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Written by Jody Perry
Robin is the main character in the novel. He is ten years old and is the son of a Knight, so he is expected to follow in his father's footsteps and become a knight himself. This never seemed a daunting expectation to Robin until his legs were struck misshapen by a mysterious ailment and he begins to doubt his ability to become what is expected of him.
Robin is very mature for his age and much more responsible than most ten-year-olds. He does enjoy playing and likes the company of boys his age. He also enjoys more serious pursuits such as music and uses his skill at whittling to make himself a harp on which he is soon able to play songs. Robin seems to like to challenge himself and loves to learn. He proves to be a very quick study.
Robin is extremely courageous and does not falter when it comes to carrying out his plan to save Lindsay Castle; in fact he seems to relish the opportunity to prove himself, although he is proving something to himself far more than he is to other people. Robin wants very much to be brave and focuses a great deal of attention to this, both in the eye of the storm of battle and in more peaceful times, for example, not wanting to be seen to miss his mother too much for fear of seeming less knight-like.
Brother Luke is a wandering monk who has come recently to join the monks at St Mark's monastery. He is a kind man who takes Robin under his wing, feeling sorry for him yet wanting to make sure Robin does not feel sorry for himself. Brother Luke is very busy with work in the community and is benevolent when it comes to dealing with rich and poor alike. He is reassured and inspired by his faith, seeing God's hand in everything they are blessed with. He is a sensitive and artistic man who enjoys teaching Robin to read and write. He is ingenious in finding ways to help others, for example, directing Robin's energy into swimming, and having him help the poor children of the parish by whittling a doll for one of the poorest little girls.
John is a minstrel-cum-messenger who hails from Shropshire, very close to Lindsay castle, where his mother still resides. John is a good friend to Robin and is instrumental in getting messages back and forth between Robin and his father. He is also key in galvanizing Sir Hugh's troops into action against the Welsh, an act for which he is rewarded by the King with land and fishing rights.
Sir John de Burford
Sir John is Robin's father and the most renowned knight of the King's army. His posture whilst riding is distinctive and he rides at the side of the King. He is a proud father regardless of Robin's physical limitations; his son has great character so for his father, Robin's heroics are the icing on the cake rather than the catalyst for being proud of him.
Robin's mother has been called to the service of the Queen who is suffering a period of ill health. Although being the Queen's foremost lady in waiting is a great honor and a compliment to her standing in society, Lady Maude would rather be back in London with her beloved son. She is physically demonstrative and cannot wait to hug Robin even though she can see he has become less boy and more man in the months they have been apart.
Sir Peter de Lindsay
Sir Peter was a brave knight fighting alongside the King until he received an injury to his head in battle; even whilst recuperating he is a natural leader commanding both the respect and the liking of the people of Lindsay. He is extremely welcoming to Robin and does not see his physical shortcomings as a problem in his fulfilling his page boy duties.
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During this time of plague, the monks were busy caring for those who contracted the disease and trying to keep those who hadn't succumbed safe. Some monks are hard at work transcribing and illuminating manuscripts. They also garden and whittle....