Dolena W. (Dallas, TX)
Intriguing Work of Historical Fiction
I thoroughly enjoyed this book - from the beginning to the end. Right away I was captivated by the characters, the historical setting and the unfolding mysteries. The best historical fiction always makes me want more - more information about the time period and more about the characters. This book did all that. I repeatedly found myself doing online research to find out more about the main character - a complicated and fascinating man and the events of this time period. I was generally aware of the persecution of Catholics in England, but I did not fully appreciate the extent of the killing in the name of religion until I picked up this book.
The more I read this book, the faster I read - rushing to get to the answers. I hope this author writes more books in this historical period, especially if they involve Giordano Bruno and Sophia (I love independent and intelligent women who lived in contrary times).
Chris G. (New Albany, Ohio)
"Heresy" by S. J. Parris
As someone with a degree in political science and history and who happens to be a fan of mysteries, I was immediately intrigued by S. J. Parris' novel "Heresy".
The story blends fact and fiction as it revolves around Giordano Bruno, a monk with a long resume. He is a scientist, a philosopher, a magician and as some historical documents have indicated, he may well have added spy to his list of job titles as well. But it was his heliocentric view of the universe that put him at odds with the church and on the run.
When he flees he travels throughout Europe and winds up in England where he is recruited by Queen Elizabeth I to ferret out a Catholic plot to overthrow the queen. Before he can really get into his investigation, bodies begin to turn up and he is drawn into finding the murderer.
What I loved about this book was the writer's style. She kept things interesting and gave just enough detail without weighing the story down with too much prose as so many writers of historical fiction are want to do. Her characters are well-developed and she does a good job of splitting time between the plot and a fascinating period of history. It's a time when what one believes could well get them killed if they shared those beliefs with the wrong individual.
I highly recommend this book to fans of historical fiction and mysteries as well as those interested in the English history. I for one hope this turns into a series because I would definitely purchase the next one.
Sandy P. (Gainesville, FL)
Bit of a slow start but don't give up....
Excellent historical fiction, very well researched. Many plot twists but logically linked and difficult to put down. Great character development and easy to keep track of who's related and the school hierarchy. Hard to think of that much religious persecution existing...all in the name of God. Dr. Bruno innocently gets pulled in to aid in solving the crimes by the school Rector. The mystery steadily builds right to the very end, no let down or loose ends. Would definitely recommend investing the time.
Jean T. (Paducah, KY)
I loved this book! I was pulled into the story immediately and fascinated with all the twists and turns as well as the historical detail. It was intricately plotted, but yet avoided becoming cumbersome with details. I was unable to predict the outcome, but the resolution was fully consistent and satisfactory with the plot development. I highly recommend this book!!
Alice W. (Sacramento, CA)
Prepare to step into England 1583 as you read this novel. The food, the clothing, the living conditions all become integral to the plot. So enjoy as a mystery evolves and is patiently and painfully investigated by Father Bruno who is himself on the run. Murders are committed that you could never imagine. the central location Oxford becomes a dark and dangerous venue...the beautiful daughter of Oxford's rector will shock and amaze you. There are so many complex plot ideas that are truly original and tied to the Inquisition. Warning! This may be too intense for dark night reading. Fasten you seat belt and enjoy.
Donna N. (High Rolls, New Mexico)
a must read
Heresy is an absolutely fascinating book! It is about the historical figure, Giordano Bruno, and his friend, Sir Philip Sidney, a poet. Bruno, a philosopher and sometime monk, goes to Oxford in 1583 for a philosophical discourse, and soon is caught up in murder and intrigue. Many interesting facts about the late middle ages, as they turn into the Renaissance and the Reformation, are explored. the characters are very well developed, the story is exciting, and the mystery is a winner! Read this book!
Kathy S. (Coral Gables, FL)
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. With Christmas things to do, I still made sure I found the time to read this, it moved along quickly and kept me interested with the twists. Hard to predict the outcome. I will read more from the author.