The Devil's Novice (Brother Cadfael Series #8)

The Devil's Novice (Brother Cadfael Series #8)

by Ellis Peters

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In September of the year of Our Lord 1140, a priestly emissary for King Stephen has been reported missing. But what troubles Brother Cadfael is a proud, secretive nineteen-year-old novice. Brother Cadfael has never seen two men more estranged than the Lord of Aspley and Meriet, the son he coldly delivers to the abbey to begin a religious vocation. Meriet, meek by day, is so racked by dreams at night that his howls earn him the nickname the Devil’s Novice. Shunned and feared, he is soon linked to the missing priest’s fate. Only Brother Cadfael believes in Meriet’s innocence, and only he can uncover the truth before a boy’s pure passion, not evil intent, leads a novice to the noose.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780449207017
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/12/1985
Series: Brother Cadfael Series , #8
Pages: 224

About the Author

Although she wrote under a number of pseudonyms, Edith Mary Pargeter (1913-1995) is perhaps best known as the mystery author Ellis Peters. Pargeter wrote the Brother Cadfael series featuring a medieval Benedictine monk. She won many writing awards during her lifetime and a number of her Brother Cadfael books were made into television movies.

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The Devil's Novice (Brother Cadfael Series #8) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
wyvernfriend on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The monastery receives a new novice Meriet Aspley. He appears meek but his nights are punctuated by screams, waking the other monks and earning him the nickname of Devil's Novice. Cadfael isn't sure why he wants to become a monk and isn't sure that it's for the right reasons.Interesting and involved, though occasionally my brain did stray that may have been with the astonishment that there was some sun.
Joycepa on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
8th in the Brother Caedfel series.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.Another good book in the series of the late-to-vocation Brother Caedfel, Benedictine lay brother and master of herbs at the abbey of St. Peter and St. Paul. This is not a heavyweight series, but rather a gentle excursion into the Police procedural genre set in the 12th century. Peters¿ writing is never hurried, and her characters are not complex although well-drawn. What makes the series interesting is the political history that is seamlessly interwoven into each of the stories. It was a terrible time, of civil war, in England, and the ordinary people were, as usual, the ones who suffered. More than most, this book depends on the shifting alliances of that war for its main story-telling impetus. Peters does an excellent, although understated, job of depicting how the actions of high lords influenced events on the local level.Highly recommended.
seoulful on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have finally found an Ellis Peters, Brother Cadfael mystery story that didn't quite measure up to the high standard she has set and achieved in the other Brother Cadfael mysteries. I believe the answer lies in the rather unsympathetic ancillary characters that not only don't ring true, but also do not inspire our interest. We still have the tried and true Brother Cadfael, resident monk and herbalist at the Abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in Medieval Shrewsbury, England as well as Hugh Beringar, the no nonsense sheriff of the shire plus the gentle monk, Mark, who cares for the lepers and maimed at nearby St. Giles. We also have the excellent descriptions of medieval life and wonderful use of the English language from Ellis Peters to give pleasure to one of her lesser offerings.
DWWilkin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The prose is very enjoyable in the early half of the book. The mystery solution seems to become apparent as the story unfolds, but the conclusions for it are a little forced, perhaps needing another clue or two.
maita on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A novice is wracked by nightmares. His nightly screams named him as the Devil's Novice. It is Brother Cadfael who uncovers the hidden hurts he has witnessed and uncover a crime in Shrewsburry. Good read. I love Brother Cadfael mysteries. He has a certain flair in a medieval world.
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