Book Review: The Devil’s Novice (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael #8) by Ellis Peters
“There’s many a young man has got his hearts wish, only to curse the day he wished for it.”
Upon my fourth reading, I raise my rating one star because this story compares so well with other historical fiction. In addition to the murder mystery, this tale brings to the reader an understanding of a historical setting which borders on the mythic, an introduction to a medieval craft (in this case, making charcoal), reflections on life then and now, a love story, and the fun of a tale well told.
“He’s innocent enough, God knows, to believe that other men are as honest as he.”
Readers seeking a story grounded closer to fact than the average epic fantasy, which usually loses itself in horses that run forever, swords that never dull, clerics who call down lightning bolts and enough nihilism for a lifetime, Edith Pargeter’s series on the life and times of this former Crusader and now monastic should be welcome. That’s why I’m on my fourth reading of this series.
“Despair is a deadly sin, but worse it is mortal folly.”