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Fabrizio lived in desperate poverty. Sereno was born to privileged wealth. Both friends longed for a better life. A life they thought they found as Franciscan friars.
The year is 1318. Fabrizio now lives in the Friary of San Stigliano in the hills of Lombardy. The wounds from his childhood are slowly healing in this place of peace and security.
Sereno scorns the friary life. He roams the Italian countryside with a band of homeless Spiritual Franciscans, speaking out against all those in the Franciscan Order who do not live according to the absolute poverty of Saint Francis.
Pope John XXII determines to end the divisions that plague the Franciscan Order. When the band of Spirituals appears before the Inquisition at the Friary of San Stigliano, the two friends meet again--on opposite sides of the divide.
As the line between friend and enemy becomes obscured, Fabrizio learns the truth about Christian brotherhood in an autumn that changes his life forever.