Essays & Articles

The Inquisitor’s Tale Audiobook – Booklist’s Starred Review

“This sweeping adventure set in medieval France features three extraordinary children, each with a seemingly miraculous gift: the peasant girl Jeanne, with her prophetic visions; the Saracen oblate William, who has extraordinary strength; and Jacob, a Jewish boy with inexplicable healing powers. Evoking Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, the story of the children’s war with the king unfolds through recollections by a group of disparate travelers huddled together at an inn. An impressive cast relates the pieces of the story with a style, inflection, and pacing particular to each character. Echoing Chaucer, Gidwitz introduces a diversity of culture and class in the patrons at the Holy Cross-Roads Inn, and the performers excel at differentiating this dialect-rich environment, from the broad accent of the peasant brewster to the refined cadence of the nun and the boisterous expression of the young jongleur (minstrel). Reserving the narrator’s part for himself, Gidwitz employs the vernacular to great linguistic effect in his exhortations to his fellow travelers. It is a tale for today’s world, dealing with issues of religion, class, and race, and listeners will hang on every word to learn the outcome. The production concludes with an excellent author’s note read by Gidwitz and Benjamin Bagby’s stellar performance of medieval music, which enhance the historical verisimilitude of the production.”


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