Omnibus Books, 1992 – newest
edition, Allen & Unwin, 2007

Book One in the ‘Pagan Chronicles’

Available from
Allen & Unwin
Amazon
iTunes

Other books in the ‘Pagan Chronicles’
Pagan in Exile | Pagan’s Vows
Pagan’s Scribe | Pagan’s Daughter

In the first adventure of the ‘Pagan Chronicles’, sixteen-year-old Pagan is assigned to work for Lord Roland de Bram, a Templar knight, in medieval Jerusalem. Set against a background of mounting tension as the Infidel army closes in on the city, Pagan’s Crusade traces the growing friendship between the knight and his orphaned squire.

This title is also available in the United States (Candlewick Press) and Germany (Carl Hanser Verlag).

‘Pagan . . . tells his adventures in chatty, modern English in a story full of pace and humour.’
The Observer

‘This book is a great, big, unholy delight . . . Jinks deftly interweaves the customs, clothing and food of medieval times with jokes, sharp caricatures and stench.’
The Australian

‘As a historical novel, Pagan’s Crusade is at once thoroughly ground-breaking and part of a solid tradition . . . Catherine Jinks has the capacity to overcome any current preconceptions 
about the genre.’
Viewpoint

Click here for more reviews

‘Jinks’s alternately hilarious, often poignant novel . . . turns medieval history into fodder for both high comedy and allegory . . . This series may well become a cult favourite.’
Publishers Weekly

‘Rich, vivid storytelling, with a sturdy base in historical events, and undercurrents both comic and serious.’
Kirkus Reviews

‘What a romp! Not since Don Quixote took up with Sancho Panza has a knight had a squire like Pagan Kidrouk.’
The Voice of Youth Advocate (Voted a VOYA ‘Perfect 10’ Book in 2003)

‘Pagan’s Crusade [and] its sequels are . . . significant in their revitalisation of historical concepts in fiction.’
Magpies

‘Fast-paced, lively and very witty.’
The Bookseller

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  • lalucela

    Hi, sorry to post this here, but there doesn’t seem to be any other way of bringing this to your attention. Did you realise this is the bolded description of Pagan’s Crusade on Goodreads?
    “Catherine Jinks spins a colorful tale loaded with action, down-and-dirty details of mediaeval life, and a healthy helping of sarcasm, sure to appeal to a teen reader – especially boys.” <- wut. "…especially boys."?
    This series was one of my absolute favourites as a young reader, for so many reasons. I still recommend it to any- and everyone whenever we get a copy at the second hand bookstore where I work. I would hate to think anyone was put off reading this just because it's "for boys".

    • Catherine Jinks

      I try not to look at goodreads because I try not to read reviews – the bad ones can chip away at your confidence, and you need confidence to keep writing. (Edits are bad enough.) However, that blurb you mentioned sounds like a very old one, from years back, when people were very worried about how boys didn’t seem to be reading as much as girls.
      Nowadays, of course, there are probably an equal number of girls not reading – and we’ve got a bit more subtle about attracting male readers. But you’re quite right – I get the impression that the ‘Pagan’ books were always more popular with female than male readers (unlike the ‘Genius’ books). So apart from anything else, this goodreads logline (or whatever it is) is just plain wrong. I wouldn’t have the faintest idea what to do about it, though. I have no internet skills whatsoever.
      Thanks so much for spruiking Pagan. It’s lovely to know he still has friends – especially ones who work in bookshops. I’m very grateful! And feel free to post ANYTHING here; it’s my only contact with the outside world …
      Subject: Re: New comment posted on Pagan’s Crusade

  • Emily

    I just want to tell you how much I love these books. They are the funniest, most moving books I have ever read. They really mean a lot to me and I am forever grateful that you wrote them!!!

    • Catherine Jinks

      Thank you so much, Emily – I appreciate your heartwarming message – it’s nice to know that Pagan is still remembered fondly some twenty years after his birth!
      Subject: Re: New comment posted on Pagan’s Crusade

  • Tobie

    I’ve been to the Templar Headquarters in Acre. It’s pretty neat. I still have the flyer, its permanent home is in the pages of Pagan’s Crusade.

