First Sentence: The spiteful wind of a bleak, icy February blasted down the muddy track and around the sparse huddle of buildings as if it hated the world and everything in it.
Father Gilbert has broken his ankle and a substitute priest has been sent. Father Micah's fanaticism has won him no friends. However, it wasn't expected to find his body lying in a ditch. A man speaking a foreign language begs help of the Abbey of Hawkenlye. The woman he carries has been severely whipped and her forehead branded.
From Gervase de Gilfford, in the service of Richard FitzRoger de Clare, Sir Josse d'Acquin learns the two people were part of a group of Cathars traveling through England. Josse and Gilfford seek to find the rest of the group and the killer of Father Micah.
Catholics, Cathars and pagans, what a great combination. I actually like a bit of woo-woo and, in this time where some did still practice the old ways, it worked for me.
Helewise and Jose are wonderful characters and never more so than in this book. Their friendship is strong and an important element of the story. Each had a question of their faith versus morality. It was handled very well. There are some wonderful supporting characters, particularly Father Gilbert and Gervase de Gilfford, of whom I hope we see more.
Clare always creates a very strong sense of time of place. I particularly like that her dialogue provides a sense of the period without being over the top. The story was very well plotted, although you did have to wonder at the alternating POVs. I should have known to trust Clare in that she always being the story together and always ties up all the loose ends
This is a great series; a pleasure to read, and one with which I shall definitely continue.