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Title: The Pilgrim of Hate
Series: Brother Cadfael
Author: Ellis Peters
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Format: Kindle digital edition
The bones of St. Winifred are being brought out to display and for a miracle to happen. Pilgrims flock to the Abbey. Some true pilgrims, some scofflaws and others with very mixed motives. Cadfael is still feeling guilty about burying Winifred back in Wales and wants a sign that he did right.
While this is all going on, the war for the Kingdom continues. London is far away but what happens there ripples out to the rest of the land. A murder there affects a whole group of Pilgrims at the abbey, whether they know it or not.
Been about 2 months since my last Cadfael read. That seems to be a good space. Any sooner and I'd start champing at the bit with these.
This story had as much historical action as the previous book. Empress Maude makes the classic blunder of not sucking up to those in power and they spurn her attempt at becoming Queen. So the war between her and Stephen continues. Which is just the backdrop for everything happening at the abbey.
Cadfael is all doubt'y until his son shows up and then it is all rainbows and ponies and a sign that Winifred approves his decision. Cadfael, while having given up the life that he led before, certainly doesn't seem in the least repentant for ANY of it. I know that the religious and theological isn't the main purview of this series, but still, I'd like that aspect touched on a bit more, even if it "is" Catholicism ;-)
The one thing that really bugged me however was all the references to previous stories. I don't remember individuals from the other books and so to have them mentioned was just an annoyance. I don't keep that kind of detail in my head for more than about 2 days, then *delete*, it is gone to make room for the next book I'm reading. Which is why reviews of books that I have finished over a week ago tend to be quite a bit sparser than ones done immediately after reading.
Finally, I am really liking these MysteriousPress.com covers. While they don't have the Priest'y vibe of the earlier ones, I am very much drawn to the whole colored cover thing. It works for me.