The Coins of Judas Paperback – 4 Jul 2011
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‘A fascinating novel with a leavening of tantalising historical detail’ Irish News
For 30 pieces of silver, Judas committed the most famous betrayal in history. Of the 30 pieces, 25 have been gathered and kept safe in the sacred tomb of St Peter. But what of the five coins?See all Product description
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Well worth a read.
Judas Iscariot is a key figure in the story of Jesus, more so than any of the other eleven Disciples, it is possible to argue, with the single exception of Peter, the other Disciple to betray the Messiah. This book focuses on the thirty pieces of silver Judas sold Christ with and imagines the coins being infused with a demonic power from the transaction. Through the ages, these coins resurface to test the Church again and again.
This is an interesting premise, and the earliest chapters of this novel with a devilish figure offering a Faustian pact to a criminal psychologist are very well done. As the book progesses, however, it focuses more on the response of the Church. Since this includes cardinals and even the Pope himself (to say nothing of a "living saint"!) springing into action, the heroes do have a lot of power at their disposal. This does limit the level of suspense a bit, even after the main villain is revealed to be a big-time bad guy from the Bible itself.
Too much of the closing chapters is concerned with describing pseudo-scientific descriptions of the magical process the villains and heroes are attempting. This reads like rather poor SF and the reader is tempted to skip these "astral" scenes.
James Blaycock's earlier fantasy work "The Last Coin" deals with the modern day survival of magically-enpowered Judas coins without quite so much mumbo-jumbo.
Although better knowledge and by self-interests Stauffer defends his psychological appraise during the court hearing, that finally causes to the acquietal of the murderer Karl Kramer an gets him the acquaintance of the puzzling Helen. At a dinerparty Helen asks the professor, what he would be ready to give, in order to experience all "eternal truths"....
At the same time the indications of a 1000 years old, dark prophecy of pope Silvester II. accumulate. This prophecy is standing directly before it's fulfilment. In the Vatikan pope Johannes XXV and his three combatant fellows are preparing temselves for the fight against the messengers of the darkness.....
The novel is a fantastic and fascinating mixture with the elements of psychology and mystic. The borders between C G. Jung and the medieval "Malleus Maleficarum" (witch hammer) are flowing. The strictly scientific-rational beginning follows a gradual change into a religious-mystical action, whereby the figure of puzzling Helen(a) riminds of Goethe's Doctor Faust Part II.. Now astral journeys with bilocations belong to plot, like the hunger for knowledge, an greed for power, betrayal and other abysses of soul. The name of the Leading actor Stauffer is an interesting allegory, becauses it awakes associations to medievallyn emperor Friedrich II. of Hohenstaufen, who was recognized as the "Anti-Christi" by many of his contemporaries and the pope, who put a spell on him. At the end of the novel origin and meaning of the term "simony" becomes understandably. The mention of historical events and persons (Bannockburn, Milvi bridge, the Roman emperors Diokletian and Julian Apostata), of astrology (conjunctions of the planets) and hermetic (Hermes Trismengistos, Zoroastranism, Kabbala. Manichaeism) and the notes of the author together are rounding the overall view. ... ....
....that means the maximum valuation of 5 Amazonstars!