Suffer Little Children Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Suffer Little Children

Suffer Little Children
Peter Tremayne
Signet, 1995
ISBN: 0-451-19557-4
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Sister Fidelma of Kildare is a dálaigh or legal advocate in the law courts of ancient Ireland. Her brother, Colgú is the tánaiste, or heir apparent to his cousin the king of Muman. Ancient Ireland was divided into five kingdoms with the kings of four of the kingdoms giving allegiance to to the fifth or High King of Ireland who oversaw this loose confederation of kingdoms.

It is the year 665 and Sister Fidelma is called home to Muman where she learns that the king is on his deathbed and her brother is about to become king. But times are bad with fever ravaging the people in the land and now a famous and saintly scholar, known as the Venerable Dacăn, has been murdered while working at the abbey of Ros Ailithir in the Kingdom of Muman.   Dacăn is from the neighboring kingdom of Laigin, whose new king is not on good terms with Muman. Further, there is a small territory, known as Osraige, that lies between Muman and Laigin. Osraige was taken from Laigin centuries ago by the High King and awarded to Muman in compensation for the murder of a subject of Muman in Laigin. Now the new king of Laigin is threatening war unless Osraige is returned to Laigin as compensation for the death of the Venerable Dacăn.

Tensions are high as Fidelma is dispatched to Ros Ailithir to try to solve the mystery of who really killed
Dacăn and why. But once at the abbey, Fidelma discovers numerous plots and intrigues as well as evidence that Dacăn himself may have been involved in more than scholarly research. Her challenge is to quickly get to the bottom of the various plots and intrigues and find the truth. Time is of the essence as the High King is preparing an Assembly to hear the case but, unless she can discover and present the truth about who killed Dacăn and why, war between Muman and Laigin will result as neither is willing to accept a simple judgment not backed by facts.

The review of this Book prepared by Chuck Nugent

Chapter Analysis of Suffer Little Children

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 10%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 40% Tone of story    -   very upbeat How difficult to spot villain?    -   Difficult, but some clues given Time/era of story:    -   1600-1899 What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   70% Kind of investigator    -   skilled citizen investigator Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   politics Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   a lawyer creature Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   British


Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   Ireland

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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