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L'apprendista eretico (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael #16)

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4.11  ·  Rating details ·  3,733 Ratings  ·  106 Reviews
Fervono i preparativi all'abbazia benedettina di Shrewsbury, in un soleggiato giugno del 1143 per la festa solenne in onore di Santa Winifred. Ma l'atmosfera di esultanza e trepidazione è presto smorzata dall'arrivo inatteso di due pellegrini: il primo è l'altezzoso Gerbert, canonico agostiniano di Canterbury; il secondo è un cadavere. Il pio mercante William di Lythwood, ...more
Mass Market Paperback, TEAdue #965, 248 pages
Published 2002 by TEA (first published 1989)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Valerie
One of the charms of the Brother Cadfael series is the feel for routine experiences, craft methods, etc.

This book deals with a poisonous atmosphere of compulsory orthodoxy. It also gives a fairly good description of the art of making vellum.

I should say that there's one aspect of the books that has always disturbed me: the apparent authorial complicity in the pervasive societal discrimination against the nocturnal. This isn't unique to this series, but it's the more disturbing in well-written bo
...more
Ron
Sep 04, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
While Ellis Peters' Cadfael series avoids the church bashing indulged by the Mystery videos of the same name, she does recognize there were institutional and individual abuses. This is a good read.

Cadfael series: excellent historical fiction. Ellis Peters draws the reader into the twelfth century with modern story telling but holds us there with a richness of detail which evokes a time and place which might as well be fictional. Though the foreground of each chronicle is a murder mystery, behind
...more
Robyn
Mar 26, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery lovers, history lovers
It has taken me a whle to get into the Cadfael books but now that I have, I am hooked. I like the simple mystery elements of these stories and like having enough information to be able to deduce the crime for myself. I hate it when an author keeps clues to themselves so that the reader has no hope. I also like the attitudes to religion expressed through the mouths of the main characters.
Sue
Jul 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, england, medieval
Elave enters the courtyard of the Abbey pushing a cart bearing a casket. He is granted permission to speak tnext day at Chapter and tells a tale of having been on pilgrimage with William of Lythwood (of Shrewsbury) for the last seven years. William died en route back to Shrewsbury and it was his wish to be buried at the Abbey. William had been a faithful member and contributor to the church prior to his pilgrimage and his request was granted after some discussion. The night of William's funeral ...more
Deborah Pickstone
Satisfying re-read of an old favourite. I was particularly taken, on this read, by the interesting subject matter of heresy. Of course, it all came out well but yet an overview of the possible positions that might be taken on the subject were examined and the peril that such an accusation placed a person in at that time made clear. Although Cadfael is very much HF comfort reading, it is clear the Ellis Peters (Edith Pargeter) actually was well-read on the subject (which is one I find most intere ...more
Stephen
Mar 15, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all cadfael fans
Continuing my pilgrimage through Elllis Peters' saga of murder mystery romances, I reread the Heretic's Apprentice and enjoyed it completely. It's another satisfying installment in the series. This time a young man returns from the holy land with the body of the man that he accompanied on pilgrimage. Seven years have passed since the man and boy's departure and the boy is bearing a gift/dowry for the man's ward, an ornately carved box. And the boxes contents remain a mystery for a good part of t ...more
Spuddie
Re-read of the sixteenth book in the series that is probably my all-time favorite mystery series featuring the medieval monk, Brother Cadfael at the abbey of St. Peter and St. Paul in Shrewsbury.

