Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Precious Norman Honor by A.L. Stumo

Precious Norman HonorMaud is an eleven year old girl in medieval times. The castle she serves in is under siege by King Henry's men. Her master, an earl, is away muster more troops to his cause. Maud's father has been instructed not to let the king have the castle. Thus, families, children, and all that serve the earl are barricaded within its stone walls while the King's army throw stones and arrow over it.

It's really kinda funny, actually, all these grown men just throwing rocks at each other, until someone gets hurt, that is..

Maud has problems with all this.. She's bored. She wants to look over the walls and see the soldiers, see the army, and the catapult. But all the adults tell her no over and over again. There were moments while reading this when wondered if the entire novel was just this eleven year old girl wanting to climb the tower.. She is obsessed with climbing the tower to the point that it gets a bit irritating, but this is a YA novel.

There's more going on though.. There's the very real threat of running out of food. There's an earl that doesn't appear to be coming back. Maud has a sick friend. And it seems some of the men think they are better than the others... Soon there's Norman vs Saxon rivalry right within the castle. Tensions run high. Just where is the battle? Outside the castle or in?

Quibbles: I don't think I've ever said this before, but this would have been better with a male hero, from a male POV. Maud goes nowhere but the kitchen, the hall, the garden, and back to the kitchen. She's allowed to do nothing but pull weeds, chop vegetable, serve food, and mess with wool. At times, this makes for very dull reading. Had it been told from a male POV, granted, the boy would never have left the castle grounds either, but at least he would know what was going on outside of it and be able to see outside the castle walls and in turn, so would the readers. Plus, he'd be flinging rocks and dung. Much more entertaining than pulling weeds.

If I was an eleven year old, I would have enjoyed it a lot more. It does capture the medieval way of life very well and from an eleven year old's POV. Not bad. Three stars.

I received this in ebook format from the author.

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