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Giordano Bruno was a monk, poet, scientist, and magician on the run from the Roman Inquisition on charges of heresy for his belief that the Earth orbits the sun and that the universe is infinite. This alone could have got him burned at the stake, but he was also a student of occult philosophies and magic.
In S. J. Parris's gripping novel, Bruno's pursuit of this rare knowledge brings him to London, where he is unexpectedly recruited by Queen Elizabeth I and is sent undercover to Oxford University on the pretext of a royal visitation. Officially Bruno is to take part in a debate on the Copernican theory of the universe; unofficially, he is to find out whatever he can about a Catholic plot to overthrow the queen.
His mission is dramatically thrown off course by a series of grisly murders and a spirited and beautiful young woman. As Bruno begins to discover a pattern in these killings, he realizes that no one at Oxford is who he seems to be. Bruno must attempt to outwit a killer who appears obsessed with the boundary between truth and heresy.
Like The Dante Club and The Alienist, this clever, sophisticated, exceptionally enjoyable novel is written with the unstoppable narrative propulsion and stylistic flair of the very best historical thrillers.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Bonnie on 09-20-10
I love Historical fiction
If you are a lover of historical fiction, and if you enjoy the narrations of John Lee (he is one my favorite narrators). The story line reminds me of Arianna Franklin's series Mistress in the Art of Death, or Ruth Downie's Medicus Series about physician in ancient Rome. I laugh when people complain about John Lee's narration and notice that they most likely never listened to BBC broad casts. I always suggest people listen to the preview that Audiable offers. This way you won't be wasting you $$$ or credits.
If you enjoy historical novels and are familiar with John Lee, by all means give it a listen. I always listen to unabridged versions, however I think the story was overly long and maybe the abridged version will work. The good thing is John Lee narrates both versions.
16 of 16 people found this review helpful
By Roxane on 06-17-10
A Skeptic's Delight
Giordano Bruno--Renaissance intellectual and adventurer--makes a wonderful sleuth in this engaging mystery set in Elizabethan Oxford. The author's style is compelling, and his copious research does not weigh down the story; however, this is a book that requires attention, and is not necessarily a good choice for listening while working on an involved knitting pattern. John Lee does an excellent job with the narration.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful