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Summary

The winter of 1139 will disrupt Brother Cadfael's tranquil life in Shrewsbury with the most disturbing events. Raging civil war has sent refugees fleeing north from Worcester. Among them are two orphans from a noble family, a boy of thirteen and an eighteen-year-old girl of great beauty, and their companion, a young Benedictine nun. But the trio, never reaching Shrewsbury, have disappeared somewhere in the wild countryside.

Cadfael feels afraid these three lost lambs, but another call for help sends him to the Church of Saint Mary. A wounded monk, found naked and bleeding by the roadside, will surely die without Cadfael's healing arts. Why this holy man has been attacked and what his fevered ravings reveal soon give Brother Cadfael a clue to the fate of the missing travelers. Now Cadfael sets out on a dangerous quest to find them. The road will lead him to a chill and terrible murder and a tale of passion gone awry. And at journey's end awaits a vision of what is best, and worst, in humankind...in Ellis Peters's most stunning depiction yet of love and war.

©1982 by Ellis Peters (P)1998 by Blackstone Audiobooks

What listeners say about The Virgin in the Ice

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good story, problemswith the narration.

Fans of Cadfael will enjoy the story. The only problem is the narrator. She reads the story line well but can't pull off a "male voice" and as most of the characters are male it rather sounds a bit silly.

9 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great story, terrible delivery

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Bring back Stephen Thorne

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Vanessa Benjamin?

Stephen Thorne

Any additional comments?

It's always galling when the narrator mispronounces words. When VB got the name of one of the principle characters wrong, I gave up.

8 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Terrible narrator! STEPHEN THORNE needed!

Regret spending birthday money in haste on this when didn’t have time to listen. Now way beyond return date sadly. Vanessa has terrible accents, too abrasive a voice for Cadfael stories & from inappropriate pauses etc, no understanding of significant bits in Cadfael plots or social mores & political mores of time. Joanna David does a decently good job, but THE DEFINITIVE AUDIO CADFAEL is STEPHEN THORNE, who narrated all 21 Cadfael stories unabridged onto audiotape. His attractive voice, great accents & phrasing cannot be bettered for Cadfael stories.His narrations are a joy!

7 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Poor narrator

After books read by Stephen Thorne, this rendition is a huge disappointment. The narration is poor, sentences broken, and names mispronounced. Disappointing.

5 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

disappointing in parts not a clear download

Would you try another book written by Ellis Peters or narrated by Vanessa Benjamin?

no i don't think so these stories are best read my a man

What did you like best about this story?

the cadfael stories are always good

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Vanessa Benjamin?

derick jacobi

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

no reaction

Any additional comments?

i have always enjoyed books on tape or cd i found this one not as enjoyable as my others

5 people found this helpful

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Good Story, Poor Narration

Why does the narrator have to SHOUT the male dialogue? IT IS VERY ANNOYING INDEED

3 people found this helpful

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  • C
  • 18-11-15

good story / presentation could be better

despite a good story. names mispronounced and no Welsh accents made it an annoying listen.

3 people found this helpful

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Good story spoilt by The narrator.

Enjoyed the story but definitely not the voice. Why try to be something you can’t be - trying to be a male voice was not a success. Not sure about the accents for that time either

2 people found this helpful

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Great story - poor naration

The story is the normal high quality, but the reader has Cadfael far too english

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Terrible audio quality in places

In some places of the audio recording the quality was so bad that I could hardly understand. Its not the first time I've commented on the quality of recordings on the Cadfael series.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Pixie Spritely
  • 07-01-10

Excellent story, narrator a bit rough

Having listened to Ward narrate the previous books, I really can't listen to Benjamin's voices for male characters. She sounds as though she's telling a story to little children and using her "big bad wolf" gruff voice. I shall repurchase this title with the Thorne narration.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Christopher
  • 29-07-11

Good story marred by poor reader

The story is up to Peters' usual standard. Unfortunately, the reader seems unable to offer a Welsh accent, and all the male characters sound the same, which caused me a lot of confusion at times. The 13 year old male character sounded like a 6 year old. Poor narration.
Unfortunately, in Australia, we are unable to download the version with the male narrator. Pity.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Vivian
  • 06-01-04

THE BEST

I have listen to a lot of Ellis Peters', Brother Cadfael books and this is my favorite so far. Reader is very good. Look forward to downloading the 2 or 3 Ellis Peters i do not have.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 10-02-22

well worth the re/re-read

Ellis Peter always brings out aspects of human behavior to be admired or shunned. The Virgin in the Ice certainly upholds these patterns. starting with the basic premise of families torn asunder by the ongoing Civil War and/or outlaws, she forms a tale of Love based on admired behaviors, and tops it with a glimpse of Cadfael's back story which raises the readers opinion of him to even-higher levels.so much packed into one slim volume.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Bodiccea
  • 22-12-16

Sooooooo boring

Any additional comments?

I've been enjoying the Brother Cadfael series but after several hours of listening, I have to give up on this one. After a promising start, the story unravels into one group of people travelling across country looking for one person, another couple heading out looking for someone else, yet another one travelling here and there. It goes on and on and on with little or no action other than riding or walking about. I suppose at some point someone will find someone else but I've reached the end of caring.

As others have mentioned, the narrator is not very good at male voices. She has a lovely speaking voice but tries a bit too hard with the male voices. She's also a bit louder with the male voices, which resulted in my constantly adjusting the volume. Life is too short for this kind of aggravation!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Joshua T
  • 09-03-22

Patrick Tull is a MUCH better narrator

This version is free with an Audible account, but we bought the Patrick Tull version.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Murray
  • 12-01-22

Cadfael always excellent

Interesting. Historical. Always a happy ending. This is one of the best. Great stuff.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Miln O'Mad
  • 29-06-21

Great story, mediocre performance

I’ve enjoyed Ellis Peters for years but the performance of this book strained my patience. Many female readers achieve varied styles to represent characters with creativity. This reader used a combination of a louder voice and read as though every word by any male character was an announcement or declaration. The style in which the lines she read didn’t square with the implied grammar - she read forcefully sentences that were meant as questions. A pronunciation guide would have helped. I listen to audio books to relax, this becomes a challenge when the reader narrates the story normally then “announces” all spoken lines in such a forceful manner that makes me want to back away.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Oh Good Grief
  • 06-04-21

Narration makes it painful to listen to

I couldn’t finish listening to this version. (10 minutes was as much as I could handle) I was excited when I saw so many Cadfael books on the included list, then realized all but the first two have less than stellar narrators. It’s worth the credits to get the ones narrated by Patrick Tull.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • SM
  • 23-03-21

Terrible narration, amateur production

The narrator can "do" just one male character: booming and pompous. Almost all characters are males, so in a dialog it's impossible to tell who's speaking since they all sound the same. Even more annoying is that "booming" is literally BOOMING, much louder than the story-line told by the third-person narrator. Adjusting the volume is impossible, which brings me to the production: as old as these recordings are, even then the producers could have leveled the volume, adjusting the "booming" to the normal reading volume. But they didn't, so it's either a whispering third-person narrator with pompous dialogs or a normal narrator with ear-piercing booming dialogs.