Fantasy Mystery Comics Non-Fiction Fiction

The Virgin in the Ice

Friday, August 17, 2018

The Virgin in the Ice (1982) Ellis Peters

Set in England in 1139

Civil war still burns across the country. When the town of Worcester is razed by the supporters of Maud, people spread out through the county, seeking refuge from the both the soldiers and the winter.

In this chaos are lost two siblings who fled Worcester, and the nun who was their companion. Brother Cadfael finds himself involved with the lost heirs, a wounded brother, and renegades terrorizing the countryside.

There is sexual assault in this story, although it happens off-screen so to speak. But there is also Cadfael.

What you yourself did, that you may rue, and confess, and do penance for, to your soul’s content, but you may not lift another man’s sins from his shoulders, or usurp God’s right to be the only judge.

There is no profit in ifs. We go on from where we stand, we answer for our own evil, and leave to God our good.

To accuse oneself of falling short of infallibility is to arrogate to oneself the godhead thus implied.

I particularly liked the scene between one who had been held captive and their rescuer.

“Should we not go down and help them?”

“No,” said Olivier firmly. “Not unless we must, not until we must. If you fell into the wrong hands now, all this would be thrown away, all to do again. The best you can do for your friends is to stay out of reach.

Ah, if only all stories had such sensible heroes.

Rating: 8/10

Categories: 8/10, British, Historical, Mystery, Re-Read     Comments (0)    

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