Between the Forest and the Hills

Book cover: 'Between the Forest and the Hills'
Ann Lawrence
Bethlehem Books
Number of pages: 
247 pages
Grade / Age level: 

Described as "a historical fantasy", this story is about the Roman town of Iscium, located in western Britain. As the Roman influence and protection disappears, the town leadership bends over backwards to stay out of the limelight and avoid trouble with the Saxons.

When Falx, a young orphan disillusioned with the prospects of life in his brother's household decides to runaway to Rome (under the influence of a talking raven!) "trouble" becomes unavoidable. He befriends a lost Saxon girl and meets up with a strange but benevolent merchant who plays a significant role in the adventures awaiting the town. I found parts of the book to be exceedingly funny (particularly a scene involving a bishop, some bees and some rather superstitious Saxons), but the more subtle humor would probably be best appreciated by the somewhat "well-read" high schooler, rather than the reluctant reader.

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