This one I had figured out ahead of time, but whether that was because I have read this before--although I didn't remember the solution when I started the book--or just that I've gotten better over the years at sorting the mysteries out well in advance, I don't know. I still enjoyed it.
Lyn Elliott
'A Mediaeval Whodunnit' is the subtitle on my edition and that sums it up very nicely. Its a good story, told with all the period detail and fine characterisation you expect from Ellis Peters.
It's really a 3.5 for me. Good fun to read on holiday and for a light break in between more solid fare.
Carol
Sep 23, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I always enjoy spending awhile with Brother Cadfiel. In this case there is a small inquisition in the Abbey of Shrewsbery, handled adeptly and wisely by the abbott. As the theologen Paul Tillich said, "Doubt is not the opposite of Faith, it is an element of Faith."
Fredrick Danysh
William of Lythwood returns from a pilgrimage in a coffin under the care of his apprentice Elave who seeks a burial site at the abbey for his master. Elave is accused of heresy for a statement that he made while in his cups. Brother Cadfael is forced to leave his herb garden to settle matters.
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
I got overtones of "phoning it in" from this one, my least favorite of the Brother Cadfaels I've read so far.
Susan
Aug 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Heresy was a new topic in the Chronicles of Brother Cadfael. The heresies themselves were things that people have grappled with for a long time, and continue to do so. The reactions of different characters to the heresies were varied and interesting. Fortunately, there was a good resolution which would not, I think, usually have been the case. There was also a mystery which I had half figured out but I needed Brother Cadfael's and the author's help to get it all straight. Sad to see how basicall ...more
Stephanie
Jun 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I really enjoyed this one because it involved medieval manuscripts, plus it was a good plot with good characters. I liked the nuanced characters and the treatment of theological questions, which at first seemed like it was going to be too simplistic and yet ended up being subtle and satisfying.
Leda
Jun 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Heresy

Another entertaining tale of Brother Cadfael. Heresy is at the center of this one and takes a wise counsel to ferret out the truth.
Sienna
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bests, read-2017
Wonderful. Ellis Peters would definitely be one of my picks for the ideal dinner party. Cadfael too if I could invite fictional characters!
Kathryn
Apr 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2007, reread-books, 2010
1st Recorded Reading: August 20, 2007.

I found this particular book in the series of Brother Cadfael mysteries to be quite, well, mysterious; besides dealing with young love and the obligatory dead body (one almost starts wondering, at the beginning of each book, who it is that is wearing the Red Security Shirt made infamous in every given Star Trek episode, as it was always a guy in a Red Security Shirt who got killed in the first few minutes of each episode), the question of Heresy raises its h
...more
Nathan Albright
Nov 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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, ...more
Nancy
Jul 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Malcolm
Aug 23, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
Brother Cadfael’s 16th outing, there seems to be a high fatality rate in 12th century Shrewsbury, is an engaging delight following the convention and form of the previous – a youthful romance, threatened lovers, a murder most foul and a morally corrupt reason, in this case covetousness. Peters’ formula works well, she has a fine grasp of medieval church convention but not one so alien that we cannot easily recognise it in the present, made all the more so by at times surprisingly modern thinking ...more
Andrew Doohan
Another wonderful volume in the ongoing Chronicles of Brother Cadfael series which in this volume deals tangentially with one those aspects of Church history - the allegation and prosecution of heresy - which is both a blight on the life of the Church and a necessary part of the life of the Church.

The story, as always, involves the untimely death of residents of Shrewsbury (to which I make a mental note that I would never want to live there!) and the interaction between the monastic Brother Cadf
...more
Andrea Hickman Walker
This is the only Cadfael mystery I've ever had to restart because I just couldn't get into it the first time. I suspect the reasoning for that was that it was around the time I was reading about the Inquisition and there's really only so much religious intolerance I can handle. I didn't even make it to the murder the first time!

This time, I finished it and enjoyed every moment of it. Given the amount of so-called heresies abounding at the time (and, really, ever since such a thing was invented),
...more
Mark Robertson
The plot here sticks to the Brother Cadfael formula: There's a murder and multiple suspects, including a falsely accused young man who either already is or becomes involved with a beautiful young woman, a woman willing to risk everything to save her lover. Cadfael's heart at the plight of the young lovers and he eventually finds the true murderer. Along the way there are usually a few more killings and trips around the countryside. These books may be predictable, but that doesn't mean they're no ...more
Doria
Jan 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
SPOILERS

Ah, so fun to read!! It's like eating cheesecake: sinful and rich, yet also nourishing, and even, arguably, nutritious. I think I loved this particular Cadfael so much because it had to do with one person's obsessive, murderous love of a particular book. Most of the Cadfael books deal with more prosaic (heh heh, get the pun??!) or predictable motives for murder - jealousy, greed, etc. The motive of insatiable book-hunger took me by surprise, hidden as it was behind the plot's focus on a
...more
Fiona
I would not be surprised if I came back to this book in a few years and upgraded how many stars I give it.

