The Witch of Leper Cove by Deborah Bogen
Genre of the Book: YA Historical Novel, Medieval
Length: 353 pages
Early in the 13th century Pope Honorius launched the Holy Inquisition sending his Hounds of Gods, into Christendom to root out heresy.
In the English village of Aldinoch, sixteen-year-old Lily and her younger twin brothers have finally accepted their parents’ disappearance and are adjusting to new lives. Separated from each other and their childhood home, grappling with grief, fear, loneliness and guilt, each is sure nothing more can threaten them.
Lily is apprenticed to the local healer, Alice, who takes care of Aldinoch’s sick and gives aid to the colony of lepers living downstream from the village. Her knowledge of the local herbs and illness is the only thing standing between Aldinoch’s villagers and the fevers and agues afflicting them.
But when the Church is infected with worldly ambition not even such a force for good is safe. Bishop Hugo, one of the Pope’s Inquisitors, is called to the nearby town of Guildford to hold hearings and investigate heresy. When Alice is officially accused of witchcraft and imprisoned in Guildford’s ancient dungeon the siblings are forced into action.
In The Witch of Leper Cove we meet not the knights and ladies who so often populate historical novels, but common people caught in the cross-fire of the ruthless and striving. Lily and her brothers are forced to take on a monolithic institution and the powerful men within it. What they discover about the Church and themselves will change them forever.
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