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The Virgin In the Ice (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael #6)

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  4,138 ratings  ·  145 reviews

In the winter of 1139, raging civil war has sent refugees fleeing north from Worcester, among them an orphaned boy and his beautiful 18-year-old sister. Traveling with a young nun, they set out for Shrewsbury, but disappear somewhere in the wild countryside. Now, Brother Cadfael embarks on a dangerous quest to find them.

Mass Market Paperback, first paperback edition, 200 pages
Published January 12th 1986 by Fawcett (first published 1982)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mike (the Paladin)
This is a mystery/historical fiction of the Cadfael Chronicles. I read it some time ago butsomehow neglected to share my deep and insightful views with everyone here at Goodreads.

How remiss of me.

If you are familiar with Cadfael and his "history" then you know that our monkish mystery solver is never allowed a peaceful life for long. (sad considering he lives in Shrewsbury Abbey [a real place by the way]). Here the love "interests" (Cadfael seems to draw "star-crossed lovers like honey does bees
...more
Cecily Felber
Nov 11, 2010 Cecily Felber rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone!
Confession: This is my absolute favorite Brother Cadfael story! (although The Sanctuary Sparrow and Dead Man's Ransom follow closely)

In the middle of a harsh winter, a band of marauders is on the loose, killing, raping and pillaging the countryside. Also on the loose are a pair of noble children and the nun that is their guardian, refugees from the sack of the town of Worcester to the south. Hugh Beringar and Cadfael are called in, the hunt is on...and Cadfael is destined to find that which he n
...more
Ikonopeiston
This is one of my favourite of the Brother Cadfael series. The evocation of England during the Little Ice Age is precise enough to make me shiver and the images of the land under the blanket of snow are beautiful. The first appearance of Olivier is worth the price of admission all by itself. It is well nigh impossible not to fall head over heels for that young man on sight.

As usual, the plot is impeccably tied up with no annoying straggling ends. Peters has her story well in hand again. We come
...more
Chrissie
I have to be honest. Throughout most of the book I thought it was just OK, two stars, even though from the very beginning I did really like the atmosphere of the cold and snowy winter; it was perfectly depicted. It wasn't until the last chapter that I understood the importance of this book. It too is a must read! These books hold together; to get the most from them they must be read as a group. Each builds upon the other, and in a beautiful way! Ellis writes beautifully, with humor, descriptive ...more
Dagny
In the Sixth Chronicle of Brother Cadfael, The Virgin in the Ice, it is the winter of 1139. This chronicle is one of the first ones I read and still a favorite. Three refugees of the feud between Maud and Stephen are missing. While Brother Cadfael is on another mission, he discovers clues to the fate of the missing travellers.
M Christopher
This is another fine entry in Ellis Peters' acclaimed "Cadfael Chronicles." In this book, Brother Cadfael is drawn into the adventure of three young people seeking refuge from a fresh outbreak of the war between forces loyal to the Empress Matilda and those of King Stephen as the cousins vie for supremacy in England. With only a few longeurs, the pace is good, the characters engaging and the mystery of "The Virgin in the Ice" kept me guessing until the very end. There is also the introduction of ...more
Joyce Lagow
No. 6 in the Brother Caedfel series.[return][return]In the late fall of 1139, the civil war between King Stephen and the Empress Maude for the throne of England flares up and engulfs the city of Worcester which lies close to the Welsh border and not far south of Shrewsbury. As a result, a tide of refugees washes over Shrewsbury Abbey and the town itself. To the abbey comes a messenger from a brother house in Worcester, seeking the whereabouts of two children of a noble family, Ermina and her you ...more
Stephanie
Format: Audio
Narrated by: Vanessa Benjamin
Original Publication Date: 1982
Genre(s): Historical (Middle Ages), Mystery
Series: The Cadfael Chronicles, Book 6

The Civil War that has been threatening between King Stephen and Empress Maude starts in earnest, sending refugees fleeing in all directions. Three of the refugees a young, noble sister and brother and a nun have disappeared into the snowy English countryside of 1139.

As with all the books I’ve read in this series there are many threads to follo
...more
Denise
In the winter of 1139, the civil war has flared up again and many are fleeing the city of Worcester seeking refuge elsewhere. Word comes to Shrewsbury of three such fugitives, two noble orphans in the care of a young nun, who were headed this way but have disappeared without a trace. Cadfael sets put to find them - and finds not only another murder to solve, but also something else entirely he never expected. One of my favourites in the series so far.
Vicki Cline
I read the whole series years ago, and am rereading them now. This is the first one that doesn't seem familiar. Maybe because it doesn't take place in Shrewsbury, but in a nearby abbey. With the conflict between King Stepehn and Empress Maud, there's been a good bit of outlawry in the area and 4 people have gone missing. One turns up, then another, then the body of a third, and when the fourth is found, the first two are gone again. This is the most nerve-racking book so far, and the focus isn't ...more
Lillian Carl
Virgin is my favorite of the Brother Cadfael mysteries. I should have waited until August to

re-read it, since it takes place in December amid lots of ice and snow. On the other hand,

reading about the 12th-century characters braving all that ice and snow in no more than

cloaks and the like did make me feel a bit warmer during our own cold weather!


