Book Review: A Morbid Taste for Bones (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael #1) by Ellis Peters
“The uncomfortable feeling that God, nevertheless, required a little help form men, and what he mostly got was hinderance.”
Opening historical fiction set during England’s twelfth century. Peters combines medieval history and a modern who-done-it, starring a crusader turned Benedictine monk.
“Brother Cadfael himself found nothing strange in his wide-ranging career, and had forgotten nothing and regretted nothing. He saw no contradiction in the delight he had taken in battle and adventure and the keen pleasure he now found in quietude.”
Not at all Christian in either intent or style, the story nevertheless accepts that Cadfael and those around them are not beset by the doubts and conflicts over faith which be devils moderns.
“When you have done everything else, perfecting a conventual herb-garden is a fine and satisfying things to do.”
The church and clergy are not spared Peters’ critical pen. On the other hand, wrongly accused innocents and young lovers (often one and the same) get special dispensation. A pattern that will persist through the series.
“He had been scouring the borderlands for a spare saint now for a tear or more, looking hopefully towards Wales, where it was well known that holy men and women had been common as mushrooms in autumn in the past, and as little regarded.”
“God resolves all given time.”