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This is book number 1 in the Crispin (Paperback) series.
His journey through the English countryside is amazing and terrifying. Especially difficult is his encounter with the juggler named Bear. A huge, and possibly even mad, man, Bear forces the boy to become his servant. Bear, however, is a strange master, for he encourages Crispin to think for himself.
Though Bear promises to protect Crispin, the boy is being relentlessly pursued. Why are his enemies so determined to kill him? Crispin is gradually drawn right into his enemies' fortress where -- in a riveting climax -- he must become a different person if he is to save Bear's life and his own.
He discovers that by losing everything, he has gained the most precious gift of all: a true sense of self.
A master of breathtaking plot twists and vivid characters, Avi brings the full force of his storytelling powers to the world of medieval England.