Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, Book # 2
November 8, 2021 November 13, 2021
Beat the Backlist, Cloak and Dagger, Mount TBR, The Backlist Reader
In the summer of 1138, war between King Stephen and the Empress Maud takes Brother Cadfael from the quiet world of his garden into a battlefield of passions, deceptions, and death. Not far from the safety of the abbey walls, Shrewsbury Castle falls, leaving its ninety-four defenders loyal to the empress to hang as traitors. With a heavy heart, Brother Cadfael agrees to bury the dead, only to make a grisly discovery: one extra victim that has been strangled, not hanged.
This ingenious way to dispose of a corpse tells Brother Cadfael that the killer is both clever and ruthless. But one death among so many seems unimportant to all but the good Benedictine. He vows to find the truth behind disparate clues: a girl in boy's clothing, a missing treasure, and a single broken flower . . . the tiny bit of evidence that Cadfael believes can expose a murderer's black heart.
About the book
The war between Empress Maud and King Stephen is close to the abbey in which Father Cadfael lives. King Stephen kills all his enemies after he conquer the city, but Father Cadfael is the only one who finds out that among the dead, there is one who wasn’t executed.
More over at the abbey a new novice arrives and he seems strange and with a secret.
What I think
The book didn’t impress me that much. I found it slow and with little mystery, only when Cadfeal finally remembered that he had to solve a murder the “mystery” reappeared.
The style is verbose, with many descriptions and unfortunately it was more a love story than a real thriller. I know I shouldn’t ask this question and Cadfeal is right not to take sides, but who ultimately wins Stephan or Maud? and the two fugitives managed to achieve their purpose? I know, these shouldn’t be the questions, but they are the ones I ask myself… and I practically skipped the last chapter because I won’t accept that God “provides” for the culprit to die in a duel, even though I know that was the belief in the past (and I also know the time frame of this book, but the author is from the 1900s so she could choose to write something else except this farce, although I know she studied history a lot so she most likely wanted to be faithful). However this conception is so stupid!
I recommend it? Oh God… only if the third volume is better (and so I’ll tell you when I’ll read it) and if you’re not going to go on with the series, don’t even bother to read this book. I already have the eighth so I have to read up to that at least (but if the third isn’t better, I’ll only read the eighth and that’s it).