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The Devil's Novice by Ellis Peters

The Devil's Novice (original 1983; edition 1985)

by Ellis Peters

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1,336298,691 (3.87)51
Title:The Devil's Novice
Authors:Ellis Peters
Info:Sphere (1985), Edition: New edition, Paperback, 286 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:crime fiction, historical fiction, read 2012

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The Devil's Novice by Ellis Peters (1983)



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English (25)  French (2)  Spanish (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (29)
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
There was more of the "local politics" of the Stephen/Maud civil war in this novel than in previous ones. Opportunist nobility and bishops are seeking to take advantage of the political chaos by setting up their own fiefdoms that support neither Stephen nor Maude. Nobody is quite sure of what the mission was of the priest murdered in the forest.

Meriet is the Lord of Apsley's second son, delivered to the Abbey to become a priest, while his first son Nigel is about to be married and will take over lands to the north as part of his wife's dowry. Brother Cadfael is pretty sure Meriet does not have a vocation, that he has come to the Abbey for some other reason.

Reading these novels in order pays off as some characters persist from one to the other, and assist in the development of Cadfael's character. Cadfael works in tandem with Hugh Berengar the deputy sheriff of Shrewsbury who is now consistently featured. ( )
  smik | Jan 19, 2019 |
Clearly something is troubling Meriet Aspley, 19, who is dropped off at Shrewsbury Abbey declaring his intention to become a monk. Elsewhere, the Bishop's man, Peter Clemence, a distance relative of the Aspleys, has gone missing and no one knows where. Brother Cadfael is intrigued, especially by certain actions of Meriet. Did the young man commit murder? Or who is he protecting? ( )
  phoenixcomet | Sep 30, 2018 |
3.5 stars ( )
  natcontrary | May 21, 2018 |
From the back of the book: "In the autumn of 1140 the benedictine monastery at Shrewsbury find its new novice Meriet Aspley a disturbing presence. Meek and biddable by day, his sleep is rent with nightmares so violent as to earn him the nickname of "Devil's Novice'. Can Meriet be involved in the nearby disappearance of a superior prelate? As events take a sinister turn it falls to Brother Cadfael to detect the truth behind the young man's predicament." I believe this it the eighth Brother Cadfael mystery. ( )
  gypsysmom | May 10, 2018 |
A young man seems to be totally eager to give his vows and become and monk but Cadfael feels there might be some reason he is in such a hurry. The second son of a wealthy landowner (and as such ineligible to inherit), Meriet seems to have no better path for his life. When out collecting fallen tree branches for firewood, Meriet leads them to an abandoned coalmaker's hut where they discover a recent fire which consumed a dead body. This victim turned out to be a recent visit to the town, Peter Clemence. Whatever Meriet knows about the death is giving him terrible nightmares that cause him to wake up screaming.

In his usual slow and gentle way, Cadfael gathers information about the victim and his young novice and how the two are related.

I love the gentle life of the monks as world events swirl around them and gentle eddies stirring up their lives and adding some worldly content to their lives. ( )
  mamzel | Dec 19, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ellis Petersprimary authorall editionscalculated
BascoveCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Benjamin, VanessaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chwat, SergeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Doleżal-Nowicka, IrenaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hansson, LarsTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Langowski, JürgenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Menini, María AntoniaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thorne, StephenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tull, PatrickNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zardoni, MonicaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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.
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It is 1140. The Benedictine monastry at Shrewsbury finds its new novice Meriet Aspley a disturbing presence. Meek by day, his sleep is disturbed by violent nightmares that earn him the nickname of "Devil's Novice". Can he be involved with the disappearance of a superior prelate?
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Suspicions abound when a young man turns up at Shrewsbury Abbey wanting to join as a novice and the half-burnt body of a missing cleric is found.

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