In his twentieth chronicle Brother Cadfael is involved in an investigation of a uniquely personal nature, for as he observes, 'Before I was a Brother I was a father.
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.
A more attractive and presupposing detective it would be hard to find. - SUNDAY TIMES
As usual, Ellis Peters writes with quietly compelling expertise and an eye for character. - WOMAN'S JOURNAL
Ellis Peters was a pseudonym of Edith Pargeter, OBE. As Ellis Peters she was the bestselling author of twenty Brother Cadfael Chronicles and the illustrated short story collection A Rare Benedictine. Under her own name she wrote numerous critically acclaimed historical novels including A Bloody Field by Shrewsbury and The Brothers of Gwynedd Quartet. She was the recipient of the Crime Writer's Association and Cartier Diamond Dagger Award. She died in 1995.