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Prophecy – Review

Prophecy by S J Parris

Once again we enter the world of Giordano Bruno. This time his adventures take him to London, and this time the conspiracy of Catholics against Queen Elizabeth I of England, is just a stone’s throw away from her and her court.

The prophecy is heard. The time of the Queen Elizabeth I is ending. The Catholics are rejoicing and planning. And Elizabeth clings to John Dee who dangerously begins to dabble in the occult. Murders occur within her court, and point to a Catholic plot to remove her from the throne of England. But not all is as it seems.

Bruno’s skill of memory and careful observation are again called upon, as he is sent to gather all the intelligence he can from the French embassy.

And Bruno is thrown into the deep end once again, and left, for the most part, alone to wade through the mysteries that surround the conspiracy. A conspiracy that almost costs him his life.

Again, as in Heresy S J Parris excellently weaves the plot, making in nigh impossible to guess the outcome.

Again she charms us with Bruno, whose Italian good looks and bravado, coupled with his surprising modesty make him wholly enjoyable to read, and it is easy to develop feelings for the man in the book. A classic and yet reluctant hero. But for all the good looks that Bruno has, he does seem out of his depth and is a wonder that Walsingham, still continues to count on him. He jumps to conclusions, and despite warning himself that he should not, he tries to make the evidence fit around his own theories. This leads him into more trouble than the simple monk, turned heretic, turned writer can cope with.

Perhaps it would be more realistic to make Bruno a little more adept at the task that he was appointed to, and not just hope that his enemies will slip up and tell him all that he needs to do – which luckily for him, they do. Maybe he should take a look at Sherlock Holmes (and impossible task I know) and imitate his powers of deduction to find out those behind the plot.

But perhaps Parris intended to make Bruno a bit useless, like a loveable but bumbling detective, who gets the bad guys in the end – eventually.

Having said my only bug bear, Parris’s writing yet again astounds me, and she seems to write so effortlessly, making the history of the period, its people and the language come alive, so naturally.

An excellent continuation of the story of Bruno, in a fascinating, and deadly period of time.

I will be reading the third instalment soon.

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