In the tradition of the Canterbury Tales, the first half of this story is told by different people who are sitting in an inn recounting their experiences with the titular characters. The story is set in Medieval France and the main characters are Jeanne, a peasant girl who has visionary seizures, William, a mixed racial young monk who is very large and preternaturally strong, and Jacob, who is a Jewish boy with the gift of healing. As the three make their way in the world, fate leads them to meet and go on a quest that will eventually lead them to glory or death.
This book is all over the potential Newbery lists and got starred reviews just about everywhere. It is irreverent and funny, but also deep and enchanting. It is interesting to read a book that deals with Christian mythology and folktales instead of Greek or Norse. I liked it a lot, but I am not sure how I feel about the ending. I thought it was a bit of a Deo-ex-machina, and I didn't at all see it coming. It will be very interesting to see if it gets any awards next month. (363 p.)