Winner of a Newbery Award many years ago, for another novel set in ancient Krakow, Eric Kelly again turns back to the setting he knows so well, for well-done historical fiction rooted in fact. The hero of his story is an ambitious young scholar who had broken with his father because he chose the pen rather than the sword. He leaves home and journeys towards Krakow and the University in company with a monk on mysterious mission. Roman is set upon by thieves, robbed, and loses contact with the monks, and is rescued by a kindly Jewish inn keeper. Brother Carolous, too, had escaped -- and he helps Roman to make a place for himself in the University and to meet the brothers Kopernik (better known to us as Copernicus) and secure a job to see him through. University life was thrilling -- blood was spilled over differences of opinion as to fields of education and theories --Kopernik was his hero and a storm center. And against this background is told the adventure of the mission of the monk, which eventually brought wealth to the University and fame to our hero. Good reading.