Humiliated by his father in front of their household, Leofwine's only crime is that, unlike his wild, younger brother, he finds no pleasure in terrorizing the countryside. Leofwine finally receives permission to enter a monastery but shortly after his dream is fulfilled, he hears strange rumors of a French monk who preaches "heresy". Unable to stop thinking about these new ideas, Leofwine and his fellow monks become convinced that he must be under the spell of a witch. At last, Leofwine determines to leave the monastery and England, hoping that in the holy life of a pilgrim he will find freedom from the curse that he feels he is under. His search for inner peace takes him to France and to Rome and finally to Jerusalem, but all of his travels leave him more confused than ever, and worse yet, he uncovers a plot against his native England. Now Leofwine must find a way to help his beloved country and also decide what to believe about the surprising ideas he has heard in a small village in the Alps.