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The Summer of the Danes (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #18)
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The Summer of the Danes (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael #18)

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  2,241 ratings  ·  103 reviews

In the summer of 1144, a strange calm has settled over England. The armies of King Stephen & Empress Maud, the two royal cousins contending for the throne, have temporarily exhausted each other. On the whole, Brother Cadfael considers peace a blessing & agrees to accompany a friend to Wales. When Cadfael is captured by an army of Danish mercenaries, he finds himsel

Paperback, 288 pages
Published August 25th 1992 by New York Mysterious Press 1992. (first published 1991)
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Cadfael gets the opportunity to return to Wales again, this time in the company of his former novice Mark, now a cleric on an embassy between bishops. As always, there's soon a murder to unravel and this time a war to get involved in. However England, Wales and Ireland of the 12th century is a kinder gentler place under the hand of Ellis Peters and both warring princes are wise and noble men, looking to minimize the body count and restore peace.

This is another great installment in the Cadfael s
Outside the Main Sequence of Cadael stories, but a rollicking good tale. Whenever Cadfael has leave to get close to his Welsh roots, you can be sure murder and mayhem will follow. This time Cadfael must solve a crime with international implications or what passes for order in northern Wales may be overturned.

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 tim
Louise G
This is one of my three most appreciated of the incredible Brother Cadfael series. The characterization of the young girl, wary of her father's forcing her into an arranged marriage, set in an era of invading Danes is fascinating. This is true both from the historical standpoint and the interactions of the various characters. The Welsh royalty comes into focus here as well, and characterizes two well-known princes of the time. The weaving of the different story lines into one, and the humane yet ...more
I knew I was eventually going to hit a dud if I kept reading straight through the series. I actually started this one ages ago, and then realized that I had skipped the one before it...which was a relief, because The Summer of the Danes isn't particularly interesting. There was a murder, but not one that Cadfael had any part in solving, and there were extended passages that didn't involve Cadfael at all, which doesn't really interest me. But this was still fairly enjoyable, as these things go; I ...more
Christina Baehr
Not much of a mystery for Cadfael here, but those interested in Welsh history will enjoy.
Maria Thermann
Unusually for Brother Cadfael, he takes a backseat here and lets events unfold rather than be in the midst of it as an amateur sleuth. If anything, his former apprentice, young Brother Mark, takes centre stage here, being on a diplomatic mission of some importance. Author Ellis Peters presents us with an adventure story, a head-to-head of two Welsh princes who have the power to plunge Wales into civil war. Both are very different men, one wise, brave and honourable, the other impulsive, proud an ...more
The 'summer' in the title is the summer of 1144. The 'Danes' in the story are Danes mostly in name: most of them were born in the Danish Kingdom of Dublin, and are mostly Irish through the maternal line. Linguistically, they were most probably generally polyglots, with Latin and/or Danish as a lingua franca.

Though some members of the society hire out as Vikings, most probably stay at home and live more or less the same sort of life as their neighbors on Great Britain proper, and in Denmark, with
Yet another Brother Cadfael mystery; but this one is set mostly in Wales, which suits Brother Cadfael (born Cadfael ap Meilyr ap Dafydd, in the Welsh Kingdom of Gwynedd) just fine. This mystery also introduces Brother Mark, once the protegé of Brother Cadfael in the Abbey, and now deacon to Roger de Clinton, the Bishop of Coventry. Deacon Mark has been sent to Wales as an envoy to other bishops, and naturally invites Brother Cadfael to come along as companion and translator. Naturally, this gets ...more
This is one of the most memorable of the Cadfael series because it's such a departure: set deep in Wales, far from the abbey, and the plot revolves around historical events in that region rather than the Anarchy (King Stephen vs. Empress Maud) in England. And there are Vikings! Ok, not actually Vikings. The titular Danes are Irish Danes from Dublin, but I always picture them as Vikings.

The novel inserts Cadfael into an feud between Owain Gwynedd, ruler of North Wales (a historical figure who has
Valerie Malott
A quick, enjoyable read, just like all the other Cadfael mysteries I've read. I adore the Cadfael character and always picture Derek Jacobi in my head when I'm reading! :)
One of my top favorites in Ellis Peters' wonderful series of stories about Brother Cadfael, a Welsh-born, crusader-turned-Benedictine monk and herbalist. All the stories are rich with characters, history, landscape and culture, and threaded with Cadfael's sage views on life. Set in the summer of 1144, this one is especially nice because Cadfael gets captured by Danes! and the scene shifts to the beautiful Welsh coastline. As the cover quote from the Houston Post says, "Ellis Peters weaves a comp ...more
Mark Robertson
Most of the action in this Chronicle takes place on the western coast of Wales, the land that Cadfael left as a very young man in search of adventure. Strange that, toward the twilight of his life, he finds plenty of adventure in the land he left behind.

There is, of course, a murder, but that really is one of the least significant deaths in this tale. The more I read of this series the more I realize that these are not just murder mysteries but also romances. I'm not referring to the bromance b
K.V. Johansen
I recently reread this, aloud. It's one of the later Cadfaels, and one in which Peters seems more interested in exploring the a romance set against a Welsh historical background than really getting deeply into a mystery. Cadfael is present more as an observer than an actor in events. As with all of her writing, though, the prose is lyrical and flawless. Read it more as an historical romance and a glimpse of a might-have-been moment in Owain Gwynedd's Wales than a 'whodunit', though.
Another of this series of stories I have enjoyed for many a year. I read one in book form in 2004, and have watched several and enjoyed them greatly as TV mysteries with Cadael played superbly by Derek Jacobi in the titular role of the acclaimed medieval drama series Cadfael.

