Brind has had an unusual upbringing ever since he was found as a baby among a litter of mastiffs 12 summers ago. While he has not been mistreated by the mastiffs' owner Sir Edmund --- a knight who clings to the traditions of chivalry --- the boy has always lived in the kennels with the knight's prized mastiffs. The bond between the dogs, particularly the alpha male Glaive, is so strong that the boy is able to communicate with and understand the pack better than he can humans. The only enemy that the unusual family has is the huntsman Tullo, whose jealousy becomes further evident as the story progresses.
Sir Edmund is summoned by the King to go into battle as England is once again at war with France. He is honored that he has been chosen to go but realizes to his embarrassment that quite some time has passed since his glory days of knighthood, so the weaponry and troops he has to choose from are not as impressive as he hoped they would be. Sir Edmund decides to take Brind and 40 of his hounds, along with his page/nephew Philip, Tullo and his carter Hatton, to France.
However, they are in for a hard journey before they even reach their foreign battleground. When Sir Edmund and his campaign finally arrive, each person's and dog's fate is uncertain as they are separated during the violent and chaotic Battle of Crecy. While Brind searches for Glaive, he meets along the way an impulsive young French girl named Auerlie, who rather reluctantly helps the strange boy while facing an uncertain future of her own. Unfortunately for the trio, danger lurks after them and their fight for survival is far from over.
DOGBOY is a dramatic adventure during a significant time in Medieval history and the classic yet unusual relationship between a young boy and his dog. The novel is well-written, and having some of the various characters' perspectives included with the general story of a battle and its aftermath gives the book more depth. This page-turner is sure to grab the attention and interest of readers of any age.
Reviewed by Sarah Sawtelle on May 9, 2006
- Publication Date: May 9, 2006
- Hardcover: 272 pages
- Publisher: Greenwillow Books
- ISBN-10: 0060841168
- ISBN-13: 9780060841164