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The Devil's Novice by Ellis Peters
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The Devil's Novice (1983)

by Ellis Peters

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Brother Cadfael (8)

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1,380308,522 (3.87)51

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English (26)  French (2)  Spanish (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (30)
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
Meriot Aspley comes to the Abbey at Shrewsbury as a young troubled novice. Cadfael feels he may not really be fit nor wishes to be in the Benedictine order, contrary to what he says. Meanwhile, chaos is in the countryside and an emissary for King Stephen goes missing. We meet Brother Mark again - Cadfael's former assistant and now the Brother-in-charge at the hosital for lepers at St. Giles - who is an important part of the plot. Ellis Peters at her best and a surprise ending. ( )
  fdholt | Jun 15, 2019 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
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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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