    I’ve also been to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, but don’t have any pamphlets.

    • Catherine Jinks

      Oh, wow. You lucky thing. I’ve never been anywhere near Jerusalem – and the only Templar church I’ve ever visited is the one in London. Don’t lose that pamphlet! (I’ve still got pamphlets from my first visit to Europe thirty-odd years ago.)
      Subject: Re: New comment posted on Pagan’s Crusade

  • Greg

    Still love Pagan!

    • Catherine Jinks

      OMG Greg, are you still out there? It’s a miracle we’re not both dead! So good to hear from you – still chugging along, I trust?

      • Greg

        Yes still alive!

  • Alfie

    Hello Catherine
    Unfortunately i wont have much time available to read this book in the upcoming period of time that has been set to me. If possible, may you please give me a brief overview of each chapter i know this is a lot to ask and hopefully it wont take too much time from you, if this is possible that would be great. This would allow me to get an understanding of the book and i will read it in a later time.

    • Catherine Jinks

      I’m sorry, Alfie, but it’s been twenty-seven years since I wrote that book and I don’t actually remember what happens, chapter by chapter – all I remember is a broad overview.

      • Alfie

        oh wow, sorry i had no clue of the age of this book. Thank you for responding

  • Gina B.

    I have been looking for the audio version of Pagan’s Crusade (and all of Pagan’s Chronicles) . Looks like there is an audio version read by Mr. Wemyss that was available as an audio tape format but that is no longer sold, and no cd or downloadaable format shows up so perhaps never was available. Could the audio version be made available to check out from library through Overdrive or to purchase through a download site such as Google books? If not, any chance there are some copies of the audio tapes versions laying stashed in boxes somewhere that might be brought out and put out for sale (for some of us who still have perfectly good tape players)?

    Gina

  • Catherine Jinks

    Hi Gina – sorry about the delay in replying – I’ve been away. It so happens that I have a few of those old tape sets, so if you’d like one, I’d be only too happy to send it to you. My agent has a P.O Box address – Margaret Connolly, PO Box 945 Wahroonga 2076 NSW – so maybe you should send a cheque through to her, to cover the postage and packaging (the amount depends where you are – Australia or overseas) and I can post you the tapes? They’re in a box about the size of an old plastic VCR box. (Remember those? I remember BETA!!!)

    • Gina B.

      Thank you Catherine! I would be delighted to buy the set. More than delighted! I’m in USA, postal code NY 13037. Will an international money order be easy for you to deposit? I can send that to your agent. Then please wait until it arrives and clears before sending the tapes.

  • Catherine Jinks

    Hi Gina – I’ve just been digging around in the archives and realise that I’ve only got tapes for the first three Pagans, but only one SPARE SET – for Pagan in Exile. I’m thinking I should keep at least one set for each book (since they’re obviously so rare!) but you can certainly have the spare ‘Pagan in Exile’. Since you live in New York, though, it’s going to be pretty expensive to post – the set is as big as an old VHS box. I’ll have to take it up to the post office and get an idea of how much it will cost. Then I’ll tell you and you can send the money order to my agent.

    • Gina B.

      Catherine, I apologize: I am very VERY sorry for not replying sooner! And thank you so much for checking on what audio tapes you have available. On the one hand, I would love to have your one extra Pagan in Exile. On the other hand, I fell compelled to point out that may not be your best option and I may not be the most deserving recipient: They do seem to be rare and there are so many fans of Pagan, and although I am a fan of your works, I haven’t read any of the Pagan series yet so can’t count as Pagan fan (though I do expect I will be joining that crowd). I was actually hunting for the first book on tape because I only just this year discovered your works — Pagan sounds so interesting and I have been enjoying everything on audio I could get ahold of here… but just could not find audio version of Pagan anywhere. So I haven’t read any Pagan books yet at all (however, I am going to get the print version as that is available). That’s why I feel I don’t deserve the only extra Pagan in Exile audio that exists in the whole world! But if you decide you don’t want to auction it to the highest bidder (and you probably should seriously consider doing that ) or give to an already longstanding Pagan fan, then do keep me in mind as definitely interested… and in that case let me know when and if you find out the shipping costs (and add to the cost for the actual tapes too) and I would gladly send that to your agent.
      Gina

    • Greg

      What year do the tapes date from, Catherine? In which territory were they released? I wonder who owns the copyright in the recording?

