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Troubadour by Mary Hoffman


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Shortlisted for the Costa Children's Book Award 2009.

Costa Book Awards 2009 Judges' comment: "We loved this terrific historical adventure story with its passionate and gutsy heroine."

There’s romance, intrigue, religion and bloodshed all tightly interwoven in this historical thriller. Rather than marrying the old nobleman her father has chosen for her, Elinor determines to run away with Bertran the Troubadour. As the witness to a brutal murder for which the all-powerful Pope is bound to seek revenge, Bertran is on a mission to warn all other heretics of the terrible dangers which are pressing in around him. Elinor and Bertran make wonderful guides to the historical upheaval that threatened the south of France.

If you like Mary Hoffman you might also like to read books by Anna Godbersen.


Troubadour by Mary Hoffman

A story of persecution and poetry, love and war set in 13th-century Southern France. A troubadour, Bertran, witnesses the brutal murder of the Pope's legate, and risks his life to warn others of the war that he knows is certain to follow this act. The lands of the peaceable Cathars - deemed heretics - are now forfeit and under threat from crusaders who have been given authority by the Pope to take the Cathar domains by force. But the Pope is trying to track Bertran down and so is somebody else: Elinor, a young noblewoman, in love with Bertran but facing a loveless arranged marriage, flees her family and becomes a minstrel herself. Soon both Bertan and Elinor find themselves enveloped in a rising tide of bloodshed that threatens the very fabric of their society.


Praise for 'Falconer's Knot': 'A pacy and highly enjoyable read there is a freshness of perspective and intricacy of plot that lifts the story above the obvious or crass. The female characters and their struggles to find some autonomy beyond the confines of the roles allotted to them provide a particularly vivid thread beneath the mystery narrative I defy anyone to read this book and not want to visit Assisi

About the Author

Mary Hoffman

Mary Hoffman has written around 90 books for children. Amazing Grace, commended for the Kate Greenaway medal, has sold over 1.5 million copies. Its sequel, Grace & Family, was among Junior Education 's Best Books of 1995 and shortlisted for the Sheffield Libraries Book Award 1996. Mary lives in Oxfordshire.

You can read her contributions to The History Girls blog by clicking here.

Mary Hoffman's Ten Things You Didn't Know About Me:

I had my appendix taken out by Enid Blyton's husband! (Fortunately he was a surgeon)

My first book was read in manuscript by Richard Adams, author of Watership Down and he suggested sending it to his publishers, Rex Collings, after a dozen others had turned it down. They took it.

I didn't change my surname when I got married.

Amazing Grace and Boundless Grace (which is what Grace and Family is called in the US) were both turned into musical plays and performed in Minneapolis in 1995 and 1998.

When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a garage mechanic.

I didn't learn to drive until I was over fifty.

My husband is half-Indian. His mother was a Parsee, born in Bangalore.

One of my great-grandfathers was German, another Irish.

I am learning Italian and would love to have a house in Italy.

I never wear or own anything blue.

Photo by Jess Barber (©Jess Barber)

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Book Info

Publication date

3rd August 2009


Mary Hoffman

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Bloomsbury Publishing PLC




NewGen - YA Fiction
eBook Favourites



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