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Heretic's Tomb, The Paperback – 6 Mar 2008
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
When Annie, a modern day girl falls through the boards of the excavation on which her father, an archaeologist, is working, Isabella's and Annie's life suddenly entwine. Annie is thrust into the world of the Middle Ages in an attempt to find the truth about Isabella's life.
In this historical middle grade fantasy, the medieval part brings the reader deeply into a world where the Black Plague has cast its shadow on society and seeing the dead each day becomes a normal occurrence. Will Annie survive? Does she uncover the truth? Why has she suddenly time traveled to the Middle Ages? All of these questions are answered when you read The Heretic's Tomb by Simon Rose.
Told in both Isabella's and Annie's points of view the story is an excellent depiction of medieval life and would be a great accompaniment for a unit on this period. It brings to life the struggles of living in this time by showing the experiences of various groups of people and how they coped with destruction and despair.
I recommend this book to anyone who would like to learn more about this tumultuous time and enjoys both fantasy and adventure. It's a quick and fun read.
The first half of the story sets the stage with suspicions of heresy against Lady Isabella who possess an amulet, believed to have magical powers. The amulet is coveted by Sir Roger de Walsingham, seasoned warrior for King Edward. Sir Roger has evil plans for the amulet and will do almost anything to possess it.
The modern day protagonist, Annie, finds herself swept back into time when she falls down an old chimney shaft and finds a piece of metal with some of the same markings as the family heirloom around her neck. What happens next is astonishing.
Filled with suspense and the ruthless harassment against Lady Isabella by Sir Roger, The Heretic's Tomb depicts the hardships that people faced during that time. Medical knowledge was at a minimum and skepticism of anything new permeated among rich and poor alike.
Simon Rose method of combining two different worlds is seamless. Rose keeps the focus narrow so the story line flows smoothly. This is a great fantasy with realistic facts and is not far reached. Rose has created a strong balance between the two characters. Middle grade children will enjoy the adventure as Annie tries to help Lady Isabella and stay out of Sir Roger's way.