BookBrowse Reviews Heresy by S.J. Parris

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Heresy

by S.J. Parris

Heresy by S.J. Parris X
Heresy by S.J. Parris
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Feb 2010, 448 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2011, 448 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers

Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews

BookBrowse:


A mystery set in 16th century England amid religious turmoil

Fans of historical mysteries will be thrilled to discover this first installment in a new series. 25 out of 26 BookBrowse readers rated Heresy 4 or 5 stars. Here's what they had to say:

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 events of this time period and the main character - a complicated and fascinating man. 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, 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 (Dolena W).

What I love about this book is the writer's style. She keeps things interesting and gives just enough detail without weighing the story down with too much prose, as so many writers of historical fiction are wont 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 (Chris G).

Enticing and layered, this is a great choice for book clubs! It brought up questions about politics and religion, love and betrayal, and right and wrong. I kept thinking about how this book relates to today and how people are still fighting about religion. Reading Heresy made me interested in researching more about Giordano Bruno - a complex man who finally met his end at the hands of the Inquisition (Mary R).

A few readers acknowledge some flaws:
The book started out interestingly enough, but got stuck with repetitive scenarios mid-way through. I liked the descriptions of life during that time period but felt the book would have benefited from stronger editing (Susan P). The story dragged in a few places where it became a little too scholarly, but it was mostly fast paced and entertaining (Cheryl D). Throughout, the author's writing is very good, although I think she spent more time on plot rather than on her characters. My understanding is that this is the first of a planned series, and hopefully the author will flesh out the ongoing characters a bit more (Nancy O).

The bottom line:
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's intricately plotted, but avoids becoming cumbersome with details (Jean T). The characters are very well-developed, the story is exciting, and the mystery is a winner (Donna N)! I highly recommend this book to fans of historical fiction and mysteries as well as those interested in English history (Chris G).

Coming Soon
The second in the series, Prophesy, will publish in the UK in March 2011, and in the USA in May.

This review was originally published in March 2010, and has been updated for the February 2011 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  Giordano Bruno

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Art of the Wasted Day
    The Art of the Wasted Day
    by Patricia Hampl
    Patricia Hampl wants you to know that daydreaming is not a waste of a day. Nor is spending time ...
  • Book Jacket: Circe
    Circe
    by Madeline Miller
    Towards the end of Madeline Miller's novel Circe, the titular nymph is questioned by her son ...
  • Book Jacket: All the Names They Used for God
    All the Names They Used for God
    by Anjali Sachdeva
    Pre-publication press has already compared Anjali Sachdeva to Kelly Link and other genre-blending ...
  • Book Jacket: Look Alive Out There
    Look Alive Out There
    by Sloane Crosley
    After a brief (and thoroughly enjoyable) foray into fiction (with her 2015 novel The Clasp), Sloane ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Music of the Ghosts by Vaddey Ratner

A love story for things lost and restored, a lyrical hymn to the power of forgiveness.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Other People's Houses
    by Abbi Waxman

    A hilarious and poignant novel about four families and the affair that changes everything.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Leavers

The Leavers by Lisa Ko

One of the most anticipated books of 2017--now in paperback!

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T E H N Clothes

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.