Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Dragon of Handale

The Dragon of Handale

A Mystery

Abbess Hildegard of Meaux (Volume 5)

Cassandra Clark

Minotaur Books

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Hildegard, no longer a member of the Cistercian order of nuns, has returned to the priory after more than a year from her pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Still unsure whether she will rejoin the Order, the Prioress suggests that a visit to Handale Priory might help provide some clarity. Used as a house of correction for sinning nuns, it lies in the north of the county in the middle of a vast wood and is run by the ambiguous Abbess Basilda and her close group of hard-faced acolytes.

While walking about the grounds, Hildegard discovers the corpse of a young man in the morgue. His body bears deep gashes from neck to groin. His wounds appear to be the ravages of claws, but larger than any animal Hildegard knows of. Is it possible that the young man was killed by a dragon, as Hildegard's been told? Of course, Hildegard does not believe in dragons, and despite being warned against it, she goes for a walk in the woods. There she discovers a secret tower, locked and barred, with armed men on guard.

What is so valuable that it needs such protection? Has it anything to do with the mystery of the young man's death? And why have assassins been pursuing the King's courier across the savage moor land only to murder him at a lonely wayside tavern? Hildegard risks all dangers to seek out the truth.

The Dragon of Handale is the fourth novel in Cassandra Clark's acclaimed mystery series set in the 14th century.

EXCERPT

CHAPTER 1



The blade plunged gently between the man's buttocks, then pushed its full length in one slow movement to the hilt. The action was perfectly controlled. The stiletto was withdrawn and the assassin wiped the blade on his surcoat....

Reviews

Praise for The Dragon of Handale

“Outstanding. . .Clark pulls everything together neatly in a moody, atmospheric whodunit while sustaining a high level of tension throughout.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review) on The Dragon of Handale

“A dramatic mystery lavishly studded with period details: Clark's best to date.” —Kirkus Reviews on The Dragon of Handale

“In The Dragon of Handale, Cassandra Clark creates a mystifying setting filled with medieval crimes and entangled politics, along with a string of macabre transgressions, perfectly matching the detailed periodic aspects of the story's surroundings: There are cold, dark deeds happening deep within the secluded and shadowy woods of Handale in winter.” —The San Francisco Book Review

“Clark's 14th-century-set Abbess of Meaux series continues its compelling, well-written path. She creates a vivid picture of the time with both historical and fictional characters...Hildegard springs from the page.” —RT Book Reviews

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Cassandra Clark

CASSANDRA CLARK lives in London. The Dragon of Handale is the fourth novel in her acclaimed series featuring Abbess Hildegard. Her childhood spent in Yorkshire was her inspiration for the series.

Cassandra Clark

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