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Children's Fiction Medieval

The Heathens and the Dragon

A 13th-Century Adventure

by (author) Kate Boorman

Thistledown Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2023
Medieval, General, Values & Virtues
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2023
    List Price

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A middle-grade medieval adventure starring two orphans, a troubadour with dancing feet, and an irascible pet chicken by an award-winning YA writer.

From award-winning author Kate A. Boorman comes her first middle grade historical novel, set in France in the Middle Ages at a time of great religious upheaval. The Heathens and the Dragon: A 13th-Century Adventure stars twelve-year-old Elodie, a resourceful guardian to her little brother Bertran. Together they perform for their very survival.

Elodie works hard to keep a clean house for her master, take care of her little brother, and guard the secret pagan beliefs she was taught by the mother they recently lost. But the world around her is growing suspicious of paganism and violent toward non-Christians. When Crusaders arrive to arrest her kindly master, a Cathar, for heresy, he flees, and the orphans Elodie and Bertran try to follow his trail.

Armed only with meagre supplies and a few good stories, they head into the forest, where they soon become lost. Luckily, they join forces with Joie, who has mysteriously left court life and appears eager to help them. To earn money and food, the trio improvises a spectacle involving storytelling, music, and a chicken-assisted magic trick. The crowd's applause almost allows Elodie to forget that her dragon tale dishonours an origin story sacred to her mother.

When Joie's own secrets emerge, Elodie is faced with a new dilemma. With Crusaders hovering and a voracious audience clamouring, Elodie realizes that, to save herself and Bertran, she?ll need to decide who to trust&mdashand who to betray.

About the author

Contributor Notes

Kate A Boorman is an author from Edmonton, Alberta, with roots in the small town of Rimbey, Alberta. Her books have been published in four world territories and have appeared on a variety of Best Of lists, from Seventeen to O! The Oprah Magazine. The first book in her acclaimed, Winterkill trilogy won the Alberta Writers' Guild Award for Children's Fiction. Her latest YA, Into the Sublime, was a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection. The Heathens and the Dragon is Kate's middle grade debut. When she is not writing, she is wrangling her family and dreaming up travel to faraway lands.

Editorial Reviews

"Gripping, enchanting, and funny, this is a truly beautiful story about the secrets we keep, the timeless search for belonging, and the possibilities of wonder." - Alison Hughes, Governor General's Literary Award finalist and author of Fly and Over the Top"An adventure, a quest, a tale of found family, and of the power of stories?The Heathens and the Dragon has it all! Boorman's beautiful writing brings us on a journey that veers from hi-jinks to heartbreak and even sneaks in a history lesson along the way. I adore this book. " - Dana Alison Levy, acclaimed author of the Family Fletcher Books