The Inquisitor's Tale Reviews

“What Gidwitz accomplishes here is staggering. ‘The Inquisitor’s Tale’ is equal parts swashbuckling epic, medieval morality play, religious polemic and bawdy burlesque, propelling us toward a white-knuckle climax where three children must leap into a fire to save…a Talmud. And yet, the rescue of this single book feels like higher stakes than any world-incinerating superhero battle. Part... Continue Reading »

- The New York Times Book Review
“Adam Gidwitz does many unusual things in the puckish, learned, serendipitous pages of ‘The Inquisitor’s Tale’...In this novel, 11- to 16-year-olds will encounter a lively, knowledge-seeking diversity, the kind that encompasses all sorts of ideas and people with all manner of eccentricities…Mr. Gidwitz mingles earthy humor and high culture in chapters that, in another surprise, treat... Continue Reading »

- The Wall Street Journal
“An ambitious mash-up of medieval saints’ lives, the Joan of Arc legend, thirteenth-century French history, and elements of The Canterbury Tales…Gidwitz presents moral issues that are currently relevant, and gives several theological arguments about good and evil a brisk, accessible airing. Scatological humor, serious matter, colloquial present-day language, the ideal of diversity and... Continue Reading »

- The Horn Book, starred review
“Whimsical and winding…One of the most interesting parts of this story is the message it teaches: A story is established that brings together three characters from very different backgrounds. At first there is conflict between them, but the characters learn to work together. With the conflict in the current political atmosphere, perhaps this is something even adults could stand to... Continue Reading »

- Denver Post
“Gidwitz paints a vivid image of medieval France, and his mix of heart and humor makes this book an utterly magical read. Who else could weave a tale of acceptance, love and hope, complete with farting dragons?”   —San Diego Union... Continue Reading »

- San Diego Union Tribune
“This ‘Canterbury Tale’-style masterpiece is serious, scatological, violent, funny, philosophical and timely.”   —San Francisco Chronicle, gift... Continue Reading »

- San Francisco Chronicle, gift guide
“Gidwitz’s tale of medieval France successfully combines the epic with the personal, aiming for that heartstopping moment when characters readers have come to care about find themselves on a collision course with one of the great woodchippers of history—the Inquisition, agents of which are in hot pursuit of three underdog characters (and one actual dog) from the very start…This... Continue Reading »

- School Library Journal, starred review
“Gidwitz strikes literary gold with this mirthful and compulsively readable adventure story set in medieval France…While the three protagonists initially come together out of necessity, the heartwarming friendship they form celebrates a common humanity that transcends the bounds of race, religion, and social class. The author creates a richly designed medieval world, filled with imperious... Continue Reading »

- Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“It is a time of miracles and saints, of fiends and dragons, all of which Gidwitz has meticulously teased from legends and histories of the Middle Ages…Gidwitz proves himself a nimble storyteller as he weaves history, excitement, and multiple narrative threads into a taut, inspired adventure.”   —Booklist, starred review   Read this full review of The Inquisitor's Tale... Continue Reading »

- Booklist, starred review
“Gidwitz continues to toy with narrative in a well-researched and rambunctiously entertaining story that has as much to say about the present as it does the past…The tale that comes into focus is one of religious persecution and faith, friendships that transcend difference, and a dangerously flatulent dragon—Gidwitz continues to have no problem mixing high and... Continue Reading »

- Publishers Weekly, starred review
“The children are like none we’ve met before: so dignified, so self-sufficient, so, well, medieval. And yet, they are funny, intensely real and believably brave…Gidwitz and illustrator Hatem Aly breathe life into a tale that you won’t soon forget.”   —Chicago Tribune Read this full review of The Inquisitor's Tale... Continue Reading »

- Chicago Tribune
“Cleverly crafted…Six years of extensive research and a natural storyteller’s gift shine in spiffily spun novel…Over-the-top skirmishes, comical triumphs over thugs, unlikely allies, religious persecution, stinky French cheese, noble acts of bravery, deep-seated emotion, profound theological questions--and a fatally flatulent dragon--intermingle in this suspenseful novel set in a... Continue Reading »

- Shelf Awareness, starred review
“Three children persecuted for their religious beliefs band together to fight intolerance—and save their necks—in this fascinating story set in 13th century France.”   —People Magazine Published in the October 24, 2016 issue of People... Continue Reading »

- People Magazine
“It’s no surprise that Gidwitz’s latest book has been likened to The Canterbury Tales, considering its central story is told by multiple storytellers. As each narrator fills in what happens next in the story of the three children and their potentially holy dog, their tales get not only more fantastical but also more puzzling and addictive. However, the gradual intricacy of the story that... Continue Reading »

- Entertainment Weekly, “Best Middle Grade Books of 2016”
“Adam Gidwitz mingles earthy humor and high culture in The Inquisitor’s Tale, a medieval story that unfurls Chaucer-style, with revelers in an inn taking turns to explain why the king of France is trying to hunt down three child-saints and their holy dog. Hatem Aly’s marginal illuminations add sparkle to this novel for 11- to 16-year-olds.”   —Wall Street Journal, “Best... Continue Reading »

- Wall Street Journal, “Best Books of 2016”
“ exciting adventure story…Just as medieval manuscripts had illuminated drawings, great illustrations go hand-in-hand with the story. Gidwitz finds a way to make the Dark Ages not so dark but exciting and full of mystery.”   —The Clarion Ledger, holiday gift... Continue Reading »

- The Clarion Ledger, holiday gift guide
“Game-changing…I have never read a book like this. It’s weird, and unfamiliar, and religious, and irreligious, and more fun than it has any right to be…As I write this review in 2016 and politicians bandy hate speech about without so much as a blink, I can’t think of a book written for kids more timely than this…As for the writing itself, that’s what you’re paying your money for... Continue Reading »

- Elizabeth Bird, A Fuse #8 Production
“The varying voices are wonderfully distinct, both in tone and dialect, and their stories gain in hyperbolic excitement, especially as more ale is consumed. The children themselves are a mix of vulnerability and defiance—each of their lives has been dramatically changed for the worse by the actions of King Louis, but they refuse to be cowed by the man. They’re kids, though, so there’s... Continue Reading »

- Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Adam Gidwitz spent six years researching and writing this epic story set in Medieval France…Gidwitz’ work is inspired by and alludes to real historical figures and explores the role that religion, class, and gender played during the middle ages. The tone is a bit less snarky and the humor a bit more sophisticated than the Grimm series, and the novel requires a more patient and thoughtful... Continue Reading »

- School Library Connection
Gidwitz strikes literary gold with this mirthful and compulsively readable adventure story set in medieval France.   In a style reminiscent of The Canterbury Tales, this multiple-narrator fairy tale relates the adventures of Jeanne, a white Christian peasant girl who has prophetic visions; biracial white/black William, a Muslim-born monk-in-training with preternatural strength; and... Continue Reading »

- Kirkus Review

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