Friday, January 28, 2011

Review: The End of Time - Avi

Synopsis: 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 so 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.

Review: The Cross of Lead - the first book in this series - didn't need a sequel, and I still think that. However, its sequels - At the Edge of the World and The End of Time - are just as good as The Cross of Lead. And I get the feeling that this one may have yet another one after it. It doesn't need one, but I have faith that Avi will do a good job, just as he did with the others. Avi is a very talented author. Never have I encountered one who can write so effectively in any genre he wishes - and for all ages. But I'm especially fond of his historical novels.

I don't really have much to say about The End of Time simply because there are no criticisms and no extreme praise that I have not already said. Normally, by the 3rd installment, an adolescent narrator becomes annoying. But Crispin, being thirteen and in general a good boy, is not annoying and I am quite fond of him. I missed Bear in this one, but as an Author, I can appreciate and understand why he had to die. I was sad that Troth left the story fairly early on, but Owen has his own charm and is an acceptable "replacement" - though that doesn't seem the right word, because he isn't a replacement; he's a new character not meant to fill in Troth's role, but just another unfortunate who Crispin meets along the way.

Like the other two, The End of Time is a very quick read, and I think can be enjoyed by any age. What I really like is in some ways each book in this series can almost act as a stand-alone volume, which is nice when one hasn't read the prequels in a while, and doesn't really have time to go back and read them first. If you haven't read At the Edge of the World, then you won't understand the full story behind Troth nor Bear's death. And if you haven't read The Cross of Lead, you won't be able to appreciate the great loss Crispin feels when Bear dies, nor will you understand why Crispin is so desperate for freedom. But the events that take place in either of those do not so heavily influence its successors that you cannot read one without the other.

The Crispin Series is a very good, quick, enjoyable read. The End of Time doesn't need a sequel, but I will not feel dread as I so often do when an Author adds on to a series that really ought to be finished. Indeed, I'll be content whether or not Avi writes another.

Overall Rating: 

Others in the Crispin Series:
1)The Cross of Lead
2)At the Edge of the World
3)The End of Time

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