Heathens and the Dragon, The
Thistledown Press / 8 November 2023

The Heathens and the Dragon: A 13th-Century Adventureby Kate A. BoormanPublished by Thistledown PressReview by Toby A. Welch$16.95 ISBN 9781771872478 It’s been decades since I was in middle school, the suggested reading demographic for The Heathens and the Dragon. But I loved every word. Don’t let the age recommendation turn you off if you are a fan of fun historical fiction. This is an enjoyable read that people of all ages can get into.  The Heathens and the Dragon tells the story of a spunky 12-year-old named Elodie. She and her younger brother become orphans when their mother passes away and their master is arrested. Not sure how to survive, they attempt to follow and find him. They head into a forest, which is where the real spice in the book kicks in. They encounter a troubadour – a French medieval lyrical poet – who offers to help them and their amusing pet chicken. To survive, they create a music performance to make money for food and supplies. (The music and magic show they perform is called The Heathens and the Dragon, hence the name of the book.) A prevalent dynamic of the story is Pagan beliefs and rituals as well as resistance toward anyone…