The Heretic's Apprentice Author:Ellis Peters In the summer of 1143, two important visitors arrive at the Benedictine abbey of St. Peter and St. Paul in Shrewsbury. Gerbert, a mighty prelate, arrives with the appropriate pomp and circumstance. But William of Lythwood comes in a coffin, returned at last from pilgrimage and accompanied by his young attendant Elave. Elave's mission is to s... more »ecure a burial place for his master on the Abbey grounds, despite William's having once been "reproved for heretical views".
Elave,too, has evidently learned skepticism. In a drunken state, among friends (or so he thinks), he says, "there was a father of the church once who said that in the end everyone would find salvation". This is heresy indeed, and a capital charge is brought against him by Gertert; the maid Fortunata, whom Elave adores,becomes a reluctant witness for the prosecution.
When violent death follows, Brother Cadfael is once again torn from his berbiary to adi his old friend Hugh Beringer, the Sheriff. Cadfael's task is doubly onerous, for there are charges of heresy to be rebutted as well as a murder to be solved. And the mystery that unfolds is embellished by the further puzzle of the contents of a marvelous treasure chest, part of Elave's baggage and Fortunata's dowry...« less