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Summer of the Danes Hardcover – 1991


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Hardcover, 1991
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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Mysterious Press; Book Club (BCE/BOMC) edition (1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892964480
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892964482
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.9 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 454 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,543,534 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
It is not the summer of his discontent, washed by the sun of Yorke; however, it is the season for another Cadfael adventure and mystery! And Ellis Peters, in her usual intriguing way, presents us with her 18th Brother Cadfael episode in "The Summer of the Danes."
The year is 1144--the civil war between King Stephen and Empress Maud still rages on--and Brother Cadfael is called upon to be an interpreter to the Welsh village of Saint Asaph. Cadfael is Welsh born and he welcomes the journey to his homeland as a pleasant break from his duties as a brother at the Benedictine Abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in Shrewsbury.
As it turns out--and naturally, as this is an Ellis Peters mystery!--a Danish fleet is sighted along the coast of Wales, a real menace, indeed. Then a young girl goes missing. Then a body is found. And Cadfael is off and running.
So is the reader! Having read all the Brother Cadfael series, I found this to be one of my favorites. Peters wastes no time in developing her story and does not hesitate to flavor her plot with plenty of Welsh history and lore. Will the Danes invade? Will the murderer be brought to justice? Cadfael's expertise, once again, proves to be essential in the resolution of the crimes.
Cadfael is the former crusader now turned monk who, while not solving murder cases, works as the Abbey's herbalist and is known throughout the area for his skills in medicine. The "Sunday Express" writes: "Cadfael...springs to life in her books, which are novels with depth. He is a man of warmth, humanity and engaging nosiness."
Do not be misled by the British TV series of the Cadfael stories.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The story is rather shallow and not intruiging at all. Although I`m very interested in medieval mystery storys I found this one particularly boring. There is no ambiente in this story, I never felt anything or smelled what it would be like to be in Wales in the 12th century. Much worse are the charakters. They are very poorly made and mere onedimensional. Also, like in an early Western one is to tell good from bad in a second. The good (or noble) people are blonde, tall, muscular, intelligent, blue-eyed and strong willed. The bad ones are dark, small, fat or skinny, dumb and dark-eyed. This, pardon me if it is not so, looks to me (a concerned Austrian)like Nazi- ideology and some kind of Übermensch- fantasy. It reminds me of the ideal Aryan: blonde, blue-eyed, tall and muscular. That is a subliminial message I couldn`t stand. Stay with Paul Harding (P.C.Doherty) or C.L.Grace instead for fun and charakters.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a good story which Peters populates with memorable characters, but Cadfael is merely a passenger, albeit an insightful one, in this effort.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 23 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Peters' Cadfael takes on a Danish role! May 4 2000
By Billy J. Hobbs - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It is not the summer of his discontent, washed by the sun of Yorke; however, it is the season for another Cadfael adventure and mystery! And Ellis Peters, in her usual intriguing way, presents us with her 18th Brother Cadfael episode in "The Summer of the Danes."
The year is 1144--the civil war between King Stephen and Empress Maud still rages on--and Brother Cadfael is called upon to be an interpreter to the Welsh village of Saint Asaph. Cadfael is Welsh born and he welcomes the journey to his homeland as a pleasant break from his duties as a brother at the Benedictine Abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in Shrewsbury.
As it turns out--and naturally, as this is an Ellis Peters mystery!--a Danish fleet is sighted along the coast of Wales, a real menace, indeed. Then a young girl goes missing. Then a body is found. And Cadfael is off and running.
So is the reader! Having read all the Brother Cadfael series, I found this to be one of my favorites. Peters wastes no time in developing her story and does not hesitate to flavor her plot with plenty of Welsh history and lore. Will the Danes invade? Will the murderer be brought to justice? Cadfael's expertise, once again, proves to be essential in the resolution of the crimes.
Cadfael is the former crusader now turned monk who, while not solving murder cases, works as the Abbey's herbalist and is known throughout the area for his skills in medicine. The "Sunday Express" writes: "Cadfael...springs to life in her books, which are novels with depth. He is a man of warmth, humanity and engaging nosiness."
Do not be misled by the British TV series of the Cadfael stories. While on the surface they are quite adequate (Derek Jacobi is an ideal Cadfael), the 50-minute recounting of any of Peters' books does not do justice to the novel, which is a pity, for there are great gaps of (mis)understanding that simply cannot be supplied in such short time. Stay with the books! They are well-worth the read. Cadfael is a character worth knowing!
Billyjhobbs@tyler.net
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
not quite as good as the rest of the series March 15 2006
By M. R. Gawe - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
The first 50 pages are mostly travelogue, and the next 50 pages are mostly set-up. The story doesn't really take off until around page 115. Once it gets going, it's good, but I found myself skimming huge paragraphs of bucolic description in the beginning. It's worth reading if you're working your way through the series, but if you're looking for an introduction to the Cadfael series, don't start with this book.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Strained relations May 15 2006
By Beverley Strong - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This 18th chronicle of Brother Cadfael has less about him and more about history. In fact, he really only appears at the beginning and at the ending and doesn't have any hand at all in the solving of crimes. The story springs from the tempestuous relationship between Owain Gwynedd, Prince of Wales and Cadwaladr, his treacherous and headstrong younger brother. The brothers have had no peace between them for years as Cadwaladr is forever plotting to seize power for himself, being beaten at this game by his brother and then counting on the strong family ties that exist in all Welshmen, to be forgiven and taken back into the fold. This time, he has gone too far however, and has hired Danish mercenaries to attack Owain's troops. These Danes have been settled in Ireland for generations (a fact I did not know) and were just as much Irish as Danish and were Christian to boot! It was an interesting read for the historical contents alone, even if Cadfael scarcely appeared.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The Summer of the Danes April 14 2004
By Amarantha - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I found this a marvelous mystery, though, as in most of this author's mysteries, the mystery is not important. The important thing is the words, the well-developed characters, and the lack of stereotypical characters.
I have a question for the person who said that all Peter's heroes were tall, blond, and muscular. I would like to ask how many he has read, as it is actually rare that the heroes are blond. Take a look at Hugh Beringar, Torold Blund and Brother Cadfael himself for some examples! And in the Hermit of Eyton Forest, the protagonist is a child with many childish characteristics.
The books are very good in general, though there are one or two that are not up to par. This is not one of her best, however, so you might try A Morbid Taste for Bones or One Corpse Too Many, which are both very good. I recommend this series to anyone who likes medieval mysteries!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
That's All She Read Aug. 20 2009
By Christopher Moss - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
[...]

