Sunday, 1 November 2009

Troubadour - Mary Hoffman

Troubadour is set in Southern France in the thirteenth century. The story starts in a Lord’s castle where the Lord’s thirteen year old daughter, Elinor, is making her first appearance as Lady Elinor, a young noblewoman. Her favourite troubadour (travelling musician), Bertran, is moving on to the next town and Elinor’s parents have arranged for her to be married to a Lord in his forties so Elinor, dressed as a boy, sneaks into another troubadour’s troupe with the help of the joglars and joglaresas (minstrels). As Elinor flees, the Pope declares war and the whole of Southern France is chaos.

The story starts with a scene in the Lord’s castle but then splits off into telling what is happening to Elinor, Bertran and also the Pope and his forces. As the story goes on, and we meet more characters and groups slit up, we see what is going on in lots of different places. I enjoyed this because if it had only been following one person there wouldn’t have been nearly as much information and it wouldn’t have been very interesting.

Also, at the back of the book, there is a glossary and historical notes. I found the glossary useful because there were words that I didn’t recognise and I found the historical notes very interesting because I had never heard of the French crusades and I enjoyed the background information.

I thought it was very well written and it kept me hooked. I was desperate to know what would happen to Elinor and her friends so I kept reading it. I would recommend this book to eleven plus.


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