The Cadfael stories take place during a struggle between two claimants for the throne in

England. Cadfael's Shrewsbury, on the Welsh border, is mostly
...more
Ron
Also a personal favorite. Our first glimpse of--I can't tell you that! Read it for yourself. (Mystery was close on this one.)

Cadfael series: excellent historical fiction. Ellis Peters draws the reader into the twelfth century with modern story telling but holds us there with a richness of detail which evokes a time and place which might as well be fictional. Though the foreground of each chronicle is a murder mystery, behind it a nation and a culture are woven in a wondrous tapestry.

Jim
The bitter winter of the year 1139 finds Brother Cadfael and his friend, deputy sheriff Hugh Beringar parties in a desperate search. There is a civil war between the supporters of two cousins Stephen and Maud for the throne of England. Battle is coming to the city of Worcester and refugees are seeking safe havens. One party of these unfortunates consists of a pair of orphaned noble siblings and a young Benedictine nun and they are missing. This group was supposed to be heading for the Abbey at S ...more
Tammy
It is the winter of 1139. A civil war in England has sent refugees fleeing from Worcester to the abbey at Shrewsbury hoping to find a safe haven there. Traveling with a young nun the group, including an orphan boy and his 18 year old sister. But somewhere in the dangerous countryside they disappear. Brother Cadfael sets

In the winter of 1139, raging civil war has sent refugees fleeing north from Worcester, among them are two orphans a boy of 13 and his beautiful 18-year-old sister and a young Ben
...more
Stephen
Another fine installment in the Cadfael saga. This one is set outside the normal setting of Shrewsbury. This has always been one of my favorite epiosde from the PBS television series but is better in printed form. As usual the storyline for the TV adaptation is simpler and not as rich and where Ms. Peters uses new characters freely the TV series recycles some of the cast regulars.
Margaret
Have I mentioned that I really enjoy the Brother Cadfael novels? He is man and martyr, sleuth and simple man. This novel finds him tending a monk who had been badly beaten on the road, left for dead. As expected, this is just the tip of the iceberg and Cadfael's quiet persistence brings all the truth to the fore, even things that were a surprise to him.
Elisabeth
This is the sixth book in the Brother Cadfael murder mystery series. It is December 1139, the country is still in the grips of Civil War. This has sent many fleeing North including 2 orphans and their companion, a nun but they seemed to have disappeared in the snow and ice.

Cadfael is dispatched from the Abbey at Shrewsbury to the aid of a fellow monk who has been brought injured to Broomfied Abbey near Ludlow. Whilst he is there, Cadfael is asked to help in the search for the missing people. Wil
...more
Vasco Ribeiro
História um pouco diferente das anteriores e por isso as 5 estrelas.
A guerra civil reacendeu-se e há muitos refugiados e muita violência, com grupos de bandidos, mais ou menos organizados a atacar pequenas quintas e a matar, roubar e violar. um pequeno grupo central de um irmão (13 anos - Yves) e uma irmã (Ermina 18 anos) nobres acompanhados por uma freira Hilaria , jovem e bonita e um frade Elyas, estes cedendo às tentações entre ambos. entre desaparecimentos e raptos, etcs, a freira é morta e
...more
Alethea
The civil war comes to light again in this novel, and we get a glimpse into the Crusades – or, at least, some more crusaders and a little of Cadfael’s history come into play. As a history lover, I’m not complaining. Ellis Peters isn’t shy when it comes to the rape culture of the day, and her storytelling is realistic whether from a man’s or a woman’s. As a murder mystery, it delivered yet again in keeping me guessing or delivering nicely packaged plot twists. The humour is a little waylaid in th ...more
Qube
This sixth Cadfael novel breaks the mold set by the first five, but offers an experience that is not as delightful as its predecessors did. The middle half of the book dragged for me, as characters ran away, and other characters went in their search. That became tiresome. I found some of the situations a tad simple, as if they were inserted to enable characters to do foolish things such as running away.

Not a great mystery by any yardstick, but still nice to read due to the writing style and the
...more
Pamela Hofman
Having read all the books in the Brother Cadfael series, I can say this is most likely my favorite one. The characters are strong and admirable, even with their weaknesses, and the story carries you along to an exciting climax. There's even a wonderful surprise in store for the thoughtful, former Crusader. There is, however, something to be said for reading the books chronologically, if at all possible. The stories are set against a historical background which evolves to include actual events. R ...more
Hermioneginny
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Valerie
All the editions of books in this series carry the exact same reviews. Somebody should go back and add other reviews to the standard ones, which are for the series as a whole, and not for the individual books.