In this story set in the summer of 1144, Brother Cadfael is sent to northern Wales on church business and is captured by Danes. (The Danes in war vessels are Christians and mercenaries hired by the bad brother of the local
It is now summer, 1144. In the Eighteenth Chronicle of Brother Cadfael, The Summer of the Danes, Brother Cadfael accompanies Brother Mark to Wales on a mission of church diplomacy. Because the feud between King Stephen and Empress Maud is presently quiet, they expect a restful trip but that isn't to be.
If this had been the first on the series I had read, I never would have continued to the others. Not nearly as interesting and delighful as the rest of the series. I also got hung up on all the strange Welsh names of people and places and had a hard time keeping them straight.
I really enjoyed this reread! By modern standards, the book might seem slow to some readers. But I enjoyed the detailed settings and the focus on character. Young Deacon Mark (who is awesome), is sent from his bishop to Shrewsbury with messages for bishops in Wales. Who better to accompany him than Welsh-born brother Cadfael? As the brothers travel into Wales, they end up meeting Owain, the noble-hearted Welsh ruler, and solving several mysteries, both old and new. The young girl Heledd is a fan ...more
Cadfael and his old assistant Mark, now a deacon, are called in to deliver messages to bishops in Wales. Cadfael has to go to translate the Welsh. At their first stop they find that the great house already has guests, Owain Gwynedd, the ruler of Gwynedd and his entire retinue is there to keep an eye on things. Historically he had an endless fight with Thomas Beckett about the appointment of bishops in Wales so he’d be interested in the Church’s doings.
This probably should have been an Edith Parg
I am finding as I read these novels that Peters is not consistent. This one should not be labeled a mystery. Oh there is a body and early enough that one thinks a mystery is to be solved, but Cadfael certainly has no part in it, or so little at the begining that one thinks that Peters/Pargeter wanted to indulge in the aspects of the time period that she found more fascinating.

Through 17 earlier adventurers we have warmed to Brother Cadfael and seen that his keen mind and his ability to be a deep
Laura Verret
I purchased this book back in September of 2010, but never got around to actually reading it until January of 2013. #shameonme

The Story.

When Brother Mark requests Brother Cadfael’s service as translator for an important ecclesiastical envoy which is journeying to Saint Asaph to honor the new Bishop there, Brother Cadfael joyfully accepts. He is relieved to have a change of scenery – the Benedictine Abbey at Shrewbury, while excellent for holy living, is not exciting. Not that Brother Cadfael exp
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brother Mark, formerly of the Abbey of Saints Peter and Paul in Shrewsbury, comes to the Abbey seeking to speak with Abbot Radulfus. Mark has been sent on errands into Welsh territory and stops at the Abbey to seek permission to have Cadfael accompany him to help with translation. Permission is given and they set out. They deliver both messages and gifts as planned but are delayed in their return to England because of a brotherly feud over land. Mark and Cadfael have to work together in the sea ...more
Harmless beach read. Historical fiction-cum-romance, lacking Cadfael's usual role as medieval crime-solver, the good friar becomes a watcher on the sidelines. Lacked a certain sense of danger / excitement and the twist in the tail was foreshadowed heavily about 20 times too many.
As usual Peters writes beautiful descriptive passages and high-sounding (if also false-sounding) moralistic speeches and does herself proud by her historical research.
This is one of the best of the Brother Cadfael series, IMO. Ellis Peters's vast knowledge of early Medieval Welsh history lent much verisimilitude to the story and made it so very interesting. It was suspenseful in many ways, but those readers looking for a lot of mystery and detecting will not find it here. There was a murder, yes, and other mysteries, but most of the suspense is in the story and the actions of the characters.
Beautifully written, featuring a trip across Wales, strife between brothers, encounters with Danes and their sleek boats, giving Cadfael a break from his garden at Shrewsbury into his home country where he plays useful role with his Welsh tongue. One charming love story thrown in for good measure, and, of course, a murder and solution.
I have mixed feelings about this Cadfael mystery, because it's barely a mystery at all. As a work of historical fiction it is very good. As a mystery... not so much. The question of "whodunnit?" takes a distant second to the main plot, involving the arrival of the Danes and the conflict between the two Welsh princely brothers. The mystery can be solved by the reader, after a fashion, long before the end of the book, simply through process of elimination: there are very, very few suspects, and mo ...more
Cadfael accompanies the Bishop of Lichfield's representative as interpreter on a journey to the newly-revived Welsh diocese of St Asaph. The journey is more eventful than expected. The Danish fleet is sighted approaching the Menai Strait, a girl disappears and a corpse is discovered. [return][return]Cadfael goes back home into Wales, to act as interpreter between the new abbot, and the local princes. [return][return]Problems occur, when the younger brother of one of the princes, who has been dis ...more
I enjoyed this one a lot. Much as I love Shrewsbury, it was good to see Cadfael in another setting. In the excitement of the Danish fleet, I quite forgot that the murder in this story had yet to be resolved. And Heledd - what a great character. It's a shame we're unlikely to see her again.
Elizabeth Bailey
As ever, Cadfael mysteries just pull me in and hold me on the page. This one was less Cadfael than other individuals, but still very enjoyable. Really interesting background to the Danes too. A surprising ending, but of course Cadfael knew, didn't he?!
There... wasn't really any mystery in this one. Just a chance to involve Cadfael in some Welsh hijinks, and he was basically an observer the whole time in any case. Also, one of the more poorly edited entries in the series.
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The Summer of the Danes 5 29 Mar 30, 2013 11:36AM  
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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 Virgin in the Ice (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #6)
  • 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)

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