Fen, the magnificent warrior takes part in the annual marauding, but is more than surprised to find his match in a squalid monastery on the very fringes. Cai, heir to a warlord and recently converted is more than ready to take arms when trouble visits their rocky shore. He is a charming mix of earthly and ethereal. His frank acceptance of his body's desires is amusing if blasphemous to some. A young man will face temptations, but God is forgiving.Once again, I am enthralled by Fox's lyricism. The structure of the sentences create a cadence that lures me in, some may find it overdone, verbose or prosey--I find solace in it. Her words weave worlds that are so crisp and clear that they're palpable. I can smell the gorse and the yarrow. I certainly can feel the sand and sharp wind on my face. And I can step inside the world and see Fen and Cai and all the brothers of Fara. Beyond that, the discourse on theology and that fractious time of change as new peoples claim a land while wrapped in seventh century Britain is relevant in the world today. Favorite quotes:“I’ll hurt you.” “I want that, this once. Carve your shape into me. So I won’t ever forget.”It was for her sake, for the sake of every creature different, unknown, unable or unwilling to conform to the law of the church or any authority, that Cai would teach his villagers.