Parris, S J - 'Prophecy'
A time of prophecy and omens foretelling great change and upheaval, a time to take advantage of people's worries and concerns and change the course of history.
Giordano Bruno is an ex-communicated monk charged with heresy. He is a writer and philosopher and searches for information known by the ancients. He has been befriended by Henry IV of France and is currently living under the protection of the French Ambassador to the court of Elizabeth I of England. Elizabeth's spymaster general, Walsingham, has recruited Giordano to report on the plots to replace Elizabeth with Mary Queen of Scots in order to bring England back to the Catholic Church.
The situation is complicated when one of Elizabeth's Maids of Honour is found murdered at the court, her body covered by occult signs. Walsingham charges Giordano with investigating the murder but he finds that the murder has links with his other spy work and it is not only France but also Spain who have plans to overthrow the queen.
It is also complicated by Giordano's friendship with Dee, the great thinker/philosopher of the age and a firm favourite of the Queen but one who is in danger, since many at the Court want his influence removed.
The author has researched the period very well and this shows as the reader is immersed in the smells, noises and dirt of the period. I enjoyed the book, engaged with the characters and cared for them - always a good sign as it makes me want to read more. This is the second book in the series. The first - HERESY - introduced Giordano Bruno as an investigator. I haven't read the first book and would like to but this one stands alone - I didn't feel that I was missing information, which with some sequels, is the case.
Susan White, England
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