Lisa (Harmonybites)'s Reviews > The Novice's Tale

The Novice's Tale by Margaret Frazer
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's review
Jan 14, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: historical-fiction, mystery, ultimate-reading-list, crime, fiction, novels
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Ultimate Reading List
Recommended for: Lovers of Historical Mysteries
Read from January 01, 2009 to January 11, 2011 , read count: 1

This has been compared to Ellis Peter's Brother Cadfael stories, and I certainly can see several superficial similarities. Like Brother Cadfael, sleuth Sister Frevisse is a monastic in the Benedictine order in an abbey in medieval England. However, I didn't find this first novel in the series anywhere near as engaging. Part of that is I believe Peters is the stronger writer and in particular Cadfael is a stronger character, one who had an active life in the world as a sailor and crusader before taking religious vows. Sister Frevisse is likable enough, with some wit and humor yet unlike Cadfael somehow failing to project any warmth. I liked Frevisse's connection to Chaucer--she's purportedly the niece and former ward of the famous poet's son. The story was entertaining and plausible and made an interesting use of the historical intrigues of the period leading to the War of the Roses. However, as a mystery I found it rather predictable.

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