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By CatBookMom on 05-08-10
This, the second of the Brother Cadfael mysteries, introduces Cadfael to Hugh Beringar, who becomes a valued friend and the under-sheriff of Shrewsbury.
In the summer of 1138, the two contenders for the throne of England have brought civil war to Shrewsbury as King Stephen battles the Empress Maud for the throne of England. Two murders have happened, both related to Stephen's conquest of the town and the flight of Maude's chief supporters. Two young people, both important to Maude's cause, are caught in the town, in hiding from Stephen. Cadfael shelters them and plots their escape, follows the clues to the murderers, and finds Hugh Beringar first a worthy opponent and eventually a staunch friend. Along the way Hugh meets the love of his life.
Wonderful story, top-notch characterizations, and some thoughtful discussions on the nature of friendship and love. I've become convinced that Patrick Tull has a perfect voice for Cadfael, regardless of my love for Derek Jacobi from the PBS TV adaptations.
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