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The Devil's Novice (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael Book 8) and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
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The Devil's Novice: 8 (Cadfael Chronicles) Paperback – 10 May 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere (10 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0751547034
  • ISBN-13: 978-0751547030
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.8 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 68,588 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Soothing, but no shortage of mayhem. (OBSERVER) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By IP TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 9 July 2015
Format: Hardcover
The perfect companion for all historical fiction enthusiasts is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKER Calix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker

A young man, Meiret Aspley, who is obviously on tense terms with his father, is received into the abbey of St. Peter and St. Paul as a candidate for the community. Meanwhile, there is a missing cleric from the house of the powerful bishop of Winchester, one who was an envoy to the Northern baron, the Earl of Chester, whom bishop Henry, the King's brother, is courting as an ally for Stephen in his war with the Empress Maude for the English crown; no one has seen the canon since he left the manor of Aspley, the family home of the young new novice.

While fervent in his desires to rush the usual procedure and take committing vows early, Meiret is not the world's most suitable candidate for monkhood. In addition to personality characteristics such as aloofness, Meiret has troubling dreams at night, which are so loud and so disturbing that the other novices become afraid, fearing he is possessed by demons, calling him the Devil's novice. Meiret's cause is not advanced when he attacks the officious Brother Jerome for taking and burning a keepsake that Meiret had under his mattress.

Caedfel journeys to Aspley to find out more about Meiret, and comes across a young heiress who has her cap set for Meiret despite his oblivion to her presence in any capacity more than a former playmate. Caedfel and Isouda become co-conspirators to find out what is troubling Meiret. Then the horse belonging to the missing envoy is found; that and other discoveries throw suspicion squarely on Meiret.
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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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2 of 3 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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