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

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  3,883 ratings  ·  135 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
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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
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Ryan Patrick
All of the Cadfael books move at a decent pace, but this one really sped along. The murder mystery, and the quest for its clues, was just one strand in a much larger plot. All the strands working together meant a lot of action occurred, without much pause. This made for quite an enjoyable read.

Peters has created a lot of enjoyable and memorable characters, and they keep coming back! While the enjoyment of the story might be slightly less if you haven't read the other books, it could still be en
...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
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
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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.

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.
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
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
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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
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Gale
THE HAWK VERSUS THE LION

SPOILER WARNING: Do not read this review unless you have read PILGRIM OF HATE and BROTHER CADFAEL'S PENANCE! Unlike Brother Cadfael, who hugs his precious secret and private joy to his grateful breast, I can restrain my "pen" only with the greatest difficulty. I want to publish the news abroad, but also have an obligation not to spoil the thrill of future discovery for readers who may follow the series chronologically.

All Ellis Peters' movels in this fabulous series pr
...more
Curtiss
Jul 22, 2009 Curtiss rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
My favorite of the Brother Cadfael chronicles in which the former crusader-turned-monk encounters his son by a young woman of Antioch, who has chosen to adopt the faith of his unknown father and joined a returning band of knights and men-at-arms.

Cadfael and the young man meet as both are searching for a sister and brother, lost during a winter storm, while at the same time renegade marauders are terrorizing the woods and fields around Shrewsbury. The young man's story reveals to Cadfael his true
...more
Bill
Definitely my favourite Cadfael so far, mind you that could just be because it's the freshest in my mind. A different sort of Cadfael which finds our intrepid monk heading off to Ludlow to assist the Prior there. While there he becomes involved with a beaten monk, Elyas who has come to the priory injured from an attack. He also finds himself trying to help a young prince and his sister and also to assist Hugh Beringar, the constable find and catch up with a group of raiders who are laying waste ...more
Doug
The war between King Stephen & Empress Maud has brought a band of thieves into King Stephen's territory which results in a beat up monk,the murder of a young girl, and the disappearance of two young people, a brother and sister. Cadfael is involved in finding the young people, bringing the monk back to health, and solving the murder.

The story is good and the characters are excellent. I keep thinking no matter the time period people are pretty much the same in their desires, strengths, and w
...more
Amanda Meggs
My favourite Cadfael novel so far. This one was very exciting, with several plot lines going at once and a very exciting conclusion. Cadfael's a terrific protagonist, as a benedictine brother he has forsworn the use of weapons as from his youngsr years in the crusades and now uses knowledge gained then and since to help the sick and injured. Fortunately he is also really good at solving mysteries.
Carrie de Carteret
Head full of cold, so wanted a nice easy read and this was just the ticket. There is just enough historical background on twelfth century political conflict to make you feel you might have learned something. But for a book which has sold so many copies, how come the Kindle edition is riddled with typos? Don't publishers employ proofreaders these days?
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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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