Comments: 13
Ooooh, good, I'm so glad!!
Lillelara 2 months ago
The mystery wasn´t that good, but I loved everything else about this :).
Some of the mysteries in the series are stellar, but not all of them are. I like the premise of this one, though -- hiding a murdered man in amongst a large number of executees.
Lillelara 2 months ago
The premise was great and I enjoyed the whole sneaky-stealthy thing between Cadfael and Beringar, so I didn´t mind that the actual murder mystery was a bit lame.
The exchanges between these two are a highlight of pretty much every book, though none quite comes close to this first one, where they're sparring and trying to outwit each other. But instead their friendship and reliance on each other grows ever closer, and that makes for another continuing highlight in and of itself. (I'm glad you saw how that friendship came about first, though!)
Lillelara 2 months ago
I think Ellis Peters did a tremendous job in making Beringar such an ambigious character. I never knew what to think of him and in the end I became so happy with the way she has set up this story and the characters.
That's probably her greatest skill, I agree -- well, that and creating the setting, which had totally come alive for me long before I actually set foot there myself. But yeah, it's the setting and the characters that shine in every single Cadfael book ... and she manages it all while staying completely true to period attitudes and beliefs. Not a single anachronism in the whole series; at least, none that stood out to me. In many of the books the characters (who they were, are now, and may or may not become) are also central to the mystery and its unravelling, which is something I totally love as well -- and FWIW it's here that Cadfael shines in particular. He's really a medieval version of CSI, CID and profiler rolled into one ... but without ever drifting into superhero-dom! :)

// fangirl voice off //
Lillelara 2 months ago
Fangirl all you want, TA :). I totally get it.

Cadfael is an amazing character and he is just a genuinly nice human being. And it´s so refreshing to read about a character, who sees the good in people and is doing the right thing.
And I´m in awe of Peters skill to make English history accesible to someone (myself), who doesn´t know anything about the time period this book is set in.
You'll know plenty about it by the time you're done with the series! That's another thing about it I really like, btw -- all the more because she found ways to finagle pretty much every salient development of the Civil War between Stephen and Maud into the series; be it as a background to the events taking place in Cadfael's world or in some more direct way.

Btw, have you ever read anything by Sharon Kay Penman?
Lillelara 2 months ago
No, I haven´t read anything by her. Do you recommend a specific book her?
To go along with the Cadfael books, either the first books of SKP's Plantagenet series (beginning with "When Christ and His Saints Slept"), or her Welsh Princes series (beginning with "Here Be Dragons"). Both series should provide some additional perspective on the time period. Penman's books are engagingly written and her research, too, can't be faulted.
Lillelara 2 months ago
Thanks :). I will definitely check her books out. I´m leaning towards "Here Be Dragons", though. I love the title of that book.
It's the medieval all-purpose warning to say "you're entering terra incognita and almost certainly a dangerous place now" -- and it's also a reference to the Welsh flag, which bears a red dragon as its heraldic animal.