This is the first Cadfael book I've finished, although not the first one I've started - I was handed one in my early teens when I was very much into Poirot, and found it dull as ditchwater. Now, I think I'm growing into them a bit more. I can see reading a few more, getting to know the characters a bit better, and moving from finding them diverting to very much of a treat. At the moment, tho
...more
D.w.
Jan 21, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
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 book
...more
Anne
Feb 03, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't love this one as much as I loved the first two Brother Cadfaels I read recently, but what amazes me is the incredible depth and breadth of research that Ellis Peters must have done to put this one together. She had to craft compelling heretical statements and their counter-arguments (and the counter-arguments to the counter-arguments!), write convincingly about vellum-making, and describe a psalter created by an Irish monk a century before it appeared in this story. I believed her entir ...more
Alessandro Balestra
Jun 09, 2013 rated it it was ok
Inghilterra, XII secolo. Durante la festa di Santa Winifred, la tranquillità dell'abbazia di Shrewsbury viene bruscamente interrotta dall'arrivo di Elave, un giovane pellegrino che porta con sè il corpo senza vita di William di Lythwood, un vecchio mercante dal torbido passato. Costui, come ultime volontà, desiderava essere seppellito nel cimitero del monastero e donare uno scrigno dal contenuto misterioso a Fortunata, sua figlia adottiva. Tutto si complica quando lo zio della ragazza viene trov ...more
Frode
Feb 12, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was a bit disappointed in this book. The single red herring was not too convincing, and the real murderer was the only other character that was remotely possible. Peters used a theological debate over free will and mentioned Augustine but not Pelagias, who was the real promoter of the debate. I think her characterization of the antagonists was a usurpation of literary license. The defender of Augustine was made to seem bigoted, narrow, and overly dogmatic. The defender of free will was made ou ...more
The Hobbit
Elave brings his master's body back from the Crusades to England and carries a package the dying man instructed his squire to give the man's niece Fortuna for her dowry. Elave also arrives home professing his master's religious beliefs, some of which the Church considers heretical. A servant in his master's household accuses Elave of hersey. When the accuser is found murdered, Elave is the prime suspect. Brother Cadfael also realizes there is a problem with Fortuna's gift, an elaborately carved ...more
Joanne
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4046
A pseudonym used by Edith Pargeter.

Edith Mary Pargeter, OBE, BEM was a prolific author of works in many categories, especially history and historical fiction, and was also honoured for her translations of Czech classics; she is probably best known for her murder mysteries, both historical and modern. Born in the village of Horsehay (Shropshire, England), she had Welsh ancestry, and many of her sho
...more
More about Ellis Peters...

Other Books in the Series

Chronicles of Brother Cadfael (1 - 10 of 21 books)
  • A Rare Benedictine (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, prequel stories 0.1-0.3)
  • A Morbid Taste for Bones (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #1)
  • One Corpse Too Many (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #2)
  • Monk's Hood (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #3)
  • St. Peter's Fair (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #4)
  • The Leper of Saint Giles (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #5)
  • The Virgin in the Ice (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #6)
  • The Sanctuary Sparrow (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael #7)
  • The Devil's Novice (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #8)
  • Dead Man's Ransom (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #9)

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“One century's saint is the next century's heretic ... and one century's heretic is the next century's saint. It is as well to think long and calmly before affixing either name to any man.” 11 likes
“They sell courage of a sort in the taverns. And another sort, though not for sale, a man can find in the confessional. Try the alehouses and the churches, Hugh. In either a man can be quiet and think.” 11 likes
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