Prophecy: Book summary and reviews of Prophecy by S.J. Parris

Prophecy

An Historical Thriller

by S.J. Parris

Prophecy
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  • Published in USA  May 2011
    384 pages
    Genre: Thrillers

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About this book

Book Summary

It is the year of the Great Conjunction, when the two most powerful planets, Jupiter and Saturn, align - an astrologi­cal phenomenon that occurs once every thousand years and heralds the death of one age and the dawn of another. The streets of London are abuzz with predictions of horrific events to come, possibly even the death of Queen Elizabeth.

When several of the queen's maids of honor are found dead, rumors of black magic abound. Elizabeth calls upon her personal astrologer, John Dee, and Giordano Bruno to solve the crimes. While Dee turns to a mysterious medium claiming knowledge of the murders, Bruno fears that some­thing far more sinister is at work. But even as the climate of fear at the palace intensifies, the queen refuses to believe that the killer could be someone within her own court.

Bruno must play a dangerous game: can he allow the plot to progress far enough to give the queen the proof she needs without putting her, England, or his own life in danger?

In this utterly gripping and gorgeously written novel, S. J. Parris has proven herself the new master of the historical thriller.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. An admirable original sleuth and persuasive period detail bolster the taut plot." - Publishers Weekly

"Parris looks to be an up-and-comer in the historical fiction/mystery arena; buy accordingly." - Library Journal

"Parris populates her tale with interesting characters and plenty of atmosphere but allows the story to ramble on until the reader grows weary of Bruno and his detective work." - Kirkus Reviews

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Reader Reviews

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Carolyn G. (South Pasadena, CA)

A fun read
This is an intelligent piece of light fiction with realistic descriptions of 16th century London. I especially liked the boat rides on the Thames. At the beginning of reading, I was worried that the plot was going to focus too much on the occult or supernatural. Lucky for me this is just a great mystery. This would not be book for my book club, but I will certainly recommend it to my friends. I also think the book would make a great TV mini-series.

David V. (Wayside, NJ)

Prophecy by S.J. Parris
This is a good read for anyone who enjoys mysteries, political intrigue and historical fiction. Set in Elizabethan England, it draws a very good portrait of the ambiance and architecture of London at that time. Most of the buildings in the story are located along the River Thames, which is portrayed as one of the principal avenues of transportation through the city. The characters are very well drawn and emphasize the international flavor of the novel, representing Britain, France, Italy, Scotland and Spain. Plot elements include religious and political conspiracy, black magic and visions of the future (thus the title). Although this is a work of fiction I feel that I learned many things about the period that I hadn't previously known. The plot is very interesting - just when you think you've figured what is going to happen next, it doesn't.

Jane H. (Indianola, IA)

Prophecy
This is a great historical thriller! The year is 1583, and Giordano Bruno is back one again. This time it is to stop a plot by those who wish to put Mary Stuart on the throne of England. Prophecy is wonderfully written. The reader is a participant in the surroundings and mayhem.
Parris' research of the time period is outstanding and her characters are well developed. She leaves an opening at the end so the reader can look for a third book in the series.

Christine B. (scottsdale, AZ)

Prophecy
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it. The conspiracies brewed by Catholics and Protestants, murders, deceit, and a most entertaining hero make for rousing historical theatre. I am most anxious to read the 1st book in the series and hope for more.

Margaret D. (Brookfield, VT)

"Prophecy"
"Prophecy" continues the story of Giordano Bruno which began with Parris' "Heresy". The author's writing is clever enough that I did not flounder because of having not (yet) read the first book.

There is enough intrigue and conspiracy to keep a reader alert. As well as enough historical references to keep my "no kidding?!" penchant Google-ing with the book by my side. The characters and the plot are well developed. And I am pleased that the ending, while very satisfying, allows this reader to believe there will be a third in the series.

I can see myself carrying both "Heresy" and "Prophecy" with me on vacation this summer!

Nancy D. (West Chester, PA)

Another Winner
Once again Parris delights with her character Bruno.The book is a historical whodunit filled with details and well drawn characters. I felt transported back to the era of Elizabeth I.

...19 more reader reviews

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Author Information

S.J. Parris Author Biography

S. J. Parris is the pseudonym of author and journalist Stephanie Merritt.

Parris first became fascinated by the rich history of Tudor England and Renaissance Europe while researching a paper as a student at Cambridge. Since then, her interest has grown and led her to create this series of historical thrillers featuring Giordano Bruno.

Parris has worked as a critic and feature writer for a variety of newspapers and magazines, as well as radio and television shows. She currently writes for the Observer and the Guardian and is the author of six books. She has one son.

Author Interview
Link to S.J. Parris's Website

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