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Prophecy [Kindle Edition]

S. J. Parris
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (296 customer reviews)

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Book Description

A Tudor thriller featuring Giordano Bruno, renegade monk, philosopher and heretic, for fans of C. J. Sansom and The Name of the Rose

Autumn, 1583. Under Elizabeth’s rule, loyalty is bought with blood…

An astrological phenomenon heralds the dawn of a new age and Queen Elizabeth’s throne is in peril. As Mary Stuart’s supporters scheme to usurp the rightful monarch, a young maid of honour is murdered, occult symbols carved into her flesh.

The Queen’s spymaster, Francis Walsingham, calls on maverick agent Giordano Bruno to infiltrate the plotters and secure the evidence that will condemn them to death.

Bruno is cunning, but so are his enemies. His identity could be exposed at any moment. The proof he seeks is within his grasp. But the young woman’s murder could point to an even more sinister truth…

Product Description


• ‘Impossible to resist … Parris creates a convincing sense of the past, woven with so much intrigue that the head fairly spins’ Daily Telegraph

• ‘Parris writes with confident ease of Tudor London … The dialogue balances nicely on a tightrope of period phrases and cut-to-the-chase colloquialisms. More, please’ The Times

• ‘Parris’s plot is well crafted and full of surprises, an imaginatively satisfying addition to the many real intrigues surrounding the imprisoned Mary Stuart and the threats to Elizabeth’s security’ TLS

• ‘Tense and lively, a welcome follow-up to Heresy, fully living up to its predecessor’s promise’ Daily Mail

Praise for Heresy:

• ‘Heresy has everything – intrigue, mystery, excellent history and haunting sense of place. The beginning of a wonderful new detective series’ Kate Mosse

• ‘Fascinating … The period is incredibly vivid and the story utterly gripping’ Conn Iggulden (bestselling author of Bones of the Hills and The Dangerous Book for Boys)

• ‘Heresy is a riveting read. Rich in both historical detail and ingenious twists, S. J. Parris has created a character in Giordano Bruno that will endure. A true rival to C. J. Sansom’ Sam Bourne (bestselling author of The Righteous Men)

• 'Parris paces her yarn perfectly' Daily Telegraph

About the Author

S.J.Parris is the pseudonym of Stephanie Merritt. Born in 1974, she has worked as a critic and feature writer for a variety of newspapers and magazines as well as radio and television. She currently writes for the Guardian and the Observer.

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More About the Author

S.J.Parris is the bestselling author of Prophecy and Heresy. Her historical thrillers follow the renegade monk, philosopher and heretic Giordano Bruno, as he uncovers dark mysteries and plots in Elizabethan England.

'S. J. Parris has created a character in Giordano Bruno that will endure. A true rival to C. J. Sansom'
Sam Bourne (bestselling author of The Righteous Men)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
51 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good quality historical mystery 25 April 2011
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a really well written and entertaining story. The principal characters (both historical and fictional) are well rounded and believable. Although, from the little I know of the real Bruno, I suspect he was not quite as nice a chap as S J Parris would have us believe - he seemed to manage to annoy everyone he came into contact with eventually. But that's being picky - this fictional Bruno is a likeable, intelligent spy/detective.

The cast of historical characters is pretty much a who's who of Tudor politics and alchemical proto-science: Walsingham, Burghley, Sidney, Mary Stuart, Howard, Dee, Kelly all make an appearance. The details are spot on and historically accurate - or plausible guesses where the truth isn't known (there is no evidence that Bruno met Dee for example but it seems highly unlikely that he didn't and it makes the story work so what the heck).

Historical fiction is quite difficult to pull off, in my view. How much were people in Tudor England quite like us in their day to day lives and relationships, and how much were they entirely alien in their world view? Parris's characters seem to be a little more modern than I suspect the real people were - but I think she generally gets the balance right and mostly steers clear of overtly anachronistic dialogue and motives.

I will be going back and reading the first in this series and will be hoping for many further volumes - maybe even a TV series with someone like Joseph Fiennes as Bruno, or would that be too much to ask?
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good sequel to her first novel 13 Aug. 2011
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
If you have read Heresy already, you will be eager to find out how Giordano Bruno is enjoying his life in England. His first adventure here involved investigating the catholic plots against Queen Elizabeth I in Oxford for Lord Walsingham.

