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4.6 out of 5 stars
38
4.6 out of 5 stars


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"It's a strange thing ... all the years I worked for William, and travelled with him, and listened to him, I never truly gave any thought to these things until now. They never bothered me. They do now, ..."

The sixteenth chronicle of Brother Cadfael sees the return to Shrewsbury from a pilgrimage to the Holy Land of the body of a dead master and that of his live servant, whose words to Cadfael are quoted above. The things the servant refers to are a matter of life and death. As he later would say to his master's daughter, "... heresy can be cried against anyone who offends his neighbour, so easy is it to accuse when there are those willing to condemn for a doubt, for a question, for a word out of place."

Ellis Peters maintains her strict historical accuracies. It's good to see a distinction made between a Seljuk Turk and a Saracen. And there are timely references to Abelard and to the Cathars.

Call me thick, but the plot kept me guessing as far as chapter thirteen. The plot is not perfect, for there are some problems over timings, but it was a good read all the same.

(As a bit of a diversion, it was whilst reading this novel that I noted how Ellis Peters seems to have a `thing' about the height of her characters. For a period when men and women were supposed to be smaller than average, there are a remarkable number of characters who are tall. Abbot Radulfus and Prior Robert are "two tall men, much of a height"; Gerbert, the Augustinian canon of Canterbury was "a man almost as tall"; Brother Winfrid is "a hefty, blue-eyed young giant"; "Jevan of Lythwood was ... tall, erect and lightly built." And so on. And this only takes us up to page 46.)
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on 31 August 2013
Did Edioth Pargeter start to run out of ideas? This one doesn't quite grip you as some of the earlier stories did - the plot seems a little but forced. Still, having decided to collect the whole series I can't really expect the same brilliance in every one.
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on 28 September 2013
The theological questions start and finish the book but the middle is has romance, danger and a touch of the politics of this unsettled time for England. As usual Cadfael is helpful to the young lovers. A good read.
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on 17 April 2013
Slightly different feel to some of the previous books. More discussion of religion and theology, but as part of the plot. Still very readable and an enjoyable part of the story arc.
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on 9 February 2016
Fell in love with the Brother Cadfael series of books and found Amazon an excellent place for buying gaps. Book itself follows the usual pattern, with twists and turns.
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on 5 February 2016
Cadfael books are always good and I m working my way through them all. As for the actual delivery - I'm using ebook a- with amazon the process is simplicity itself.
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on 8 January 2016
Not quite so good as usual, a bit far-fetched I thought. But I still read it cover to cover, and couldn't miss anything!
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on 8 November 2015
Great book with a fascinating storyline including insights into the development of religious ideas in the middle ages.
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on 31 July 2014
this is one for the collection. If you like the series of books this one does not disappoint
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on 17 August 2016
What I have come to expect of Ellis Peter`s writing well presented by Derek Jacobi.
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