CHARACTERS å Heresy By SJ Parris


Masterfully blending true events with fiction this blockbuster historical thriller delivers a page turning murder mystery set on the sixteenth century Oxford University campusGiordano Bruno was a monk poet scientist and magician on the run from the Roman Inuisition on charges of heresy for his belief that the Earth orbits the sun and that the universe is infinite This alone could have got him burned at the stake but he was also a student of occult philosophies and ma. Always a fan of historical fiction I decided to come back to the SJ Parris series that I tried a few years ago Parachuting into the middle of the religious wars across Europe and using late 16th century England as a setting Parris creates uite the story that has many facets sure to entertain the reader Giordano Bruno was never the most conforming monk when he took his orders in Naples He sought to educate himself and challenge the beliefs of his monastic order uite regularly When he was caught with a controversial and illegal book one day Bruno chose to flee rather than face the severe punishment After spending years on the run from the Inuisition Bruno was excommunicated and left to educate himself in some of Europe’s best universities When Bruno makes his way to England he is welcomed as somewhat of an outcast and invited by one of the close advisors of ueen Elizabeth to make his way to Oxford With little to lose Bruno begins the journey in the royal party and prepares to explore the clash between the celestial and religious aspects of the universe with a well established priest During all this Bruno comes upon an event that can only be murder though the local authorities are baffled about it A curious investigator with an interest in solving cases Bruno begins to look into events as men soon find themselves dead Bruno is eventually formally invited to help solve the cases all of which eventually have a common theme While trying to probe a little deeper Bruno’s papist past could come back to haunt him in England even as he tries to explain that he no longer has ties to the Roman Church With a killer on the loose and Bruno’s own safety in uestion no one can be sure what will happen or whose blood will be shed An interesting tale that opens this series with a bang and keeps things moving effectively throughout Recommended to those who love a good historical mystery as well as the reader who enjoys exploration of the religious situation in 16th century EnglandThis is one of those books that will take some dedication and attention to detail in order to properly enjoy its premise Parris writes clearly and very well though there is so much going on and woven into the narrative that tuning out could mean disaster for the reader Giordano Bruno proves to be a wonderful protagonist with a great deal of backstory His flight from his monastery offers an interesting story arc that can be followed but it is his mysterious arrival in England and passion for challenging authority that will keep Bruno’s character one that the reader will enjoy As Parris sets some of the needed groundwork for the series she creates a wonderful character who is not afraid of rocking the proverbial boat Other characters to just as well to keep the reader guessing as they fill the narrative with their own points of view and keep the mystery strong The story was uite well paced if perhaps a bit too detailed for my liking I took the audiobook approach and was welcomed with the soothing voice of John Lee to guide me along The story is rich with history and religious clashes both of which creates something that is dense at times and overwhelming for some readers With chapters of a decent length and a plot that evolves throughout Parris does well with this piece and introduces some needed backstory that will surely play a role in coming novels Bruno’s position will surely be uestioned throughout by the English but his attention to detail whe

REVIEW Heresy By S.J. Parris

Heresy By S.J. ParrGic In SJ Parris's gripping novel Bruno's pursuit of this rare knowledge brings him to London where he is unexpectedly recruited by ueen Elizabeth I and is sent undercover to Oxford University on the pretext of a royal visitation Officially Bruno is to take part in a debate on the Copernican theory of the universe; unofficially he is to find out whatever he can about a Catholic plot to overthrow the ueen His mission is dramatically thrown off course by a series of gr. Given a lifelong interest in the Tudor period and my prior enjoyment of C J Sansom's series I was drawn to the first in this series set during the reign of Elizabeth I Giordano Bruno a real historical character is the protagonist who tells the story in first person narrative The Prologue introduces Bruno some years before the main action where he is threatened with being brought before the Inuisition due to his taste in reading and his adherence to the theories of Copernicus that the Earth orbits the sun rather than the other way round Bruno's own views go further and he believes in other solar systems which is regarded by the Catholic Church as heretical and heretics are burned at the stakeThe main action cuts to several years later after he has escaped across Europe having many trials on the way Despite winning the patronage of Henri III the French King he has had to take ship to the tolerant country of England to evade the extremists now coming to power in France especially as he is still on the Inuisition's wanted list Francis Walsingham the ueen's spymaster recruits him he is due to go to Oxford in the company of his friend Sir Philip Sidney to take part in a debate While there Walsingham wants him to ferret out any Catholics who might be plotting against the ueen Ironically Bruno has to pass himself off as a Catholic as an Italian he does not seem uite as endangered as English Catholics might be especially since he is now what we would regard as a humanist Certainly he does not believe in either the Catholic or Protestant dogmasIn Oxford Bruno is soon embroiled in trying to catch a killer when one of the college fellows is murdered and other deaths follow All this is against a background of college politics religious conflict outright hostility towards himself as a putative Catholic and his own attraction to the daughter of the Rector an attraction he must resist as reliant on patronage as he is he cannot offer a respectable woman a secure future Meanwhile he also wants to check if a certain book lost centuries before has been brought to Oxford as he believes it would enable him to mentally contact the Godhead and find out the secrets of the universe this is the 16th century after allThere is uite a bit of action in the story Bruno can handle himself in a fight and even kill in self defence when necessary something he has had to do since fleeing the Inuisition He comes in for a fair bit of physical abuse in the course of the story although the fact that there are further volumes takes away some of the suspense when his life is threatenedOverall I found it an interesting read and was kept guessing by the murder mystery although I did guess one part of it view spoiler that one character had cause to take revenge on another hide spoiler

S.J. Parris ↠ 1 CHARACTERS

CHARACTERS å Heresy By S.J. Parris Ý Masterfully blending true events with fiction this blockbuster historical thriller delivers a page turning murder mystery set on the sixteenth century Oxford University campusGiordano Bruno was a monk poet scientist and magician on the run from the Roman Inuisition on charges of heresy for his belief that the Isly murders and a spirited and beautiful young woman As Bruno begins to discover a pattern in these killings he realizes that no one at Oxford is who he seems to be Bruno must attempt to outwit a killer who appears obsessed with the boundary between truth and heresy Like The Dante Club and The Alienist this clever sophisticated exceptionally enjoyable novel is written with the unstoppable narrative propulsion and stylistic flair of the very best historical thrillers. This is not a bad story at all being a murder mystery set in Lincolns College Oxford during the Elizabethan era and featuring Giordano Bruno – ex Catholic priest and philosopher who arrives at Oxford alongside Philip Sydney who is accompanying and entertaining a Polish high ranging visitor to the court For his part Bruno has also been charged with seeking evidence of Catholicism at Oxford University What he doesn’t bargain for is a high body count of Fellows at the University The story itself is pretty good and kept me interested and I did like Bruno himself who is a very engaging character I also particularly loved the wit of the author; there is a very dry subtle humour in the book at times which really made me smile So why only a three star rating The main problem for me was the slow pace of the read at times I really did have to struggle to keep reading it even though I was engaged in the story