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Publisher's Summary

Outside the pale of the Abbey of Saint Peters and Saint Paul, in September of the year of our Lord 1140, a priestly emissary for King Stephen has been reported missing. But inside the pale, what troubles Brother Cadfael is a proud, secretive 19-year-old novice.
Brother Cadfael has never seen two men more estranged than the Lord of Aspley and Meriet, the son he coldly delivers to the abbey to begin a religious vocation. Meriet, meek by day, is so racked by dreams at night that his howls earn him the nickname the Devil's Novice. Shunned and feared, Meriet is soon linked to the missing priest's dreadful fate. Only Brother Cadfael believes in Meriet's innocence, and only the good sleuth can uncover the truth before a boy's pure passion, not evil intent, leads a novice to the noose.
©1983 by Ellis Peters (P)1997 by Blackstone Audiobooks
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Critic Reviews

"Each addition to the series is a joy. Long may the Chronicles continue." (USA Today)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Steven on 11-10-03

Poor Narration Detracts from Story

Much of the enjoyment of listening to The Devil's Novice is compromised because of poor narration. Technically, it often sounds like the narrator has a blanket over her mouth. Artistically, she sounds like a little kid trying to sound like Daddy when she attempts to portray a male character. And why use a female voice to read a novel that is primarily a cast of Benedictine monks, anyway?

The story, though, is pure Cadfael and well worth listening to.

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6 of 8 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Jane on 02-02-17

Great book but disappointing narration

I bought this book despite other poor reviews of the narration because I enjoy the stories of Brother Cadfael and this was the only version available on Audible. I nearly returned it because the narration was so annoying. Why use a female for a book largely about male characters? In order to make the characters sound masculine the raises her voice, which leads to very uneven volume throughout the book between the narrative and the spoken sections. This was particularly annoying when listening in the car as it was hard to hear some parts. It was a pity she couldn't use a Welsh accent for Brother Cadfael. Please Audible, make versions of these books available in Australia with a male narrator. Those that are available by Stephen Thorne are excellent.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By ColinB on 11-08-11

The Devil's Novice

The prospect of listening to another of this series was eagerly anticipated. However after enjoying the previous books narrated by a differnt reader I found this a dissapointment the narator was unable to convey for me the period, tension and excitement that makes these book come alive
I will be more careful in future when selecting narators

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Sybil on 07-28-15

Poor obvious story

Story plot was evident very early on and it was also obvious that the family dynamics would change (I'm trying not to reveal anything)
Reader was dreadful, kept changing pronunciations and into nations so that it jerked along. The readings by Derek Jacobi are In comparison superb and I think him lazy.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By Betty on 11-04-17

Spoilt by awful narration

I am a lover of the cadfael mysteries but the narration by Vanessa Benjamin is appalling which made it impossible to listen to. She does have a beautiful voice but her interpretation of the male voice is ludicrous! To have a female narrate a story of mostly male characters with the lead character requiring a mature male welsh accent is bizarre. Such a disappointment. The variation in volume of her voices was painful and caused me to quit listening after chapter four. Sorry audible u really got this one wrong.

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3 out of 5 stars
By mrsvee on 07-27-16

Why females try to read male parts or males the opposite.

It does no do to have a female try to read male roles. Not only does it spoil ones own idea of the character, bit, it is so badly done. It would be better to produce a good read without voice characterisations.

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0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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