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Publisher's Summary

Sister Fidelma returns in another spellbinding story of murder and intrigue in seventh-century Ireland - when the murder of a high cleric threatens to result in a bloody war between two of Ireland's kingdoms.

In AD 644 the Venerable Dacan, a respected scholar of the Celtic Church, is murdered while on a visit to the Abbey of Ros Ailithir in the Irish Kingdom of Muman. Dacan, unfortunately, was the close confidant of the hotheaded young king of the neighboring kingdom of Fearna, who is using Dacan's murder as an excuse to provoke war.

Sister Fidelma, an advocate of the Brehon courts, is summoned by the dying king of Muman to solve the brutal killing and to prevent the incipient war between the two kingdoms. But at the remote abbey, Fidelma soon discovers there are far more sinister forces than mere political intrigue at work behind the mystery of Dacan's death. She must quickly unravel a most complicated mystery if she is to prevent the coming war - and preserve her own life as well.

With a mix of historical detail and deft characterization, Peter Tremayne once again brings ancient Ireland to full, vivid life.

©1995 Peter Tremayne (P)2014 Audible Inc.

What listeners say about Suffer Little Children

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Solid entry in the Sister Fidelma series

I’d give this book 3.5 stars, but l’m rounding down to 3 due to Tremayne’s pedantic writing style. I actually really enjoy the Fidelma books, including this one, but I have mixed feelings about Tremayne’s writing style. I think that the author has a great story, but he has a very pedantic writing style. Sister Fidelma comes across as a humorless and self-important know-it-all, but I don’t think that is the author’s intention. I often think that it would be great if Tremayne could team up with a master storyteller like Steven Saylor who could bring Tremayne’s characters and well thought out mysteries to life. Now those would be fantastic books. Despite all this, I really do enjoy the Fidelma mysteries. They are well thought out and Tremayne (really the Celtic scholar Peter Ellis) provides rich historical context. This story has Fidelma investigating a murder which involves her in slaughter and cruelty. There are dark scenes in this book, and it isn’t a cozy mystery to be sure. Fidelma survives danger to investigate several intertwined mysteries and ends up arguing her case before the high king and chief Brehon of Ireland. Well worth the read.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Love this series

Be forewarned! Once you start listening you cannot stop. If you have an annual membership you will go through all your credits - sister Fidelma is inspirational - you will love these books.

3 people found this helpful

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Sister Fidelma in Seventh Century Ireland

If you are a fan of Brother Cadfael Mysteries, you will love this series. I have learned much that I did not know about Ireland in the seventh century and about the changes in the church over time. In this book, the third in the series, Sister Fidelma is summonsed back to her home kingdom, as a favor to the new king, who is Fidelma's brother. A respected scholar has been murdered and his relative is demanding an honor price to be paid. But there is much more underlying in the situation and war between the kingdoms threatens. Can Sister Fidelma get to the bottom of the murder while protecting her own life?

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Brother Cadfael meets Prime Suspect (sort of)

I’m already buying the next in this series. I enjoy the history and the mystery and the strong female lead. And in general I enjoy the narrator’s style, tone, and pace. But there is a bit of a repetitive pattern developing about the murderer. Part way through I recocognized the way a certain character was written and guessed (correctly) the murderer. There are lots of great twists and turns about side plots and specifics so it still kept me engaged. Another disappointment in that Fidelma makes a really poor choice at one point. The narrator doesn’t attempt significantly different voices for the characters, which is fine in general, but there were times I lost track of which character was speaking. There’s enough to like that I’ll probably binge on through the series, but I did notice the above issues.

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Great Audio except....

We love the Sister Fidelma stories, and this was the best so far. The plot was very convoluted so we didn’t find out the murderer until the end. We also enjoy allusions to ancient Irish Law and topography, as we have seen Skellig Michael in our travels to Ireland. However, we encountered a technical problem at the end of Chapter 10. An important clue is supposed to be revealed, but the audio skips ahead into Chapter 11. Very frustrating!