Synopses & Reviews
In the midst of a long, bleak winter in the year 1383, flooding brought famine, famine brought disease, and The Black Death visited town after town.
Into this watery world, against a background of plague and the turmoil of the Hundred Years War, a brave and brilliant nun, Abbess Hildegard, embarks on a quest for a precious relic, the Cross of Constantine.
Strong-willed and independent, she will need remarkable skills to survive. For with the English Crown at stake, there are many who want her mission to fail—and one, above all, who plans a deadly revenge.
"Set in 1383, Clark's compelling second historical (after Feb. 2009's Hangman Blind) takes Sister Hildegard, healer and sleuth, to Italy on a secret mission 'to bring back the legendary cross of Constantine,' a powerful relic coveted by the archbishop of York. In the guise of a pilgrim, Hildegard joins an armed baggage train that includes a shipment of wool. When the stinking corpse of a clerk with his throat slashed turns up in a crate of wool on the travelers' arrival in Flanders, Hildegard has to wonder who would want to murder a lowly clerk. With England in the middle of the Hundred Years' War and Europe divided between rival popes, everyone's allegiances and loyalties are uncertain. The author paints an authentic picture of late medieval life as Hildegard journeys from the Yorkshire moors to thriving Flemish towns and on to alpine passes leading to the wealth of early Renaissance Italy. Enough questions remain at the end to leave readers eagerly anticipating the next installment." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
CASSANDRA CLARK, who lives in London, introduced Abbess Hildegard in her acclaimed first novel, Hangman Blind.