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Sorrow Without End: A Medieval Mystery #3 (Medieval Mysteries) [Kindle Edition]

Priscilla Royal
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.95
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Book Description

“Terror grips a remote North Sea priory in Royal’s superior medieval thriller, her third to feature Eleanor, prioress of Tyndal (after 2004’s Tyrant of the Mind). In 1271, tough-minded Ralf the Crowner, who’s trying to bring a brutal serial killer to justice, prevails upon Eleanor to allow the mangled corpse of a lowly foot soldier to be laid in the chapel during his investigation. The ‘rule of Eve’ prevails in Tyndal, where pious Eleanor resists the demands of rival monks who complicate Ralf’s work with their own competing agendas for the priory’s future. Eleanor faces further challenges when a knight is slain and an infirmarian (or hospital) nun is beaten and raped before the altar. Suspense builds amid a vivid backdrop of lepers wearing ‘clappers,’ a madman who chatters warnings, venal relic sellers and the shadowy ‘man from Acre,’ haunted by guilt for his wife’s death at the hands of a sadistic crusader.

Eleanor’s steadfast faith in a merciful God must contend with the vicious nature of man in a compelling resolution.” —Publishers Weekly starred review


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Terror grips a remote North Sea priory in Royal's superior medieval thriller, her third to feature Eleanor, prioress of Tyndal (after 2004's Tyrant of the Mind). In 1271, tough-minded Ralf the Crowner, who's trying to bring a brutal serial killer to justice, prevails upon Eleanor to allow the mangled corpse of a lowly foot soldier to be laid in the chapel during his investigation. The "rule of Eve" prevails in Tyndal, where pious Eleanor resists the demands of rival monks who complicate Ralf's work with their own competing agendas for the priory's future. Eleanor faces further challenges when a knight is slain and an infirmarian (or hospital) nun is beaten and raped before the altar. Suspense builds amid a vivid backdrop of lepers wearing "clappers," a madman who chatters warnings, venal relic sellers and the shadowy "man from Acre," haunted by guilt for his wife's death at the hands of a sadistic crusader. Eleanor's steadfast faith in a merciful God must contend with the vicious nature of man in a compelling resolution.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Royal continues her excellent medieval mystery series with another haunting whodunit set in the Tyndale Priory situated on the windswept East Anglican Coast. This time around, after Ralf the Crowner discovers the corpse of a murdered soldier in the woods, he brings the mutilated body back to the priory to undertake a thorough investigation. Puzzled by the strange inscription carved into the dagger used as the murder weapon, he consults with Prioress Eleanor, Brother Andrew, and Brother Thomas. Although it appears the victim was a Crusader, no motive can be found for the vicious crime. When a knight is slain and a young nun brutally attacked, it becomes clear that the priory is harboring a lunatic. As Ralf and Eleanor work tirelessly to expose the murderer, the priory and its adjacent infirmary are beset by a series of internal squabbles and political power struggles. Tautly woven, this introspective period piece oozes with suspense and intrigue. Margaret Flanagan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • File Size: 395 KB
  • Print Length: 241 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1590582144
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press (May 25, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003XNTZAW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #125,888 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars strong medieval mystery February 1, 2006
Format:Hardcover
Prince Edward is in the Mideast determined to wrest Jerusalem out of the Saracen's hands; many wounded soldiers, in body and soul, are returning home and countless of them stop at Tyndal Priory where they hope to get rid of their afflictions in the hospital run by the monks and the nuns. One the road to Tyndal Priory, a man returning home kills a foot soldier in a very gruesome manner.

Ralf the crowner (a man who hunts down criminals) brings the corpse to Tyndal Priory to have the nuns look at the body for clues. Brother Thomas, who has just returned to the priory, examines the body and thinks is his former jailer; he faints. When he comes to, he refuses to tell Ralf why he fainted. He is imprisoned in a cell until he is willing to tell Ralf the truth but the prioress Eleanor believe the real killer is hiding out among the patients. When a second murder occurs, a thorough investigation is undertaken.

Fans of Sharon King Penman will want to read SORROW WITHOUT END a medieval mystery that captures the flow of the Middle Ages. The mystery is well constructed and thought provoking as readers learn about life inside the priory and the battle fatigue syndrome afflicting the soldiers who made it home. There are many suspects but nobody seems to have a motive for the killings. This book is made even more interesting then most medieval tales because it shows that the nuns and monks have human emotions that they are forbidden by their vows to act on.

Harriet Klausner
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Third Book in the Series May 22, 2008
Format:Paperback
This is the third book in the series that features Prioress Eleanor at the Tyndal Priory. The author continues to add more flesh to the bones of her characters, so to speak and the tension between Eleanor and Brother Thomas continues. A tension that is exacerbated by the Eleanor's tender feeling for Thomas.

