The winter of 1139 will disrupt Brother Cadfael's tranquil life in Shrewsbury with the most disturbing events. Raging civil war has sent refugees fleeing north from Worcester. Among them are two orphans from a noble family, a boy of thirteen and an 18-year-old girl of great beauty, and their companion, a young Benedictine nun. But the trio, never reaching Shrewsbury, have disappeared somewhere in the wild countryside.
Cadfael feels afraid these three lost lambs, but another call for help sends him to the Church of Saint Mary. A wounded monk, found naked and bleeding by the roadside, will surely die without Cadfael's healing arts. Why this holy man has been attacked and what his fevered ravings reveal soon give Brother Cadfael a clue to the fate of the missing travelers. Now Cadfael sets out on a dangerous quest to find them. The road will lead him to a chill and terrible murder and a tale of passion gone awry. And at journey's end awaits a vision of what is best, and worst, in humankind...in Ellis Peters's most stunning depiction yet of love and war.
©1982 by Ellis Peters; (P)1998 by Blackstone Audiobooks
I always enjoy the Brother Cadfael mysteries, as long as I don't listen to them one after the other - the utterly formulaic nature of the writing becomes irritating. There is something very soothing and engaging about these books, and the Virgin in the Ice is very typical of the series.
The narrator has a nice voice, but she give Cadfael a very posh, pompous upper class accent. This is really a strange choice, given that Cadfael is very Welsh (a fact that is repeatedly commented on in the narrative) and very down-to-earth. The accent and characterisation is completely wrong for him. I found that jarring throughout the book.
Otherwise, a nice, fun mystery that unfolds gently.
I have listen to a lot of Ellis Peters', Brother Cadfael books and this is my favorite so far. Reader is very good. Look forward to downloading the 2 or 3 Ellis Peters i do not have.
"Excellent story, narrator a bit rough"
Having listened to Ward narrate the previous books, I really can't listen to Benjamin's voices for male characters. She sounds as though she's telling a story to little children and using her "big bad wolf" gruff voice. I shall repurchase this title with the Thorne narration.
"Good story marred by poor reader"
The story is up to Peters' usual standard. Unfortunately, the reader seems unable to offer a Welsh accent, and all the male characters sound the same, which caused me a lot of confusion at times. The 13 year old male character sounded like a 6 year old. Poor narration.
Unfortunately, in Australia, we are unable to download the version with the male narrator. Pity.
"Cadfael to the rescue"
Good old Cadfael does it again - a touch of forensic observation, a dose of kindness and a plateful of tolerance for the folly of girls in love. The only down-side of this audiobook was the occasional recording or production fault that left some words out or allowed a nasty electronic signal to overlay the narrator. This detracted a little from the performance and made the product seem a little shoddy. Better 'proof-reading' by editorial staff could pick up these faults before release.
"Why on earth did they choose this narrator?"
Surely it would make sense to use a male narrator for a novel whose main character is a man, indeed most of its characters are men. Or at least one who doesn't sound so laboured when reading 'male voices' (her own voice when reading descriptive passages was pleasant) - they were irritating in the extreme. Maybe I am just too used to Stephen Thorne. Although Joanna Ward manages it - just.
"A good story odd read"
I read the book before I listened to this version of it, I also watched all the BBC series so I was exposed to the story before. I think that hearing a book gives a whole new meanings and makes it a different experience if the narrator is good. Not better or worse just different.
Well the two I liked the most was the tower scene with Eve and Olivier in the tower, and at the end with Olivier and Cadfael.
I found the narrators male voices to be comical and not realistic, it was distracting. Her regular speaking voice was fine. Some people just can't do characters and this narrator is one.
The story is good enough to get beyond the narrator who is not the worst I have listened to, but by far not the best either.
"One Star Off"
Benjamin does an adequate job of narrating this book; not on par with Ward, but adequate. There were a few odd pauses that sounded the way a misplaced comma might read and which threw me out of the story just a little. Also, the characters could have been better distinguished. Not so bad that I won't listen to it again.
"Good story, problemswith the narration."
Fans of Cadfael will enjoy the story. The only problem is the narrator. She reads the story line well but can't pull off a "male voice" and as most of the characters are male it rather sounds a bit silly.
"disappointing in parts not a clear download"
no i don't think so these stories are best read my a man
the cadfael stories are always good
i have always enjoyed books on tape or cd i found this one not as enjoyable as my others
"Great story - poor naration"
The story is the normal high quality, but the reader has Cadfael far too english
"good story / presentation could be better"
despite a good story. names mispronounced and no Welsh accents made it an annoying listen.
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