"Her themes of religion, sacrifice, betrayal and revenge might me tought for the average 12-year-old to digest but she presents them simply through her two young narrators." (Leader (Chester)
"(Theresa Breslin) tackles the art of historical storytelling for children in this novel set in Spain in the 1400s." (Norwich Evening News
"Breslin's ability to weave a well-researched, page turning plot around sympathetic, believable characters has been displayed before in The Medici Seal
and The Nostradamus Prophecy
...it's unputdownable" (Amanda Craig The Times
Don't read this book if you are of a delicate disposition and prone to nightmares. Within the first few pages a woman is burned at the stake, a man is unjustly accused and hanged, his young son only just escapes the same fate and a woman dies in childbirth. But this is no horror story, and none of the violence is gratuitous: this is quite simply the world of fifteenth century Spain. King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella are fighting the Moors in Granada, Christopher Columbus is seeking royal funding for a voyage to prove the world is round, and the Inquisition is spreading terror and anguish throughout the land. And against this background of momentous events, we have the thrilling and beautiful account of the lives of two young people, bound together by hatred and love.
.....the author never seeks cheap thrills, even when recounting the most horrible and bloodthirsty tortures of the Inquisition: her tale is simply and clearly told. At a time when the news frequently reminds us just how far people will go in the name of democracy and freedom, this book will make many readers think more carefully about what they believe. People may have hated and feared the Inquisition, and its barbaric practices may revolt us, but people in Catholic Spain in the fifteenth century were convinced what was done was for the good of all society, including the victims. Belief in the afterlife was common, and the severity of the punishment was intended to persuade heretics to repent at the moment of death and thus save their immortal souls. And, needless to say, witnessing this encouraged everyone else to remain on the path of virtue, and of obedience to the Church.
Many things are not what they first seem in this book. People act for selfish or twisted motives, or out of simple fear, and many townsfolk are denounced to the Inquisition, and horribly punished, with very little proof of wrong-doing. But the characters in this inspiring book are also capable of great sacrifices for love and for family, and what begins as a sordid, sad little event takes on enormous grandeur and significance. In such an atmosphere, and after such a story, a conventional 'happy-ever-after' ending is nigh on impossible, but readers will close the book with a sense of peace and reassurance that despite the worst things humanity can do, nobility and love will always endure.
" (Lina Lawlor The Book Bag http://www.thebookbag.co.uk/reviews/index.php?title=Prisoner_of_the_Inquisition_by_Theresa_Breslin
"Theresa Breslin is an enormously versatile novelist. Whispers in the Graveyard won the Carnegie Medal in 1994 and a particular favourite of mine, Divided City, is about the religious divisions in Glasgow seen through the story of two boys, one of whom supports Celtic and the other, Rangers. During the last few years, though, she's produced historical novels of a very high quality, like Remembrance, The Medici Seal and The Nostradamus Prophecy." (Adele Geras http://awfullybigblogadventure.blogspot.com/2010/08/reviews-by-adele-geras.html