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Book Note: Margaret Frazer, The Apostate's Tale

I read this book about 2013-03-01. This is the first time I've read this book. The book is copyright 2008. This note was last modified Wednesday, 06-Mar-2013 14:25:55 PST.

This note contains spoilers for the book.


Jumping in to the latest book in a long-running series as my first venture. It was the one available from the library mobile app.

Dame Frevisse lives in a small and somewhat struggling priory in Oxfordshire, in the 15th century I think it is (making it 400 years later than Brother Cadfael, over towards Wales).

In this one, they deal with attempted murder, the return (with her son) of a nun who had taken her final vows and later fled, and the resignation of their Prioress (and, by the end, the election of the protagonist to the position, which pleases everybody but her and surprises nobody but her).

The son, now 9 I think, may be the best-written character. He manages to do a few brave and right things, and not in a physical crisis but by thinking through to the right action at leisure.

I'm not too excited. It wasn't bad, and it wasn't stupid, but the prose didn't seem to quite flow along, and despite some space on the topic I felt little connection to the monastic environment and religious commitment of the character. It was said, but I didn't ever get a hint of the feeling. (I'm a hard target for that, but Cadfael does better.)

Sadly, I was put onto trying these by favorable comments in the context of an obituary for the author (who had long-term involvement in science fiction fandom).


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David Dyer-Bennet