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I'm glad I did. This production is absolutely superb. It really captures the atmosphere of the piece - listen to it in a darkened room and you'll swear that you've been transported to medieval Shrewsbury. At one point it even succeeds in making you feel cold as the characters battle through a snowstorm!
The casting is spot on. Philip Madoc has a truly magnificent voice - listening to him is the aural equivalent of comfort food - and you can quite imagine why the townsfolk would head to his Cadfael with their problems. In addition the voice of Paddington Bear, Michael Hordern, is the narrator.
The story itself concerns the plight of 2 children who have been forced to flee Worcester during a battle between King Stephen and Empress Maud. The boy, Ives, turns up unharmed but his sister is nowhere to be found. Cadfael organises a search which leads to the discovery of a young woman's body, frozen beneath the ice. But the story has only just begun.
If you enjoy audiobooks then this will be a welcome addition to your collection. If not, then this might well be the tape to get you hooked.
Whilst in Ludlow, Cadfael also finds himself embroiled in the hunt for a party of three young persons missing after the attacks on Worcester and known to be heading for Shrewsbury, at which destination they have failed to arrive. With a bitter freeze on hand and the winter's first snows, there are grave concerns for their safety and well-being. One of the three is subsequently found dead - obviously killed and dumped in a watery (now icy) grave on the very night that the good monk's patient was attacked.
Unlike many another Cadfael tale, this one moves along with a gripping sense of urgency and with a fair amount of tension and excitement building gradually as things proceed. It contains the usual Ellis Peters' meticulous attention to both historical and narrative detail and constitutes as riveting - and entertaining - a story as you are likely to find. As always, Cadfael is aware of details overlooked by others and never once loses sight of the smaller issues that are wont to become subsumed into the larger, weightier ones. He (and the regular reader) is provided with an unlooked-for reward in this volume, too.... Read more ›