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Crispin: The End of Time

Crispin, The End of Time

The Crispin Books, book 3 of 3
Balz­er + Bray, 2010

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audio book nar­rat­ed by Ron Keith

Other books in the series:
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What’s this book about?

“As long as I could keep myself out of bondage, I would be true to Bear’s teach­ing. And so it was that beyond all else, I was deter­mined to keep my freedom.”

After the death of their beloved men­tor, Bear, Crispin, and Troth are more des­per­ate than ever, wan­der­ing the des­o­late French coun­try­side, where they don’t speak the lan­guage and know no one. The only hope they cling to is that some­how they can reach Ice­land, where Bear had said there were no kings or lords, and where they can live in free­dom. Crispin is deter­mined to ful­fill this dream, both for him­self and to hon­or Bear’s mem­o­ry. But the road to lib­er­ty is filled with dan­ger, betray­al, and loss. Crispin must decide for him­self what free­dom real­ly means—and how high a price he is will­ing to pay for it.


Story Behind the Story

It was one of those rare moments in my writ­ing life: When I con­cep­tu­al­ized writ­ing the Crispin books, I envi­sioned a series of four books, each with a cer­tain sto­ry. The fourth book was very much in my head. It would take place in Ice­land, and beyond. Curi­ous­ly, I even knew the last line of the final book.

First how­ev­er, there was the third book to write, Crispin: The End of Time.



“Avi guides his hero toward a final, very sat­is­fy­ing des­tiny in this won­der­ful­ly real­ized con­clu­sion to the Crispin tril­o­gy. With Bear, their men­tor and pro­tec­tor, dead, Crispin and the dis­fig­ured girl Troth weari­ly wan­der the French coun­try­side. Find­ing refuge at a con­vent, the two ulti­mate­ly make the wrench­ing deci­sion to part when Troth decides to stay with the Sis­ters, com­fort­ed that she’ll nev­er again be shunned for her appear­ance and hav­ing accept­ed her own des­tiny as a heal­er. Bereft of his only friend, Crispin even­tu­al­ly falls in with a band of trav­el­ing musi­cians, who, he finds out in increas­ing­ly sus­pense­ful scenes, are mur­der­ous thieves who hold a ter­ri­fied boy in thrall. The sto­ry of how he and the child, Owen, escape their clutch­es makes for a heart-stop­ping read. As in the oth­er titles in the saga, char­ac­ters and set­ting are expert­ly ren­dered. The end­ing is almost unbear­ably intense and leads to a deeply mov­ing final scene in which Crispin learns that Bear will always be with him. Thrilling and beau­ti­ful­ly wrought. (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)

“Still griev­ing for the father­ly pro­tec­tor they call Bear, Crispin and his friend Troth wan­der north­ward through the four­teenth-cen­tu­ry French coun­try­side in rags, beg­ging for food and hop­ing to arrive in Ice­land. They arrive at a con­vent where the nuns val­ue Troth’s skill with heal­ing herbs, and she decides to stay. Alone and near star­va­tion, Crispin joins a troupe of trav­el­ing musi­cians who prove to be a band of mur­der­ous thieves. Dis­cov­er­ing their plot against him strength­ens Crispin’s deter­mi­na­tion to escape, to free their ser­vant boy, and to make his way to Ice­land. Crispin’s phys­i­cal and emo­tion­al suf­fer­ing mag­ni­fied by the story’s almost unremit­ting ten­sion, make this one of the less-roman­ti­cized medieval nov­els writ­ten for young peo­ple. Though the pub­lish­er states that the tril­o­gy begin­ning with the New­bery-win­ning Crispin: The Cross of Lead (2002) ends here, the con­clu­sion, which holds the promise of more adven­tures for Crispin, may not sat­is­fy fans. Still, with nec­es­sary ele­ments from the pre­vi­ous books relat­ed quick­ly, even read­ers new to the series will find this a com­pelling, first-per­son nar­ra­tive.” (Book­list)

“Pro­lif­ic sto­ry­teller Avi revis­its the hero of his New­bery Medal win­ner, and this final vol­ume in the Crispin tril­o­gy show­cas­es the same strengths as the ear­li­er books: brisk, sus­pense­ful nar­ra­tive with effort­less­ly inter­wo­ven details of medieval life and provoca­tive ques­tions of ethics and moral­i­ty. With their men­tor, Bear, now dead, Crispin and Troth are left to make their way to Ice­land, a place report­ed­ly free from much of the strife of Eng­land and France. But when Troth’s skill with herbs finds her a home in a con­vent, Crispin must jour­ney on alone. He joins a fam­i­ly of trav­el­ling musi­cians pur­port­ed­ly on their way to per­form at a wed­ding in the port city of Calais. It’s a com­fort to him that they speak his native lan­guage, but when their true natures as mur­der­ers, thieves, and kid­nap­pers are revealed, Crispin must pull off a dar­ing plan in order to escape them. It’s anoth­er rous­ing page-turn­er, and it’s sure to please fans of the series …” (The Horn Book)

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Other books in the series:
if you liked this book, try: