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The Leper Of Saint Giles: 5 (The Cadfael Chronicles) Mass Market Paperback – 19 May 1994

4.4 out of 5 stars 57 customer reviews

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Mass Market Paperback, 19 May 1994
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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere; New edition edition (19 May 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0751511056
  • ISBN-13: 978-0751511055
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 1.5 x 17.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,460,646 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


Soothing, but no shortage of mayhem. (OBSERVER)

Book Description

In his fifth chronicle Brother Cadfael is called away from his herb garden to investigate a savage killing on the eve of a noble wedding.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The fifth Cadfael instalment returns to standard chapters from the previous number. The contest between Stephen and Matilda is now more distant, and ‘The Leper of St Giles’ stays within the immediate neighbourhood of the abbey and concerns itself with a local high-profile wedding. (St Giles is the leper’s chapel just up the road to the east and would be the first prominent building to be seen as the traveller approached Shrewsbury from that direction.)

Young love features highly again in the story, and I’m starting to get a little annoyed by its central prevalence in so many of the series. Peters also has a tendency too, like Dickens, to place people in boxes marked ‘good’ and ‘bad’, when we all know that every one of us is a mixture of both.

But on the plus side, Peters continues with her detailed descriptions of life and mores of the time, although I am not sure that Amice of Thornbury could be so precise about her timings in an age largely devoid of clocks, especially in rural areas.

I was going to write how Peters in ‘The Leper of St Giles’ comes up with one of her usual ingenious plots. But there is more in this volume, for at the book’s end, just when you think all seems settled and obvious, the last chapter manages to produce one last plot twist that goes on to disprove my theory about the black-and-white moral characterisation of the people her imagination creates.

How can I not praise, therefore, a writer who not only dumbfounds me with the plot but also confounds my presumptions about her characters?
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By Steve Benner TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 25 Nov. 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Ellis Peters' fifth Brother Cadfael mystery is set against a backdrop of one of the less savoury aspects of life in Mediaeval Europe - the scourge of leprosy and the terrible disfigurements and consequent social stigmas that its sufferers endured. In actuality, though, this is as typical a romance from the pen of Ellis Peters as it is possible to find!
The action of the story takes place just a few months after the previous Cadfael book, in the autumn of 1139. For once, the on-going civil war between King Stephen and the Empress Maud does not feature in the tale, which is concerned only with the impending marriage of a young, orphaned heiress to an overbearing and insufferable baron, many years her senior. It is quickly obvious that this marriage is no love-match, on either side, and has been arranged purely for the advancement of the girl's guardians and the bridegroom. It is also obvious from the outset that the would-be bride is more smitten with the squire of her affianced lord than with the baron himself and that this attraction is mutual. Most readers, too, will quickly come to dislike Huon de Domville as much as do the young lovers. Nor will anyone be surprised where suspicion (from everyone except Cadfael) falls when the bridegroom is rather conveniently found murdered on the very morn of his wedding day!
But that's about all that is clear-cut and obvious in this plot, which needs someone of Cadfael's shrewd and observant nature to tease out all of the complex pieces of the puzzle and fit them together correctly. And this is one of those classic Cadfael tales in which it is, indeed, only the good Brother (apart, of course, from the reader) who knows the whole truth of events by the end.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really love the Brother Cadfael novels, but for some reason this was slightly disappointing. I'm sad about that because it was one of the last two I hadn't read; only The Pilgrim of Hate left now and I have read them all...sigh. I'm not sure why but the characters were not quite as engaging as usual, probably entirely my fault because it is an earlier book in the series, the characters are a little less well-rounded, and I really missed the interactions between Cadfael and Hugh, who doesn't appear in this story. Cadfael's relationship with his Abbot is still a trifle shaky, which adds to the feeling of something missing for me, as Radulphus comes over as a rather cold and spiky character, not at all as he appears in the later novels. As I say, my fault for not reading them all in order, which I'd highly recommend if you are just beginning on the saga - start at the beginning and I'd be surprised if you don't find yourself wanting to read them all. Brother Cadfael is a wonderfully wise, canny, down-to-earth and humorous character and certainly grows in stature towards the end. As ever the backgrounds of the Abbey, the leper sanctuary and the town are beautifully portrayed and there is, as ever, a romance as well as a murder to be solved. I think it may well be a book which will engage me more second time around. If you don't want to start at the beginning of the saga - which I honestly believe you should - then read "A Morbid Taste for Bones" which in my humble opinion is the best thing Ellis Peters ever wrote. Sheer genius, and Brother Cadfael at his devious best!
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By A Customer on 16 Nov. 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This time, we're witnessing a wedding of the most mis-matched couple you could possibly imagine. A young lady of 16 years to an old man in his fourties (well, old in that they didn't live so long in those days!). One of the old man's squires is in love with the girl and has voiced his disapproval. This has lead to him being dismissed from service and accused of theft. He makes a daring escape and hides out nearby. The night comes and on the eve of the wedding, the grrom is murdered. Did Jocelyn Lucy murder his previous master? What do the Lepers have to do with this story? Find out, it's very much worth it!!!
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