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A floating orb in a forgotten tower.

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Brother Cadfael

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A morbid taste for bones (1994, Mysterious Press) 4 stars

In the 12th-century Benedictine monastery of Shrewsbury, Brother Cadfael has settled down to a quiet …

Decided to re-read this one on a whim and there was so much I didn't remember. Just a really, all-around fun novel. It's particularly interesting to see this more lavish version of Peters' prose, which she refines but also streamlines through the later books in the series. Here, she's willing to make more comical asides and revel in setting the scene a little more.

Piranesi (2020, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc) 4 stars

Piranesi's house is no ordinary building; its rooms are infinite, its corridors endless, its walls …

I picked this up at the recommendation of another Bookwyrm user just a few days ago and tore through it in just two sittings. I very much enjoyed Clarke's first novel, but its difficult language and enormous size made it difficult to grasp the whole story. Piranesi is fast, almost breezy, but still has Clarke's incredible world building. The House—an infinite collection of halls and vestibules populated with unending statues, with a sea sloshing around the lower floor and clouds filling the upper—is an incredibly potent concept, and one I know will stick with me. If you love Borges, you'll love this book.

St. Peter's Fair (Paperback, 1998, Thorndike Press) 4 stars

This year’s (1139 CE) St. Peter’s Fair is a bother: the town wants a cut …

Peters' Peak, Perhaps

5 stars

Content warning Very Mild Plot Information

One Corpse too Many (Paperback, 1991, Time Warner Paperbacks) 4 stars

During the Anarchy, King Stephen takes Shrewsbury Castle and hangs 94 defenders. Brother Cadfael and …

A Strong Second Helping

4 stars

The second Cadfael novel iterates smartly on the first one, playing with points of view and obscuring the actual crime amongst a casual attrocity. The introduction of Hugh Beringar is a crucial addition to the series and his antagonistic debut solidly entertaining.

The Summer of the Danes (1991) 2 stars

The Summer of the Danes is a medieval mystery novel by Ellis Peters, set in …

A Viking Snooze

2 stars

Content warning Plot Spoilers!

A Rare Benedictine (Paperback, 1991, Mysterious Press) 3 stars

These three short stories form a prequel to the Ellis Peters series featuring Brother Cadfael, …

A Brief Collection

3 stars

This short package of stories is mostly forgettable, with much of it reading like b-plots from other novels. The notable exception is the story that tells how Cadfael left his soldiering life and joined the Benedictine order. This one definitely delivers the best and most complete tale of the collection, and the peak at young(ish) Cadfael is exciting, he's strangely distant as a younger man, and keeps his thoughts hidden even from the reader. I'm still unsure if it's clever characterization, or just weirdly flat. Still, a fun little read.

An excellent mystery (Hardcover, 1985, William Morrow and Co.) 2 stars

An Excellent Mystery is a mystery novel by Ellis Peters, the third of four set …

Absolutely Skip This One

1 star

Content warning Plot Spoilers and Bad Handling of Queer Characters

A Psalm for the Wild-Built (Hardcover, 2021, Tordotcom) 4 stars

It's been centuries since the robots of Panga gained self-awareness and laid down their tools; …

The Parable for the Great Resignation

5 stars

A short work delivered with wit, insight, and a hopeful vision of the future. Sibling Dex and Mosscap are characters that bounce off each other wonderfully, as the book peddles along at an easy clip.

If ever a work felt like a breath of fresh air, this is it.