When young Elinor's parents insist she marry a much older man, Elinor runs away and becomes a troubadour-a traveling poet and minstrel. However, thirteenth century southern France is not a safe place to travel. A large army is invading in the name of religion, but really in an attempt to gain more profit and land. Elinor and her friends are caught in the conflict and the politics.
Hoffman's writing is full of historical detail about a lesser known time period in southern France. She includes battle and political details, but also does an effective job at describing culture and everyday life. The storyline is a little slow, but the characters are intriguing enough to keep the reader's interest. The main character is a thirteen-year-old girl, but I think this book would be more interesting for an older, history-loving audience.
Recommended ages 14+.