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Devils Novice (Windsor Selections) Hardcover – Large Print, 1 Jul 1999


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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Chivers Large print (Chivers, Windsor, Paragon & C; Large type edition edition (1 July 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0754012328
  • ISBN-13: 978-0754012320
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,254,910 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Soothing, but no shortage of mayhem. (OBSERVER) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

In his eight chronicle Brother Cadfael has to discover whether the tormented dreams of a young novice are somehow linked to the mysterious appearance of one of his superiors. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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First Sentence
IN THE MIDDLE OF SEPTEMBER OF THAT YEAR OF Our Lord,1140, two lords of Shropshire manors, one north of the town of Shrewsbury, the other south, sent envoys to the abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul on the same day, desiring the entry of younger sons of their houses to the Order. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Steve Benner TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 10 July 2002
Format: Paperback
The big mystery throughout this eighth of Ellis Peters' Chronicles of Brother Cadfael is not really who, in the depths of the Salop countryside one day in the late summer of the year of Our Lord 1140, committed murder most foul upon the person of Peter Clemence, cleric to Bishop Henry of Bois - but why! And also just what the connection might be between the unfortunate demise of a harmless cleric - seemingly not even relieved of his valuables - and the latest candidate to be accepted into the noviciate of Shrewsbury's abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, the nineteen-year-old, Meriet Aspley. For it is obvious, from the very opening of this book, to both reader and Brother Cadfael alike, that there is some dark secret haunting the latest entrant to the abbey. There is also little doubt that the sad fate of Peter Clemence has some bearing upon it. Equally obvious is that the mediaeval sleuth will need to have not only his wits but also all of his tact about him too, if he is to winkle out the truth behind matters here, both of the circumstances of the cleric's death and of young Meriet Aspley's sudden-found yearning for life within the cloister.
In her usual manner, Ellis Peters drip-feeds her hero and her readers alike with tantalising but measured trickles of information, permitting both to proceed but piecemeal (and at about the same pace as each other) towards the final revelation and the story's sudden resolution. Along the way, we are treated to the author's characteristically over-glamorised view of Mediaeval English life, with her entirely comforting (and rather touching) view of the honest goodness of the (Saxon) poor, as well as the essentially corrupt nature of those who would aspire to power (usually those overbearing Normans, of course).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michele L. Worley on 20 Jun 2005
Format: Audio Cassette
"They say there's a devil at him in his sleep, and it was he brought it here among them, and who knows which of them it will prey on next? The devil's novice, I've heard him called. Oh, I put a stop to that, at least aloud. But it's what they're thinking."

- Brother Paul, master of novices

"The devil is always the intruder, the stranger, the one who is different. Every successive wave of newcomers from the mainland of Europe, either from the north or the east, was the very devil in its day."

- from SHROPSHIRE: A MEMOIR OF THE ENGLISH COUNTRYSIDE

While Abbot Radulfus questions the wisdom of accepting novices too young to know what they're giving up, he has no objection to a young man past nineteen entering the cloister of his own free will. Meriet Aspley, younger son of the Norman lord of Aspley, seems like a straightforward proposition: a younger son, perhaps seeking a career rather than a vocation, but surely none the worse for that as long as he strives to be a credit to the order. But Brother Paul, for one, is uneasy about him, having never before seen a postulant pursue his vows with such determination but so little joy.

By day, Meriet is all dutiful obedience, studying hard and petitioning to have his probationary term shortened, but by night he wakes the entire monastic household with violent nightmares. He's never served in the armies of either king or empress and seen little of violence save on the hunt, yet the mere sight of a fellow novice struck unconscious by a freak accident sends him into shaken silence.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S. Watts on 29 Oct 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book arrived as specified by the delivery date and was just as described,I would order from this seller again.
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Format: Audio CD
Story is very good. Reader is not so good. female reader in story where most characters are male and she's not so good at doing male voices. Also some errors eg read trail instead of trial. Other errors of phrasing - ie emphasis on wrong word. But I did listen all the way through and still enjoyed hearing the story.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Item came promptly, well packaged and in perfect condition.
The female reader's voice deepening for male voices was extreme, unnecessary, and became jarring ~ however not enough to spoil the story. Some odd phrasing and emphasis here and there. I'm picky!
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By ABmonkey on 28 Jan 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Politics and war, unrequited love, misunderstanding, familial loyalty at its best and its worst.

Another good murder mystery with a surprising twist.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Sympathetic handling of nightmares is necessary to solve the mystery of a missing emissary as well as the troubles of the novice of the title. Mark gives the sympathy but Cadfael sorts out the troubled relationships..
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Ellis Peters not only tells a good story; she teaches mediaeval history with the reader hardly realising it. I wish there were more Brother Cadfael novels.
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