The year is 1142, and all England is in the iron grip of civil war. And within the sheltered cloisters of the Benedictine Abbey of St. Peter and St. Paul, there begins a chain of events no less momentous than the political upheavals of the outside world.
First, there is the sad demise of Richard Ludel, Lord of Eaton, whose 10-year-old son and heir, also named Richard, is a pupil at the Abbey. The boy refuses to surrender his new powers to his formidable grandmother; supported by Abbot Radulfus, Richard defies the furious Dionysia.
A stranger to the region is the hermit Cuthred, who enjoys the protection of Lady Dionysia, and whose young companion, Hyacinth, befriends Richard. Despite his reputation for holiness, Cuthred's arrival heralds a series of mishaps for the monks. When Richard disappears and a corpse is found in Eyton Forest, Brother Cadfael is once more forced to leave the tranquility of his herb garden and devote his knowledge of human nature to tracking down a ruthless murderer.
This is the fourteenth chronicle of Brother Cadfael, of the Benedictine Abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, at Shrewsbury.
"Ellis Peters does her usual neat job of history-cum-entertainment, and Roe Kendall does an equally neat job of delivery....Overall [Kendall's] presentation has a lyric, musical quality that is quite charming." (
AudioFile) "A wonderful history lesson wrapped up neatly in a mystery and served with style and grace." (
"Enchanting....Medieval England comes marvelously alive." ( Washington Post)
"Brother Cadfael remains as shrewd and unpredictable as ever." ( Publishers Weekly)
"Kendall has a fine touch with accents, and it is easy to tell the characters apart." ( Library Journal)
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