This volume begins in early November 1139. And a cold November it became, too. Among the characters introduced in this volume is Giles Beringar, born in the middle of a crowd of refugees fleeing from a flareup of the violence in the civil war between the 'uncousinly cousins', Stephen and Ma
...more
Ruth
First published in 1982, Ellis Peters is the pen name of Edith Pargeter (1913-1995). Set in 1139 against the backdrop of the succession wars between Maud and Stephen (known as The Anarchy), there are a number of complicated twists to the plot which makes this a great read. The Chronicles of Brother Cadfael are infused with events from this period although Cadfael is mainly concerned with the disastrous impact of this civil war on the lives of the common people. Cadfael's background is elaborated ...more
Kathryn
Ist recorded reading: September 2002

I had forgotten just how good this particular Brother Cadfael mystery is; I had read it in September, 2002, and remembered, as usual, very little of the book. But this is indeed one of the best ones, and is the one I would recommend to anyone who wished to read just one Brother Cadfael mystery.

In November of the Year of our Lord 1139, word comes to the Abbey of the sack of the town of Worcester. King Stephen is in possession of the Crown, but the Empress Maud
...more
Booknblues
Sep 02, 2012 Booknblues rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: medieval fans
Shelves: medieval, mystery
In Ellis Peters sixth Brother Cadfael chronicle a headstrong young woman, Ermina Hugonin, her younger brother, Yves and a nun flee Worcester and head towards Shrubbery as Maude's forces overpower Stephens in the 12th century. They never arrive, concerning Cadfael and the local Sheriff. After being called to Bromfield to nurse a fellow monk to health Cadfael begins to discover the mystery of their disappearance.
As is her usual style Ellis Peters makes quick work of capturing the readers interest
...more
Lindsey Duncan
Deeply rooted in the turmoil of the war between Empress Maud and King Stephen in the 1100s, The Virgin In The Ice poses Brother Cadfael with a number of puzzles: a frozen angel, a wounded monk, and missing young nobles whose guardian is on the wrong side of the fighting. These mysteries collide with the threatening presence of a band of marauders.

As ever, this episode in Cadfael's chronicles is steeped in history and poetry, written with a thoughtful, pensive air - eminently appropriate for even
...more
Ed
Mar 06, 2010 Ed rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Both Crime Fiction and Historical Fiction fans
The opportunity to read a murder mystery and a historical novel simultaneously is a joy. This is especially true of the Cadfael mysteries, a series authored by Ellis Peters, a pseudonym for Edith Pargeter.

I had seen the BBC production of this title years ago and yet I was no less caught up in the suspense to say nothing of being transported to another time. The plot is simple, Cadfael discovers a young girl frozen in a creek. He refuses to jump to obvious conclusions and the result is that the t
...more
Edward Hanlon
I love all of Ellis Peters’ Cadfael mysteries and this is no different; I would actually go so far as to say that this is one of the best. While for much of the novel it it feels more a historical fiction thriller than mystery, Peters bring the story around very nicely and finds a very Cadfaelian mystery: a tragic injustice that is overlooked in the chaos of the age that only Cadfael can unravel.

What makes these novels is not the stories nor the characters (although they are frequently wonderfu
...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Incorrect page numbers 3 19 Feb 17, 2015 10:05PM  
  • The Nun's Tale (Owen Archer, #3)
  • The Prince of Darkness (Hugh Corbett, #5)
  • The Sempster's Tale (Sister Frevisse, #15)
  • Poseidon's Gold (Marcus Didius Falco, #5)
  • The Leper's Bell (Sister Fidelma, #14)
  • A Bone of Contention (Matthew Bartholomew, #3)
4046
A pseudonym used by Edith Pargeter.

Edith Mary Pargeter, OBE, BEM (September 28, 1913 in Horsehay, Shropshire, England –October 14, 1995) was a prolific author of works in many categories, especially history and historical fiction, and was also honoured for her translations of Czech classics; she is probably best known for her murder mysteries, both historical and modern. Born in the village of Hor
...more
More about Ellis Peters...

Other Books in the Series

Chronicles of Brother Cadfael (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • A Morbid Taste for Bones (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #1)
  • One Corpse Too Many (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #2)
  • Monk's Hood (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #3)
  • St. Peter's Fair (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #4)
  • The Leper of Saint Giles (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #5)
  • The Sanctuary Sparrow (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael #7)
  • The Devil's Novice (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #8)
  • Dead Man's Ransom (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #9)
  • The Pilgrim of Hate (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #10)
  • An Excellent Mystery (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #11)
A Morbid Taste for Bones (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #1) One Corpse Too Many (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #2) The Leper of Saint Giles (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #5) Monk's Hood (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #3) St. Peter's Fair (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #4)

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