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Historical Novels Review - May 1, 2010
"Sankaran tells a vibrant tale, and her research into papermaking and the daily lives of the rich and poor in medieval France adds lush background to this novel. I found it a compelling page-turner... a stunning debut from a talented author."
-- Diane Scott Lewis

Booklist - March 1, 2010
A recent trend in historical fiction is the immersion of multifaceted female protagonists into a trade or profession. Sankaran follows suit by introducing another strong female character into the genre. Born an albino in medieval France, Auda endures a dreadful experience: her tongue is amputated by a healer’s apprentice who believes she has been cursed by the devil. Unable to speak, she is an avid reader and writer who masters her father’s craft as a papermaker at a time when the Church, suspicious of independent thought and communication, tightly controls and monitors access to parchment. When Auda gives voice to her passions through her poetry, both she and her father become victims of the Inquisition. Sankaran deftly illuminates a time of intellectual darkness in this superbly rendered debut.
-- Margaret Flanagan

Library Journal – February 15, 2010
“Avoiding being either overly dark or sweet, this debut historical by an author who already plans a second novel about printmaking in Italy has potential for book club discussions and will appeal to readers of medieval historical fiction who enjoyed Brenda Vantrease’s The Illuminator.”
-- Mary K. Bird-Guilliams, Wichita P.L., KS

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