Published Jan 2010
A storm driven night…wreckers deliberately drive a helpless merchant ship on to a rocky shore on the west coast of Ireland. Abbess Faife, leading a pilgrimage to a holy mountain, is slaughtered, and her six companions, young female religieuse, are abducted. An ageing ecclesiastical scholar is murdered in the oratory of the Abbey of Ard Fhearta. Do these bizarre events have a connection?
Sister Fidelma and her companion, Brother Eadulf, are asked to go to Ard Fhearta to examine the mystery at the request of Abbess Faife’s nephew.
But the Abbey of Ard Fhearta stands in the territory of the Ui Fidgente, blood enemies of Fidelma and her brother, Colgu, King of Cashel, for the nephew of Abbess Faife is none other than Conri, warlord of the Ui Fidgente.
Many dangers threaten Fidelma and Eadulf from the time of their arrival at the gates of the abbey.
Who is the mysterious ‘master of souls’? Has the evil Uaman the Leper, Lord or the Passes, returned from what was presumed his watery grave? Is he the shadowy ‘master’ spreading death and corruption across the land? Or is the bombastic chieftain, Slebene of the Corco Dhuibhne, playing some malevolent power game of his own? What malicious hazards await Fidelma and her companions on the tiny, storm-blown Seanach’s Island, where only a small group of religious hermits are supposed to dwell?
In a brutal and unforgiving seventh-century Irish landscape, Fidelma and Eadulf face one of their most perilous undertakings yet…..