Eighteenth Chronicle of Brother Cadfael in which the Celtic / Danish interweavings make for a good Welsh folktale of the price of honor and the cost of familial ties. Cadfael observes all and betrays none. In this time of the significance of 2,000 year old Arabic and Muslim family feuds (Sunni and Shia) it is well to remember the 2,000 years of rivalries on Europe's Atlantic coast. The personal always runs a deep current under the political. It is religion that often makes good people do bad things.
From Library Journal
When Brother Cadfael is excused from his duties at Shrewsbury Abbey to accompany Brother Mark on a mission of church diplomacy, he considers it a wonderful stroke of good luck. He gets to venture into his much-loved Wales as a Welsh translator for messages Brother Mark is carrying to two newly appointed bishops. The first message is delivered to the court of Bishop Gilbert, who is playing host to Prince Owain Gwynedd and trying to smooth the relations between Welsh royalty and the Church. During their stay at Gilbert's court, Cadfael and Mark meet a lovely young woman, Heledd, who comes to figure prominently in the story, and Bledri ap Rhys, a messenger from Owain's rebellious brother, Cadwaladr. When Cadfael and Mark continue their journey to visit the second of the new bishops, they find themselves part of a larger traveling party. Listeners expecting one of Brother Cadfael's usual adventures will be disappointed; here he is more observer than actor. Political mayhem, war, murder, and even romance are all results of conflicted loyalties. Patrick Tull's narration is precise and accurate if somewhat dry. It's easy to differentiate among Welsh, English and Irish-Danish characters but not quite as easy to sort out separate characters when they have the same dialect. Still, Tull seems to have done very well with what must have been a challenging assignment. Recommended where works by Peters or other Brother Cadfael titles are popular. - Barbara Rhodes, Northeast Texas Lib. Syst., Garland
Another wonderful mystery set in the summer of 1144. Brother Cadfael is captured by the Danes with little hope of escape. He cannot return to Shrewsbury until a truce is declared, or a full scale war breaks out and a murderer is brought to justice.
Very interesting and very surprising. These books are historically accurate (in general) so it was a very interesting read.
Cadfael is one of my heroes. I really enjoy reading this series of books by Ellis Peters. This book provided a different glimpse of Cadfael.
A 12th century monk involved in a classic mystery
In May 1144, an envoy comes from the Bishop of Lichfield to the Benedictine Abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in Shrewsbury, and requests the services of Brother Cadfael as his interpreter on a journey to the newly revived fourth Welsh diocese of Saint Asaph. Not at all averse to a change of scene, Cadfael welcomes the invitation, but neither man anticipates what an eventful errand it will turn out to be...for at the royal seat of Aber, they learn that a Danish mercenary fleet has been sighted approaching the Menai Strait; and as if that were not enough, a young girl goes missing and a corpse is discovered...full of drama, intrigue and meticulous medieval scholarship, the Eighteenth Chronicle of Brother Cadfael will thrill the ever-growing legions of Ellis Peters' admirers.