Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Heresy - S.J. Parris
by S.J. Parris
Set in 1583, Heresy takes us to the University of Oxford during a very dramatic time. Giordano Bruno is an excommunicated monk, turned spy for Sir Francis Walsingham, Queen Elizabeth's Principal Secretary of State. He goes to Oxford to look for a lost book for himself, while also keeping his eye out for practicing Catholics for Walsingham. Once at Oxford, Bruno is quickly pulled into solving a mysterious death that many don't want to admit is a possible murder.
Parris takes a real person and creates a very realistic mystery that is both captivating and enlightening. I have read so much about this time period but nothing gave me the same understanding for what it must have been like for people with the different religious beliefs. I was constantly second-guessing possible killers and motives while Parris portrayed events that very possibly could have happened.
Although Bruno went to Oxford in search of a lost book, the story focused more on the mysterious murders. The book that Bruno was searching for became a side note that came up sporadically throughout the story. I do wish that more focus was put on the missing book, but the murders intrigued me so much that I didn't find myself wondering about it until Bruno randomly brought it up again.
This is definitely an interesting read for anyone curious about the battle of religions during Queen Elizabeth's reign. I enjoyed getting a look into a different part of Queen Elizabeth's England.
**Source: ARC for review from publisher, thanks Doubleday.