexual Content

For protection, Trad is disguised as a girl; once while he is serving tables at an inn, a man tries to kiss him.

Crude or Profane Language or Content

There are a couple instances of swearing, such as "My Lord in Heaven," but no more than that.

Conclusion

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. While it's obviously written for younger readers, it has a strong message for every age group. The courage and loyalty of the mysterious stranger is inspiring.

Fun Score: 5
Values Score: 4
Written for Age: 11-12

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