sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
This was the only Brother Cadfael book I hadn't read! And now I've read it, and I'm done the entire series, and I don't have any more new Cadfael books to look forward to in my future, sadface. But what a good series! And I now own ALL of the books so I can reread whenever I want. Maybe I should make the effort to reread this series but this time in order, so I can follow the long arc of the Stephen-Mathilda civil war B-plot.


Read more... )
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
This is the last book in the Brother Cadfael series! Not the last one for me to read, though. Alas. I've still not managed to get my hands on #14, The Hermit of Eyton Forest. But I've now read all but that one!

At any rate: Brother Cadfael's Penance started unfortunately really slowly and it took me forever to start feeling actually engaged. You can tell this is the case because I started reading this book on July 20, kept on attempting to plug away at it for a MONTH but never made it even as far as a quarter of the way through, and then on August 23 when I pretty much had nothing else to do but read this book I finally broke through the boring bit and all of a sudden it was AMAZING and I was delighted that I had nothing else to do but read this book and I finished it in one morning.

The problem, I think, is that the first bit of this book is too directly about Empress Maud and King Stephen, and up close and personal they're just petty and uninteresting. The interesting part about the civil war between them over the course of the series is the way that it affects the lives of ordinary people. I mostly don't actually care about them in themselves. So spending that much time at their attempted peace meeting is just a yawn, especially since it's obvious the peace talks are going to go absolutely nowhere.

But after things break up there it gets GREAT. I love Cadfael here, I love how this is the most uncertain I think we've ever seen him. spoilers! )
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
Next up: I read three Brother Cadfael books in a row! Such a good series.

The Pilgrim of Hate, by Ellis Peters

I'd been sure I hadn't actually read this book - the tenth book in the Brother Cadfael series - because it's one of the few I don't own. (I've been slowly collecting the books over the years via thrift shops and used book sales and the like.) But I realized partway through that I actually have read it before, years ago! Not that that helped me, because I didn't remember a thing about the plot. :P

At any rate, a lovely book like all the Brother Cadfael books are, Read more... )

The Summer of the Danes, by Ellis Peters

Ah yes, more Brother Cadfael, always good times. I really liked this one! One of those murder mysteries where the murder mystery is actually relegated to b-plot because it's way less important than the other stuff going on - which in this case is welsh politicking and viking invasion and a young woman who wants control over her own life. Yeah!

Cadfael himself is a delight as always, but I was particularly into the Obligatory Young People Romance in this book, because Heledd is great. Read more... )

The Holy Thief, by Ellis Peters

I dunno. I mean, it was good? Brother Cadfael books are always good. But I wouldn't rate this one of my favourites of the series.
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
It's been a while since I've made further progress on my read-through of the Brother Cadfael series, but look! I'm back to it! This one was a really good one, imo. I mean, the theme is right there in the title - a lot of the book is really interested in theology and heresy and scriptural interpretation and interpretation of the early church fathers (particularly Augustine and Origen). Which I AM THERE FOR. I would have been there for even a much larger quantity of this sort of focus in the book!

Of course, given that it's a Cadfael book, there is also a) a murder and b) a romance. Read more... )
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
I AM BACKKKK! Well actually I returned late sunday night but then I was exhausted and also I have work and also catching up on the real life things I wasn't doing while on vacation, so. I am still exhausted but I am at least nominally kind of here! AND I COME WITH LOTS OF BOOKS.

Look, my vacation was CANOE TRIPPING, which when you do it right (which obvs I do) leaves you lots of time to hang out in the beautiful wilderness with a book. So. I read NINE BOOKS while on vacation! Plus I had a couple I didn't post about from before the trip. Plus I read a book yesterday. So. Let's go!

Wired Love: a Romance of Dots and Dashes, by Ella Cheever Thayer )

Mable Riley: A Reliable Record of Humdrum, Peril & Romance, by Marthe Jocelyn )

Monks-Hood, by Ellis Peters )

Complete Fairy Tales of George MacDonald )

The Confession of Brother Haluin, by Ellis Peters )

The Android's Dream, by John Scalzi )

The Wisdom of Father Brown, by GK Chesterton )

Psmith, Journalist, by PG Wodehouse )

A Matter of Oaths, by Helen S Wright )

Murder Must Advertise, by Dorothy L Sayers )

Strong Poison, by Dorothy L Sayers )

Princess Academy, by Shannon Hale )

Gaudy Night, by Dorothy L Sayers )

Poor Yorick, by Ryan North, William Shakespeare, and YOU )


Jan. 19th, 2012 09:43 am
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
Dude! Avice of Thornbury APPRECIATION LIFE. I was rereading The Leper of Saint Giles today, one of the books in the ever-wonderful Brother Cadfael series -- it's a series about a benedictine monk in the 12th century who solves murders! And really half the time it's like the murders are just an excuse to hang out with this awesome monk in a fascinating period of English history. And the books are just -- they have this mood, this tone to them. It's...really optimistic for a murder-mystery series. People are people, and that's a good thing, is kind of the message of the books. The books are just stuffed with all these characters who are every kind of fantastic, and all of them so believably human. (f'rinstance, I love the internal politics of Cadfael's monastery, and how they slowly alter and shift over the course of the series as characters come and go and rise in the ranks and all that. IT IS GREAT.)

I absolutely adore Cadfael himself; he's pretty much the awesomest ever. And his bff Hugh Beringar is super awesome too. But The Leper of Saint Giles introduces the minor character Avice, and okay, I am just desperately ridiculously full of adoration for her. This is the only book where she plays a semi-major role, but she gets mentioned occasionally in later books in the series, and she is always the AWESOMEST, I cannot even. AVICE. Cut for minor spoilers for The Leper of Saint Giles and for later books in the series. )

It would be very easy, I think, for someone to ship Avice/Cadfael, because they are so very well-suited, and also clearly admire the hell out of each other. But Cadfael's happy with his life as it is, and so's Avice, and I am 100% on board with that canon. I love to see Cadfael ruminating on the nature of grace (and the practical application thereof) in his herbarium, while Avice efficiently and good-humouredly takes over the world. BEST.

IN CONCLUSION, I think I'm beginning my list of Things I Want For Next Yuletide! ALL THE FIC ABOUT AVICE, is what I am saying!

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