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The Heretic's Apprentice Hardcover

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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Mysterious Press
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892963816
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892963812
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.4 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 363 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,007,982 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 23 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
An enjoyable read on many levels Nov. 23 2012
By Nina M. Osier - Published on
Format: Hardcover
William of Lythwood died while returning from his pilgrimage to the Holy Land. His young clerk, Elave, has brought his body home to Shrewsbury in 12th Century England, and now Elave seeks to carry out his master's wish for burial on the grounds of the Abbey of St. Peter and St. Paul. Elave also carries out William's wish to turn over to William's foster daughter, Fortunata, a box that contains her dowry. Elave has no idea of the box's contents, and that proves to be important when Aldwin - clerk to William's household during Elave's long absence - is murdered. Aldwin's death comes shortly after he accuses Elave of heresy, an accusation that results in Elave's being seized and imprisoned to await the judgment of the bishop. Did Aldwin deliberately accuse the younger man out of fear that he might lose his position, now that Elave is back in Shrewsbury? And why does Fortunata's box seem lighter, and have a different sound when handled, now than before Elave turned it over to her?

The rigidity of the 12th Century church contrasts throughout this tale with the more realistic and human viewpoints of some of the church's authorities, including Abbot Radulphus and the Abbey's herbalist, Brother Cadfael. Elave sometimes seems a bit too good to be true, and that's also the case with Fortunata; but otherwise the characters are all too human, mingling good and bad in completely realistic fashion. The plot twist at the end worked well, and so did the story's resolution. An enjoyable read on many levels.

--Reviewed by Nina M. Osier, author of 2005 science fiction EPPIE winner "Regs"
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Good and Valuable Service from the UK Jan. 30 2010
By D. Webb - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Book arrived in several weeks, as seller said it would. This is a great service. These books aren't available in the U.S. and there are very few used copies around for some reason. Getting a clean, new copy for about $20 in a couple of weeks from the UK is a great service, and I feel lucky to have discovered this seller. Good job..
An Intriguing Religious Plot April 27 2015
By Nathan Albright - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Yet again, in distinct ways from previous novels, this novel manages to hit alarmingly close to me. The story of this novel revolves around a young man who loyally brings the coffin of his lord back from their long pilgrimage. There he gives a young foster child of his lord’s family a dowry that proves extremely important to the plot of the novel. Then he spends nearly the entire novel under the shadow of heresy charges because of beliefs that are not far from my own, in questioning the Trinity, pointing to a chance for people and even demons to repent (like Origen) at a future judgment, largely because he seems unable to keep his mouth shut. One of the wiser monks advises him never to write a book because it would have to be burned, wise advice that is not easy for some of us to take. Then, on top of that, he finds himself as the prime suspect of the murder of the man who denounced him for heresy because of a perceived threat to his job, even as he falls in love with the young woman whose dowry he brings.

In many ways, this novel follows certain patterns from previous ones in the series. There are the obvious young lovers who one knows are going to be together, the open-hearted and brave young man falsely thought to be a threat whose character is vindicated and who marries well and finds a responsible position, makes some powerful friends, and wins a lovely bride impressed with his intellect even if he has some strongly worded opinions and some odd beliefs. Why can’t I be this lucky? This novel continues a trend for this series, and that is serving as wish fulfillment fiction for someone whose life could use some wish fulfillment. It is remarkable, and more than a little bit frightening, how a British authoress who died when I was a young teenager still managed to write so many novels about people alarmingly close to me, each novel looking at slightly different facets of the same sort of person that I am, ending up alright because of a friendly author (a very critical element to success, I might add).

In this novel, we see church politics take the center, as a young man with perhaps a bit too much interest in contentious questions finds himself in the middle of a firestorm that involves mobs of bullies and the threat of imprisonment and death, while being a decent fellow with a personality that asks a lot of questions. Also of interest is the fact that the ultimate motive behind murder (plot spoiler alert) happens to be an immensely gorgeous book, a psalter two centuries old that drives people to kill and die for it, until its owner decides it would be better spent glorifying God rather than serving as an object of temptation. It is a wise decision, all the more striking because it is a decision made by a young woman who can barely read at all, and who has been the recipient of an unusual amount of grace by others, grace she extends herself. Even more than is usually the case in these novels, this one left me with a lot to ponder.
Rich and deep Dec 28 2008
By David Wilkin - Published on
Format: Paperback
As i read these I want to be able to be transported away to the period and feel the depth and richness that it has to offer. Here Peters has done so. We get from the Heretic's Apprentice a great deal of the church, both it's politics and workings and the philosophy that was prevalent at the time.

The mystery of course is paramount and the outcome, a happy ending is clear as Peters seems to unite some couple in love in each of these stories, but what is not clear as has been so these last few books is the culprit. Not only do we find a story that takes a complex turn as it delves into heresy, a very real proposition of the time, but we find a mystery having a complex twist to it also.

This twist is the redemption of so many of the previous adventures. Though there is no herbology involved, Cadfael the investigator, the man who is always near the center to momentous events once again helps solve the mystery and brings about our happy ending. Here is a mystery worthwhile.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The Heretic's Apprentice - I give it four stars April 12 2014
By Cathy Preece - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Loved it. Had a hard time putting it down. I would recommend it to any Ellis Peters readers to enjoy

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