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Description - Brother Cadfael's Penance by Ellis Peters

The cloistered walls of Shrewsbury Abbey have always protected Brother Cadfael from the raging Civil War. But when fighting escalates between Empress Maud and King Stephen, the war takes a deadly step closer to him. Taken prisoner in the battle for Maud's land is Olivier de Bretagne, Brother Cadfael's own son- born as a result of a brief encouter thirty years earlier. Now Brother Cadfael resolves to plead for his son's release at a peace conference scheduled to take place in Coventry; but there is no sign of Olivier there. After much soul searching, Cadfael makes the difficult decision to break his monastic vows, leaving Coventry without permission- because he knows he must do everything in his power to find his son.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780751513707
ISBN-10: 0751513709
Format: Paperback
(175mm x 114mm x 19mm)
Pages: 288
Imprint: Time Warner Paperbacks
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Publish Date: 5-Oct-1995
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Book Reviews - Brother Cadfael's Penance by Ellis Peters

US Kirkus Review » The ruinous civil war between King Stephen and the Empress Maud for 12th-century England brings added heartache to Brother Cadfael (The Holy Thief, 1993, etc.) when he learns that his unacknowledged son, Olivier de Bretagne, has become a casualty. Philip FitzRobert's quixotic decision to turn against his father, the empress's half-brother, and order his castellan Brien de Soulis to surrender the castle of Cricklade to the king has stranded 30 of Philip's followers who decline to switch sides so abruptly. Most of these steadfast supporters have been ransomed, but Olivier remains imprisoned in unknown hands. So Cadfael, wresting his abbot's permission to attend the peace conference in Coventry under pain of expulsion if he stays past the meeting's close, ventures forth. By the end of the conference he has to deal with two captives - after Yves Hugonin, the young brother of Olivier's pregnant wife and a suspect in the stabbing death of de Soulis, is snatched from under a safe-conduct as he rides away from the foiled conference. Cadfael will have little trouble proving Yves's innocence, or eliciting a confession from the real assassin, but the abiding interest here is in the increasingly revelatory series of meetings he has with the ruthlessly political yet deeply human turncoat Philip FitzRobert over the fates of Yves, Olivier, and FitzRobert himself. Persevere past the drumbeat of canned history in the opening chapter and you'll find the pace quickening to unfold one of Cadfael's most moving adventures, one that touches his own generous heart most closely. (Kirkus Reviews)


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Author Biography - Ellis Peters

Ellis Peters is one of the pseudonyms of Edith Pargeter who wrote several books under her own name and also Peter Benedict, Jolyon Carr and John Redfern. She was the recipient of the Crime Writers Association and the Cartier Diamond Dagger Award. She died in 1995.

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