North Prairie, WI, USA
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  • The Devil's Novice

  • The Eighth Chronicle of Brother Cadfael
  • By: Ellis Peters
  • Narrated by: Vanessa Benjamin
  • Length: 8 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 97
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 39
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 41

Outside the pale of the Abbey of Saint Peters and Saint Paul, in September of the year of our Lord 1140, a priestly emissary for King Stephen has been reported missing. But inside the pale, what troubles Brother Cadfael is a proud, secretive 19-year-old novice. Brother Cadfael has never seen two men more estranged than the Lord of Aspley and Meriet, the son he coldly delivers to the abbey to begin a religious vocation. Meriet, meek by day, is so racked by dreams at night that his howls earn him the nickname the Devil's Novice. Shunned and feared, Meriet is soon linked to the missing priest's dreadful fate. Only Brother Cadfael believes in Meriet's innocence, and only the good sleuth can uncover the truth before a boy's pure passion, not evil intent, leads a novice to the noose.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Poor Narration Detracts from Story

  • By Steven on 11-10-03

Poor Narration Detracts from Story

3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-10-03

Much of the enjoyment of listening to The Devil's Novice is compromised because of poor narration. Technically, it often sounds like the narrator has a blanket over her mouth. Artistically, she sounds like a little kid trying to sound like Daddy when she attempts to portray a male character. And why use a female voice to read a novel that is primarily a cast of Benedictine monks, anyway?

The story, though, is pure Cadfael and well worth listening to.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful