Thursday, April 2

Pagan's Vows - Catherine Jinks

After Sir Roland renounced the sword (and thus renounced his role as a Knight Templar) he decided to follow the calling he felt since childhood - to serve the Church. His faithful squire Pagan has no choice but to follow him, though the first twelve years of his life delivered more than enough of the monastery for Pagan's tastes - obeying rules he thinks are unnecessarily restrictive, issued by petty tyrants, and nary a glimmer of comfort. Unlike Roland, Pagan is under no illusions that the monastic life attracts only those pure of heart, but even he is shocked by the hypocricy and theft he encounters and which he is determined to unmask, even at the risk of his own life.
The most rewarding aspect of the Pagan series is the voice of Pagan - sly, biting, insightful and free from artifice, it is as clear here as it was in the first two books. His loyalty to and intermittant frustration with Roland are undimmed by exposure, and their relationship is the cornerstone of not only the books but of Pagan's life. The plot is unexpected and involving, by turns humourous and shocking, and I found the ending truly unexpected. I've got the next in the series waiting, and suspect I'll be making way through it quite soon. - Alex

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