Cadfael: The Devil’s Novice

CadfaelA well-dressed man arrives on horseback at a modest estate—Ashby Manor—and wastes no time making it clear he’s a snob and a half. His name’s Peter Clemence, and he’s coolly greeted by Ashby’s proprietor, his cousin, Leoric. Leoric introduces his family: his ward, Isobel, younger son Meriet, and his clearly much favoured older son, Tristan. Tristan’s pretty fiancée, Rosana, strolls over and Peter kind of hits on her before he’s hustled away by Leoric.

At the abbey, Cadfael gets a visit from Hugh Beringar and Sergeant Warden. Beringar’s heading to Westminster to give an accounting of the shire. Cadfael rather unthinkingly asks who’ll be in charge of keeping the peace and Warden’s like, uh, I’m right here? Cadfael’s response is a definite, oh, yeah, well, I guess you’re better than nothing. Though barely. Nice, Cadfael.

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Cadfael: The Sanctuary Sparrow

Those of you who read the Pillars of the Earth recaps may recall me mentioning Cadfael at some point. If you were confused by that, this should help clear it up. The Brother Cadfael Mysteries were written by Ellis Peters and brought to life by the great Derek Jacobi, who played the 12th century monk/ex-crusader/herbalist to perfection. Judging from PBS’s 2011 lineup, I’ll be delving pretty deeply into the Edwardian and interwar periods for a while, so I thought I’d give myself a break and dip into the war-and-wimple period instead, at least until Netflix sends me the first disk of The Duchess of Duke Street. So, on with the recap!

Party time! A wedding, to be exact. A young man who looks like he’s only got about sixpence to the shilling, if you know what I mean, peeks in on the festivities from another room. He’s played by Toby Jones, who’s a platinum diamond member of the British “Hey! It’s that guy!” club. He just shows up everywhere, in a baffling range of roles that runs the gamut from lead actor to featured to glorified scenery. It’s too bad his Truman Capote movie came out right at the same time as Capote (and therefore got much less attention), because he was actually really good in it and that probably would have gotten him more recognizable roles, if Philip Seymour Hoffman hadn’t come along and kicked ass. Oh well, c’est la vie. Anyway, he’s joined by a bearded man who looks at him silently for a moment, then peeks into the wedding himself.

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