by S.J. Parris
Hardcover: 384 pages
(4 1/2 stars out of 5)
S. J. Parris returns with the next Giordano Bruno mystery, set inside Queen Elizabeth’s palace and steeped in period atmospherics and the strange workings of the occult.
It is the year of the Great Conjunction, when the two most powerful planets, Jupiter and Saturn, align—an astrological phenomenon that occurs once every thousand years and heralds the death of one age and the dawn of another. The streets of London are abuzz with predictions of horrific events to come, possibly even the death of Queen Elizabeth.
When several of the queen’s maids of honor are found dead, rumors of black magic abound. Elizabeth calls upon her personal astrologer, John Dee, and Giordano Bruno to solve the crimes. While Dee turns to a mysterious medium claiming knowledge of the murders, Bruno fears that something far more sinister is at work. But even as the climate of fear at the palace intensifies, the queen refuses to believe that the killer could be someone within her own court.
Bruno must play a dangerous game: can he allow the plot to progress far enough to give the queen the proof she needs without putting her, England, or his own life in danger?
In this utterly gripping and gorgeously written novel, S. J. Parris has proven herself the new master of the historical thriller.
Beautiful jacket cover! I wouldn’t mind having a poster of that cover.
If Parris had decided to write a book just for me, it would have been Prophecy. I loved the political intrigue, the hint of the occult, and historical figures. Giordano Bruno was a real person, who was a poet, philosopher, and monk. Bruno was burned at the stake by the Roman inquisition for heresy.
In the novel, Bruno is living in England during the struggle between the factions for Queen Elizabeth and Mary Queen of Scots. He has allied himself with Queen Elizabeth and her agent Sir Francis Walsingham. While I enjoyed the historical characters, the descriptions of historical locations were amazing.
The plot was as complex as an Elizabethan tapestry. The pace was quick and I was quickly hooked. While this is a second novel, it is a standalone. Having said that, I would like to read the first novel Heresy and I look forward to the next installment. I also plan to read a biography of Bruno, this guy was fascinating.
All in all, it is an excellent read and I enjoyed every minute of it. I give it 4 1/2 stars out of 5.
Now to the fun part, just in time for the summer solstice, I am hosting a giveaway of 2 copies of “Prophecy.” Leave a comment with your contact information, or use the form below. I will have the drawing June 22, 2011 and pick two winners. I will email the winners addresses to Doubleday and they should have their prize within a couple of weeks. The contest is open to US residents only and no PO boxes please …
WINNERS: Debbie and Sheila !!!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Doubleday. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”