In THE PRIORESS'S TALE, set three years after the death of the wise, beloved Domina Edith, her wish that dispenser Dame Clare succeed her as prioress has not been honored. Dame Alys has managed to gain the post of Domina, and everyone else in the nunnery has lived to regret it. Her hair-trigger temper has terrified most of the nuns into letting her steamroller them into doing her will, despite her obvious unsuitability for the post. The book tells the tale from the viewpoints of both Domina Alys and the biggest thorn in her side, Dame Frevesse, who literally feels the prioress's shoeprints in her flesh at one point -- and that's the least of what she has to suffer under Domina Alys. Domina Alys is interested in promoting the nunnery to greater status, even though many of her actions -- from housing for life her aunt Eleanor and signing up her niece and her cousin's daughter as novices (despite their obvious lack of piety) to entertaining her relatives (the devious, amoral, and cunning Godfrey family) to her latest folly of wanting to add a tower onto the nunnery to house a new bell that has yet to materialize (despite the fact that the stonemasons haven't been adequately paid and may well walk off the job) -- don't take into account the fact that the nunnery doesn't have that kind of sustained income and probably never will. Even worse, a Godfrey younger son, Benet, has kidnapped a most unwilling bride, Joice -- who was about to be pledged to a member of the family the Godfreys hate most: the Fenners, Sister Thomasine's family (although she is immune to Domina Alys's tyranny because of her unworldly piety). It becomes clear to the agonized Domina Alys and the distressed Dame Frevesse that the nunnery is being used by the Godfreys as a staging ground for seizing by force from the Fenners what they have been unable to obtain in court; the nunnery has been unwittingly living off of goods pilfered from Fenner properties. When Domina Alys fires nunnery steward Roger Naylor, it goes from absolutely bad to absolutely worse. She is in over her head, but refuses to admit it, even to herself, until it's too late, pinning her hopes on the possibility of a supposed miracle performed by Sister Thomasine on a madman making the nunnery another Canterbury to save the day. But the madman is no madman, and neither is traveling minstrel Joliffe. When the Godfrey behind the impeding resumption of the Godfrey-Fenner feud is stabbed in the night, things reach boiling point.