Nancy's Reviews > The Heretic's Apprentice

The Heretic's Apprentice by Ellis Peters
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's review
Jul 09, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: historical, mystery-thriller
Read from July 16 to 17, 2012 — I own a copy

Lots of religious rhetoric in this one, which is not surprising given the title. Our hero, Elave, is accused of being a heretic for his views on original sin, infant baptism, predestination, and divine grace, and for the general impertinence of using his wit to question his religious elders rather than to merely "listen and say Amen".

Peters is a master of words. Even though Canon Gerbert's denunciations of Elave are uncomfortable it's still a joy to read the words strung together. I wish there had been more time spent on Bishop de Clinton's vindication of Elave; I felt like it was too little to balance Gerbert's earlier vehemence.

By this point in the series Cadfael and Hugh are well known and beloved characters, and Shrewsbury (both the town and the abbey) are equally well known familiar places. It's like spending time at home with loved ones.

I was thankful that this book's lovebirds were different from the two "at first sight" pairs in the previous books. They'd been familiar to each other through childhood and now (re)discovered each other as more mature young adults. They are also both far more present on the page as living, breathing, intelligent characters.

A lot of misery is dealt upon one family, which echoes plots of previous books (Sanctuary Sparrow, The Devil's Novice) but the rest of the plot is sufficiently different.

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07/16/2012 page 53
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