One could I suppose draw parallels between the two leading characters of Priscilla Royal's books and those of Abbess Helewise and Sir Josse d'Aquin in the Alys Clare medieval mysteries or even with Sister Fidelma and Brother Eadulf in Peter Tremayne's Irish medieval mysteries. All of these characters are portrayed as real, honest to goodness human beings who have their frailties, i.e. sinful thoughts and sinful deeds and are far removed from the whiter than white, celibate characters that many of the clergy are portrayed as in books by other author's.

The story revolves around the discovery of the corpse of a brutally murdered soldier near Tyndale Priory. There is a dagger in the man's chest and the knife is covered in strange designs and the body is wrapped in the cloak of a crusader. Crowner Ralf decides to take the body to the priory, but he may yet live to regret this decision. It is not long before Brother Thomas becomes a suspect in the murder and Ralf's loyalties begin to tear him apart. Who does he side with, his brother the sheriff, or loyalty to an old friend . . .
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Romance or Mystery November 15, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I read quite a bit of the Historical Mysteries and this one fits into my one of my favorite series. I have read the previous two books by Royal and enjoyed them. I am a little put out with this one as it seems more like a romance/mystery. The prioress has the hots for one of the priests. This may be the line Royal is taking and if it gets deeper I may have to rethink her books. I love medieval mysteries and I hope this series will remain on my list.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars July 11, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Good doing business with
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book May 5, 2014
By selimas
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great book. I feel like I have been transported back to the 11th century. Keep on writing this series. I have enjoyed it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A bit different then her others April 10, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I do enjoy her history put in a novel of the Medieval times and her comment after. Great way to get history!
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4.0 out of 5 stars an enjoyable addition to this series March 20, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Overall this is a very readable historic mystery collection. I would only ask, where dose this author want to go with the underlying tensions in this series? When you read a series of novels, you tolerate the 2-3 page intro piece that introduces the ongoing "issues" in a series. But with this series the "issues" are more central and it just isn't clear where this is going? Otherwise, a great story, strong characters, everything else you'd like to see in this kind of novel.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a good period time piece December 12, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm hooked on the author and the subject matter and the time period having been associated with the catholic church in my "ancient days" as a nun and a friar. The time period suits me and I love a good mystery.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars For History and Mystery Lovers
If you enjoy history as well as a good mystery, this is the book for you. Though the setting may be strange to the reader, the characters come through as real, and the mystery is... Read more
Published 17 days ago by Grandma Mike
2.0 out of 5 stars don't bother
violent rehash of other better books of that ilk.
Published 25 days ago by Belle Star
5.0 out of 5 stars Sorrow Without End with Prioress Eleanor
Fascinating, the amount of history in detail the author provides within this book.
Very enjoyable.
Published 1 month ago by Nancy H Hill
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I like this series.
Published 1 month ago by Cheryl L. Cowen
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book, one of the best in the series
I always learn something new when I read in this series. They are all well researched. Sometimes a bit hard to follow because editing can be a problem on story consistency, but... Read more
Published 16 months ago by CA Guy
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
A bit of a stumble for writer Priscilla Royal, SORROW WITHOUT END doesn't really work. The plot implies a dangerous confrontation but it doesn't deliver. Read more
Published 19 months ago by William Skipper
2.0 out of 5 stars Not her best effort
A bit boring. Too much time going over and over small facts when it was obvious all the time who did the murder.
Published 19 months ago by Helen B. Vantine
5.0 out of 5 stars The series is a winner.
I started reading the series when the first book was 99 cents, I believe. I am now captured. The character development, dialogue pacing and plots have gotten better and better with... Read more
Published 20 months ago by K. Monfort
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More About the Author

A native of Washington State, Priscilla Royal grew up in New Westminster, BC. She graduated with a BA in world literature from San Francisco State University. In 2000, she retired from the federal civil service and now writes medieval mysteries full time. Medieval literature and history have fascinated her for almost half a century, and she delights in finding details that aren't usually mentioned in most fiction. As one example, her main characters belong to the very real Order of Fontevraud, a double house of monks and nuns, run by a woman in an era when conventional wisdom said that women were weak, illogical and should never rule men. The characters remain true to their time but exhibit universal characteristics. Although a fan of theater, modern mysteries, and fiction of lesser violence, she was inspired to write about medieval crime and punishment by the works of both Ellis Peters and Sharon Kay Penman. Visit her website at www.priscillaroyal.com and her blog postings on The Lady Killers blog (www.theladykillers.typepad.com).


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