Bruno returns to England, having spent some time with King Louis, attached to the French embassy in London. Pretty soon he has been persuaded by Walsingham to spy on the gathering plots by Guise, the French, the Spanish, Henry Howard and others to take the English thrown by force and put Mary in the throne.

Without giving too much away, the plotting and counter-plotting between the various contingents becomes extremely complex. Meanwhile, one of Elizabeth's attendants in murdered in Richmond (London) and mysterious signs left on her body. Are these portending the end of Elizabeth's reign?

The second book is slower paced than the first, but is a good read. I would rate it as maybe 4.5* as it only started to grip me after 100 or so pages. However, despite that, I would recommend it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great second story 10 Feb. 2011
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is the second novel by SJ Parris and is the second in the series about real life historical person Giordano Bruno. I read the first book - Heresy (Heresy) - and thoroughly enjoyed it. The problem is second novels are either good or poor. This is neither poor, nor good; it is, fortunately, a great sequel.

Bruno is working in the court of Elizabeth I for her "spy-catcher" Francis Walsingham who is trying to keep an eye on all those who would plot against the Queen. Bruno is one Walsingham's spies and manages to infiltrate a group of plotters who have designs on the throne of England. While looking for proof to take to Walsingham young girls within the palace start being murdered and the occult is seemingly to blame, but Bruno suspects something completely different. Will he be able to find the murderer, and get the proof against the conspirators?

SJ Parris's Heretic renewed my interest in historical detective fiction, something which I had fallen out of "love" with many years ago, her new book "Prophecy" has gone a long way to confirming that new attraction to the genre.

These books are more of a historical "Messiah" (Boris Starling - Red Metcalf) - Messiah - type story than an Umberto Eco "Name of the Rose" which I found interesting but heavy going at times - The Name Of The Rose (Vintage Classics). I cannot comment on any similarity to CJ Sansom, as I haven't read any of their books.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A slightly jarring read 28 Mar. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Like some of the other reviewers, I am not particularly impressed with Bruno's 'sleuthing' in this book! As the latest addition to team Walsingham (along with Shardlake and Shakespeare), he seems to be the most inept and uninteresting.

My main issue, though, is that Prophecy is written in the present tense. I found this jarring and found myself having to readjust to it every time I picked it up to continue reading. When I started the book, I thought this might be a feature of the first chapter or two, and then it would settle back into a traditional past-tense narrative. It didn't.

The use of the present tense didn't add any sense of urgency or immediacy to the book. It just made it all seem a bit odd and slightly uncomfortable to read.

I really enjoyed 'Heresy', but 'Prophecy' wasn't quite up to the same standard. I'm not sure whether I like, or really care about what happens to, Giordiano Bruno, his view of the cosmos, or his method for remembering things.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite compelling
yet again S J Parris writes a compelling novel.
Published 4 days ago by Tet
5.0 out of 5 stars priestly detective
Great historical drama covering Tudor period full of intreague and murder well worth reading
Published 4 days ago by barbara
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
A good read with plenty of action.
Published 4 days ago by N.S Khan
5.0 out of 5 stars A good re-read in near future
previously read but wanted a copy in tablet form to keep
Published 4 days ago by anthony edwards
4.0 out of 5 stars Good historical novel about Elizabethan court and times
My sister recommended Heresy and I could not find it, so bought this instead. It is a really enjoyable read - beautifully written which always makes a book score high with me,... Read more
Published 4 days ago by Rdeakin
5.0 out of 5 stars FANTASTIC READING
Again, another fantastic historical murder mystery by S J Parris and I love the main character. A book I can highly recommend.
Published 13 days ago by Angela Mary Finnemore
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting medieval detective work, but far too convoluted a ...
Interesting medieval detective work, but far too convoluted a plot, and an over emphasis on the filth and smells of that era. Read more
Published 18 days ago by Michael Clayton
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Just love S J Parris. Cant wait for the next book in 2016!
Published 27 days ago by murphy
5.0 out of 5 stars Prophecy
This is the second Bruno Giordano I've read and it was as gripping as the first. I was totally caught up with the winding plot and sub plot. Read more
Published 29 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very good book
Published 29 days ago by Jennifer Woolsey
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