      • Gina B.

        I wonder, too. When looking for Pagan’s Crusade audio through Overdrive, I found the following message: “UNAVAILABLE in your region. We can’t find this title to buy or borrow in your region. This book is only available in the following regions: Singapore, Australia, New Zealand.” I’m thinking it sounds like Overdrive actually has the title as ebook or audio that it can lend out in some parts of the world but not here in U.S. If so, very frustrating. Copyrights must be complicated, with audio and electronic downloads in addition to cd, tape, and print. Maybe this could be renegotiated so that Overdrive could make Pagan audios available to the rest of the world (through libraries) or Audible or something. (Off to library to pick up the actual book which is widely availble in U.S. thank goodness)

        Gina

        • Catherine Jinks

          Hi Gina

          I’ve just worked out that I have two copies of Pagan in Exile AND Pagan’s Vows. I might wait a little while to see if anyone pops up who desperately need them for anything, but if no one does, I’d still be happy to send. I daresay nobody will be able to listen to them for much longer anyway, because wither (a) they’ll deteriorate or (b) there won’t be any casette players left in the world!

          • Gina B.

            Hi Catherine, That sounds very good to me; that way if ever they do come my way I will not feel too guilty to enjoy them if l know the original Pagan fans had a chance! (But please do also check whether you could sell to highest bidder and use the money to build a new wing of children’s hospital!). In the meantime, I have a hardback Pagan’s Crusade from interlibrary loan and enjoying immensely.

            I will be keeping my tape players going as long as possible! Even if Sony quits making them, I’ll get my old ones repaired. I’m hanging on to my favorite books on tape. The tapes themselves don’t self destruct in a couple decades like the CD media. Tapes should be perfectly fine for many years (though I’ll have to keep a mending kit and learn how to splice).

            I hope someday the Pagan audio versions are allowed to be more widely available, such as through Overdrive. Given a good narrator, the audiobook version lengthens the enjoyment, doesn’t skip or miss anything, and also pronounces words and names correctly. When I read with my own eyes, I tend to “gobble” books too fast and really miss a lot. I didn’t realize I missed so much until I started to listen to books I’d already read and thought I knew well. And the narrators bring something of their own that is often truly wonderful that I could never do for myself (I’m thinking of Mandy Williams singing Birdie’s fabulous gruesome songs).

            Gina

          • Catherine Jinks

            Oh yes, speed reading – it’s a curse. The writer Helen Garner once went to a speed reading teacher to ask if there was any way she could teach herself to read more slowly, and he looked at her as if she had two heads. But I know EXACTLY WHAT SHE MEANT!

          • Greg

            I can encode audio cassette to mp3, so it would be preserved for digital posterity (and Pagans many fans!) but there’s the copyright issue – and I’m a few K miles from the tapes!

      • Catherine Jinks

        Hi Greg! Long time no message! Boy, are we ancient or what?

        I’ve got the first three talking books here. All of them are labelled ‘Louis Braille Books’ (South Yarra, Victoria, Australia) and are read by actor Stig Wemyss. The dates on two of the tapes (Pagan in Exile and Pagan’s Vows) are 1994 and 1995. I’ve no idea if Louis Braille Books still own the copyright. Since the tapes are over twenty years old, I don’t even know if they’re still playable! And now I’m just going to pop down and reply to Gina’s last message … I can’t believe that she actually messaged you!

        • Greg

          Older and wiser, Catherine! And in your case, hopefully closer to writing us more about a certain Mr P Kidrouk! How can we tempt you!

          Providing the cassettes haven’t been stored at extreme temperatures they should play back OK. The compact cassette format was very forgiving – I have tapes going back to 1979 which still play OK. The copyright in the recording probably still belongs to an entity, whether Louise Braille Books are still trading or not.

  • Sue Bursztynski

    I just picked this off my shelves today and reread in a sitting. I’d forgotten how good it was and now I must reread the lot!