I have now officially read every single Brother Cadfael mystery novel. It took me quite a time to find this one in a format I can access readily. I found it at last on <a href="[...]">Audible.com</a> and downloaded it to my <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00154JDAI?ie=UTF8&tag=medienovel-20&link_code=as3&camp=211189&creative=373489&creativeASIN=B00154JDAI">Kindle2</a>.

This is just barely a mystery. There is a murder. There is a call to track down the killer. The killer is, in fact, revealed. Brother Cadfael does supply the forensics, meager though they be. But that is simply not all that relevant to the story. This is an adventure and love story unlike any Brother Cadfael you have read.

Brother mark, now a deacon in the Bishop of Lichfield's service, arrives at the Abbey of St. peter and St. Paul as he makes his way on a special mission. He is to travel to the two bishops in Wales to present gifts from his own bishop. One is Gilbert, a new bishop, a Norman who speaks no Welsh, and the other is a thoroughly Welsh and well-beloved bishop. The mission is to remind each of the importance of sticking together. Mark asks for and receives Brother Cadfael as companion and translator on his traversals. On the way they meet a young woman, Helleth (sorry, I can't find the spelling online), who is the daughter of a canon who wants her out of the way. The same night as a liegeman of Prince Owine's rebellious brother Cadwallader bisits the prince's court and is thereafter murdered, Helleth disapears and a horse with her.

Jump to main plot. Mark, Cadfael and Helleth all wind up prisoners of the Dublin Danes that Cadwallader has hired to convince Owine to give him back his lands lost after one of his rebellions. Their captors treat them splendidly, and something seems to start up between the tall, robust, sexy Danish captain of the longship that captured Helleth and Cadfael and Helleth herself. As the struggle between Danes, Owine's Welsh and Cadwallader's Welsh goes through a series of broken oaths, sneakiness, ill-considered loyalties, and efforts by Mark at diplomacy, Helleth and the Dane are ever in the background making googoo eyes ever-so-subtly at each other. Meanwhile the man who was supposed to marry Helleth is creeping about. I know, you are rooting for the Dane. Me too. Cadfael gets a few weeks off from sleuthing and just watches it all transpire.

It may be that Cadfael fans will be disappointed, and perhaps this is why the novel was so hard for me to locate. I liked Helleth a lot, she was a refreshing female role. I also liked her Danish sweetie. It's a nice story of a woman who wants to choose her own mate. I suppose Peters made it a Brother Cadfael mystery so his fans would buy the book. After all, that's why I read it, though I liked her other novels I've read that were published under the name Edith Pargeter. I would say the adventure part of the novel is something Sharon Kay Penman could have done more with, but it's fine as a backdrop for the love story.

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