©1990 Ellis Peters; (P)2003 Chivers Audio Books
I love the Brother Cadfael mysteries, partly because they are such a departure from the typical frenetic pace of our day-to-day lives... They are low-tech, moral and always have intriguing mysteries that are complex enough to keep you interested and guessing, but not so "deep" as to make them a "heavy" read. They are simultaneously a small window into history and "the times." Great body of work. Ellis Peters deserves special kudos for continuing to write consistently "good stuff." Stephen Thorne does a terrific job narrating. I think that is a job that is often underrated.
Excellent performance , but a tortured plot. I liked to listen over and over, but not with this one. Of course I am a prude.
The Cadfael stories are always interestingly complex, immersed in historic context and full of interesting characters. This one is among my favorites, wherein even the characters who just sort of "pass through" the story are beautifully drawn and intriguing.
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.
This story just didn't do it for me. I finished it through sheer determination, but didn't end up caring much for the characters - I just felt kind of neutral about them and not involved at all. This will be my last Brother Cadfael novel because I have other less expensive ways to be bored.
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