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4.5 out of 5 stars
405
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 18 April 2017
When I reviewed the first part of this trilogy I was rather critical of the lack of originality. Nevertheless, I have now read the second book and I regret doing so. Not only is the style still a straight copy of S J Sansom, the entire plot is virtually identical to the first volume, though set in a slightly different location - the court of Quenn Elisabeth1 instead of the Oxford cloisters. Otherwise, the components are the same. Unexpected murders, a strained relationship with an unattainable woman, the hero living under constant suspicion and the continued search for a lost book on philosophy. I regret that I found the book tedious rather than exciting. It may be that the author will completely change tack in the third book, but I will not know since I do not intend to read it.
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on 20 September 2017
Prophecy

The second in the series featuring SJ Parris's character Dr Giordano Bruno. Bruno is a former Dominican monk excommunicated from the Catholic Church for publishing books that are not approved by the Catholic hierarchy. Set in Tudor England currently under the rule of Elizabeth I Bruno is employed by English spymaster Frances Walsingham.

Religious conflict is the order of the day with Protestant England coming under pressure from Catholic Europe to recant their breakaway from Rome and come back into the folds of the Catholic Church. Mary, Queen of Scots, is imprisoned in Sheffield and is the focal point of Catholic nobles who wish for Mary to replace Elizabeth on the English throne.

One of Queen Elizabeth's ladies-in-waiting is brutally murdered. The perpetrator leaves the body brutally marked with what appears to be astrological drawings. The country is rife with rumour and discussion about astrological changes that will change the world for ever. Parallel to this Catholic nobles are heavily involved in a plot that will see French and Spanish armies invade England. Are the two happenings related?

Bruno is based in the French embassy where he is in a position to report back to Walsingham on the potential invasion plans. Almost by accident he becomes involved in the murder investigation which escalates sharply when a second lady-in-waiting meets the same fate. His investigation is complicated by the realisation that both the invasion plans and murder details appear to be contradictory with one having a negative impact on the other. However this realisation leads to the uncovering of a new plot which could have horrific consequences.

Parris displays an in-depth knowledge of the historical period throughout her tale. She shows that despite the claims of both sides to achieve religious purity and reflect what the people want the simple truth is that it is a conflict about power. Who has control. Who makes decisions. Who has access to wealth. Parris highlights the frailties that exist within the human psyche when issues like ideology, religion and power are allowed to direct individual actions.

Excellent book.
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on 8 September 2016
Having previously read very good similar books I did not have very high expectations of this,but I was pleasantly surprised. This book has enough convincing detail, believable plot, and good quality narrative to make it a very entertaining read. I enjoyed reading it and am already looking forward to reading the rest of the series.
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on 5 August 2017
I read this book as part of Cityread London 2017. I hadn't read Heresy, the first book in the series, and although this book can be read as a standalone novel I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had read Heresy first. It took me a little longer than I expected to read as I kept losing track of who the characters were. Despite this it was still a very good story with lots of plot twists which kept me guessing.
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on 27 April 2017
A gripping tale set in Elizabethan England excellently interwoven historical facts and fiction. Will definitely be reading the other 2 books in this trilogy !
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on 19 April 2017
Really enjoyed this. loved the historical context. Bruno is a good anti hero, of sorts. A bit too neatly finished and Bruno`s 9 lives, slightly unbelievable
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on 24 August 2015
Really excellent story in a great series. Even the slightly gruesome bits (as Tudor times were gruesome) were not too graphic. Very well picthed balance of historical detail, good character studies and an engrossing plot and pace.
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on 27 March 2017
Gripping and historically convincing. A great read. I must read the next one now!
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on 26 June 2017
another great read by a brilliant author we need more
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on 6 January 2016
What I expected, read her previous books and wanted more. This did not disappoint. Really feel she accurately portrays life in Tudor England.
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