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

4.1  ·  Rating Details ·  5,229 Ratings  ·  195 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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Jul 22, 2009 Curtiss rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Jun 08, 2016 Ron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(After fourth reading, June 2016)

“Never go looking for disaster. Expect the best, and walk so discreetly as to invite it, and then leave all to God.”

Among the most popular of the Cadfael chronicles, this tale heralds the first appearance of Oliver de Bretagne. (You’ll have to read the book to discover his significance.)

“In a land at war with itself, you may take it as certain that order breaks down and savagery breaks out.”

By this sixth volume, Peters has reached her stride. Firmly set in the hi
Jan 09, 2009 Ikonopeiston rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
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
May 06, 2010 Kathryn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reread-books, 2002, 2010
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Vicki Cline
Dec 26, 2010 Vicki Cline rated it it was amazing
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
Joyce Lagow
Apr 20, 2010 Joyce Lagow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
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
Cecily Felber
Nov 11, 2010 Cecily Felber rated it it was amazing  ·  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
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.
Jun 18, 2014 Hermioneginny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
M Christopher
Jul 30, 2012 M Christopher rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
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
Jul 20, 2012 Dagny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: peters-ellis
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.
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
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
Aug 14, 2013 Gale rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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
Ned Hanlon
Jun 14, 2016 Ned Hanlon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 02, 2013 Margaret rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mike (the Paladin)
This is a mystery/historical fiction of the Cadfael Chronicles. I read it some time ago but somehow 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 bee
Vasco Ribeiro
Jan 01, 2016 Vasco Ribeiro rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
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
Jun 16, 2015 Anne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Yes yes yes! Solve all the things! So first of all there's the missing Hugonin children, then there's a monk who got beaten up, stabbed and left for dead, then there's the eponymous virgin in the ice, then there are outlaws roaming Shropshire, looting and burning all of the manors. To say nothing of a tall, dark and handsome stranger just arrived in England from Jerusalem...the first appearance of Olivier de Bretagne. Also the birth of Giles, Brother Cadfael's godson! This book has everything, r ...more
Jul 25, 2015 Kathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There was some awkward phrasing in this book, but I am glad I finally tracked it down since it does include an important puzzle piece with regard to life of Cadfael. While I may have grimaced a time or two while reading, I did end up with a big smile.
Elis Madison

Summoned to tend a badly injured monk, Cadfael stumbles on clues regarding a missing brother and sister, and the young nun who fled with them when war came to Worcestershire. Meanwhile the countryside is beset by pillagers who burn and steal, rape and murder.

As always there is a secondary story involving romance, and the best twist of the story comes here. Moments towards the end of the book were beautiful enough to make me cry a little. Another 5 star gem by Ellis Peters.
I won't spoil it but I rated this one higher than the others...which I love...because of Cadfael's discovery of what he'd left behind in Antitoch!!!! Was so excited. *big smiles*
Lauren Albert
Feb 17, 2016 Lauren Albert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I thought this another very good one which shows the complexity of life during civil war. Some take advantage of the war to aim for their own good regardless of which side (or sides) they hurt. A very surprising twist at the end having nothing to do directly with the mystery.
David Drent
Jul 09, 2016 David Drent rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
another great medieval who-dunnit.
Aug 01, 2016 Nicola rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Quite complex with all of the characters constantly appearing and running off, but their actions made more sense at the 'big reveal'
Zoe Glanville
Oct 09, 2016 Zoe Glanville rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is by far my favourite of the whole series just the mystery and almost menacing and tragic consequences of youth and just everything about it works plus there are twists and turns at every step as well as at the end ( don't worry I wont spoil anything) Just if you love adventure mystery murder and a bit of mayhem this is one to read
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  • The Nun's Tale (Owen Archer, #3)
  • Suffer Little Children (Sister Fidelma, #3)
  • The Servant's Tale (Sister Frevisse, #2)
  • The Prince of Darkness (Hugh Corbett, #5)
  • Strong as Death (Catherine LeVendeur, #4)
  • Last Act in Palmyra (Marcus Didius Falco, #6)
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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 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)

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