The Devil's Novice

The Eighth Chronicle of Brother Cadfael
Narrated by: Patrick Tull
Series: Brother Cadfael, Book 8
Length: 8 hrs and 37 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (212 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Meriet Aspley, a young novitiate, causes havoc at the Shrewsbury monastery when his violent nightmares cause him to scream his anguish in the dead of night, earning him the nickname, Devil's Novice.
©1983 Ellis Peters (P)1993 Recorded Books, LLC

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Average Customer Ratings

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

Another Five Star performance by Patrick Tull

Outstanding story by Ellis Peters. Peters as always is careful to let his characters grow and learn, well maybe not Prior Robert, and Brother Jerome, but the main protaganist has a lesson to learn and a lesson to teach. I am a serious Cadfael fan, and a visit with Cadfael is a respite from pressure. If you have never visited Cadfael before, I recommend " One Corpse Too Many" for your first listen. Then just enjoy.

5 people found this helpful

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The Wisdom of Cadfael

While I've loved watching Brother Cadfael on TV, this is the first time I've had the pleasure of listening to a book on audio. And I find it equally enjoyable, maybe even more so than watching. The atmosphere of the monastery, the personalities of the monks, and particularly Brother Cadfael and his ability to suss out the root of the problem. I love his steadiness, his work in the herb garden, the way he is not put off by the airs that the other pious monks put on. With many a long year on the "outside", Brother Cadfael is no stranger to the temptations of life, the evil desires of men (and women) . . . and he knows well that what one sees on the outside is in no way any indication of a person's heart. So when the new novitiate, Meriet Aspley, comes to the monastery, bringing with him an attitude, anger and horrid nightmares, Brother Cadfael takes much of it in stride, and tucks it all in his cap for rumination . . . while the other monks are out for blood. Cool headed, Cadfael goes about his business . . . waiting for things to play out . . . as they always do . . . this is a great story . . . with many a lesson for those of us who are listening . . . and I will be looking for another Cadfael book, that's one thing for certain . . .

1 person found this helpful

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Audio quality

There were times when the audio quality became poor. It was muffled sounding on occasion, but went back to normal quickly. Story and performance were great, though.

1 person found this helpful

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Audible Version is a Big Disappointment!

The reason for my giving a low rating to this book is because this is the 5th Audible book in this wonderful series where the Audible doesn't match with the Kindle written version. I couldn't read along as I like on my Kindle Fire. The recording would stop everytime I attempted to read.. So now I will check my library or do without the Audible. The reader was excellent; I just couldn't follow along.

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rich in detail a,nd wit<br /><br />

This is my second favorite Cadfael after The Potter's Field. Patrick Tull took some time to grow on me after Derek Jacobi's lovely cadence, but he does a good job. it's fun to hear Cadfael with a strong Welsh accent. Good mystery and the story unfolds unhurredly.

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A fine family feud

Cadfael must unravel the nuances of a young man's fevered dreams to determine what is troubling him. Family loyalties and Christian faith collide in this murder mystery featuring multiple family ties. You will not guess who is responsible. I guarantee it.

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Superb narration

The Brother Cadfael series is always wonderful, but I want to particularly praise Patrick Tull’s narration. I particularly like the fact that he didn’t strain for different voices for various characters— including women.

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Mystery and Medieval charcoal burning

Would you consider the audio edition of The Devil's Novice to be better than the print version?

I love reading this series and listening to the titles in it as well. Patrick Tull was an excellent narrator. I re-read and re-listen to them because I feel as if I am acquainted with the characters and the setting. One is medium is as good as the other.

Which character – as performed by Patrick Tull – was your favorite?

In addition to Brother Cadfael, Hugh Berringar is a real favorite as is Abbott Radulfus.

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

This is a Disappointing Tale.

What did you like best about The Devil's Novice? What did you like least?

I found this one boring and wordy., which is odd since I really enjoy this series

If you’ve listened to books by Ellis Peters before, how does this one compare?

At the bottom

What about Patrick Tull’s performance did you like?

Good, as usual.

Did The Devil's Novice inspire you to do anything?

Nope

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Love Cadfael

this is one of my favorite Cadfael stories. I listen to it over and over.