Generally I love all the Brother Cadfael stories, but I disliked this one. The story line was very weak, with a body showing up in a potter's field and the surrounding story of who it was and how it got there. Central to the story was a man who abandoned his wife to enter the monastery. The monks kept going on about how he did the right thing by following his vocation, but never once mentioned that it was a greater sin to renounce his sacramental marriage vow to become a monk. The identity of the body and how it came to be in the field was finally revealed but by a very weak plot device.
The story line is very detailed, much more so than it needs to be. The real action scenes are barely mentioned but the details are listed as an afterthought. Too much emphasis is placed on silly and non essential details such as someone bridging their nose with fingers, spitting, getting food poisoning, etc. These are details that are best left out of the story as they don't contribute to either character development or to moving the plot forward. As far as character development goes, this is virtually nonexistent.
No, I've suffered through the first four books in the Camulod Chronicles, and have had enough. Once he had Merlyn come down with leprosy, I thought, that's it, I'm over this series. This plot contrivance was just too stupid for words.
His style is very stilted, almost as though a fifth grader was reading the story. No, I would not consider listening to anything by this reader again.
Very few. If it had been shortened by about two thirds and had some actual characters in it, it might be worth reading or listening to.
The Merlin trilogy by Mary Stewart, unavailable in audiobook, is by far the best of the King Arthur books that I've ever read. Her prose is unsurpassed for shear beauty. This series just doesn't come even close. I can't imagine that anyone likes it.
This was definitely the best of all the Brother Cadfael books. I kept looking forward to driving to and from work so I could listen and find out what happened. Brother Cadfael goes off to find his son who is held by Phillip, Robert of Gloucester's son. He manages to secure his release along with that of Yves, his son's brother in law, and befriends Philllip at the same time. This is one of the few books of this series that does not have a pair of star crossed lovers who come together in the end. There is a murder in the story, but it is secondary to the main plot. All in all, a fascinating story, much too short. Stephen Thorne is an excellent narrator, giving just the right amount of individuality to each character.
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