First Published: 2005 (2007, English translation)
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Genre: YA, historical fantasy
The fog hung low in the forest, obscuring Grimpow's way.
Acquired: Received a review copy from Random House Canada.
Reason for Reading: I enjoy a good historical fantasy especially when centered around mythical items as the plot suggested this would be.
I should have known from the very brief forward, which attempts to separate fact from fiction and legend from truth, which contains a common purposeful error concerning Pope Clement V that this may not be the book for me. From the beginning the Religious were treated with disrespect. They all had faults, greedy, didn't follow their vows, drunks, kept mistresses etc. The Church was represented as wealthy for the purposes of greed. And other small quibs, pokes and jabs made me roll my eyes but I was willing to get into the story until I hit these two little sentences.
"Many of these books refute or challenge the existence of God by explaining Heaven and earth and the universe scientifically. Because of this, the Inquisition has banned them."
Everyone should know that the Church was the force behind all early scientific, medical discovery and encouraged/supported learning the mysteries of God's world. (It still does today.) This statement is blatantly wrong and unsuspectingly turns the reader into accepting the anti-Catholic views of the characters, with the prior anti-Catholic sentiments I didn't have the stomach to read any further. Your mileage may vary. The book has mixed reviews on amazon.