Book Review: The Heretic

Posted by Katrina Roets at 8:00 AM

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

In 1536 it seems the entire known world is changing--strange new lands are discovered and the Reformation is challenging Rome and its power. In England the king's declaration of a new church and dissolution of the monasteries overturns the customs and authorities of centuries. In the new world order, spies abound and no one can be trusted.

To Brother Pacificus of the Abbey of St. Benet's in Norfolk, it looks like his abbey alone will be spared dissolution. But this last Benedictine house is mired in murder and intrigue. Then when Pacificus falls under suspicion, more than his own dark past comes to light, while the body count keeps rising. Pacificus's fate becomes entwined with that of three local children after their parents are arrested for treason and heresy. Protected only by this errant monk, a mysterious leper, and a Dutch eel-catcher, the children must quickly adjust; seeking their own identity, they soon find that neither parents nor protectors are quite what they seem.

Based on historical events, this post-medieval mystery is laced with romance, fueled by greed, and punctuated with bouts of feasting, smuggling, and jailbreak.

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When this book arrived in the mail, I nearly choked at the size of it. 608 pages. It turns out that it was 608 pages of fast reading. This book pretty much includes it all...religion, politics, action, adventure and even a touch of romance. I will say that if you have trouble keeping track of who is who, this might not be the book for you. Instead of just taking place in a time period, the time period is as much of the book as the characters themselves. To that extent, it was wonderful to see the very people that Ben and I have been studying in world history come to life. I honestly really enjoyed this book and I only have one real complaint and trust me, it's minor. At the end of the book, the author wrote a series of letters (or portions of them) to help give closure as to what happened to the characters. I would have much rather seen an epilogue that really covered everyone in a fuller fashion.

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I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review.  All thoughts, comments, and opinions are my own.
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