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Sacrilege by [Parris, S.J.]
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Sacrilege Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“Reinforces Parris’s position at the top of the Elizabethan historical pack. . . . Parris . . . masterfully mixes political intrigue, action, and sleuthing.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review) 
“Giordano Bruno turns out to be that rare hero, charismatic and nuanced.” —Matthew Pearl, author of The Dante Club  

“A feast for fans of historical thrillers. . . . [Bruno] is one of the most engaging characters ever created.” —Bookreporter

“Move over C. J. Sansom, S.J. Parris has arrived. . . . Brilliant.” —The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

“Bruno commands our attention and our sympathy as any likable heretic should.” —The Washington Post Book World

“The novel's fast pace and numerous twists keep readers hooked until the end.” —Booklist

“The politics of Elizabethan England play a part, but it’s the personal relationships that are front and center.  A good read.” —The Free Lance-Star (Fredericksburg, VA)

“Parris provides a sumptuously rich setting with an absorbing entangled plotline that will keep the reader on a precipice of sudden death.” —Historical Novels Review
“Enjoyably ingenious.” —The Sunday Times (London)


Praise for S. J. Parris: * 'Impossible to resist ... Parris creates a convincing sense of the past, woven with so much intrigue that the head fairly spins' Daily Telegraph * 'It has everything - intrigue, mystery and excellent history' Kate Mosse * 'Parris writes with confident ease of Tudor London ... The dialogue balances nicely on a tightrope of period phrases and cut-to-the-chase colloquialisms. More, please' The Times * 'Full of surprises ... an imaginatively satisfying addition to the many real intrigues surrounding the imprisoned Mary Stuart and the threats to Elizabeth's security' TLS * 'Fascinating ... The period is incredibly vivid and the story utterly gripping' Conn Iggulden * 'A brilliantly unusual glimpse at the intrigues surrounding Queen Elizabth I' Andrew Taylor, bestselling author of The American Boy

Product Details

  • File Size: 3704 KB
  • Print Length: 434 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor (April 10, 2012)
  • Publication Date: April 10, 2012
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #272,236 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Douglas on May 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
By Douglas Horne, author of "Inside the Assassination Records Review Board"

This third Giordano Bruno mystery by Stephanie Merritt was just as enthralling as the first two, "Heresy" and "Prophecy"---perhaps even more so, because it reunites the two ultimately doomed protagonists of the first novel: heretical philosopher Giordano Bruno (on the run from the Catholic Church and the Inquisition in what we now call Italy) and Sophia Underhill (the disgraced daughter of the Rector of Lincoln College at Oxford University). Most readers of "Sacrilege" will have already read the first two novels, so the characters of our two protagonists in this novel are already well established, and the author had the luxury of weaving further subtlety, and indeed mystery, into what had already been established in her two earlier works. This is particularly true of her portrayal of Sophia Underhill.

The story works all by itself as a good mystery, with unexpected plot twists at the end that I did not foresee. One of the major strengths of this novel is Merritt's continued, eminently successful re-creation of society in Elizabethan England---both the life of commoners, and the treacherous plots and schemes involving the power elite in this time of constant tension, and largely subterranean war, between Queen Elizabeth's nominally Protestant regime and the embittered, determined Catholic underground.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Well plotted, late 16th Century mystery revolving around the religious turmoil that continued to threaten Elizabeth I until the end of her reign. Interesting protagonist in Bruno Giordano, Italian adventurer, former Catholic monk, spy and a kind of literal Renaissance man. In "Sacrilege", Giordano, working the Queen's spymaster, Francis Walsingham, goes to the cathedral seat of Canterbury to try and clear the name of his sometime girlfriend who is accused of killing her husband. Upon arrival, the Italian is quickly enveloped in the intrigues being spun out to unseat the Protestant regime and restore the Roman faith to England. Murders follow (daggers are often the weapons of choice).

The best thing about the novel is the author's skill at creating the physical environment of the period. The reader is allowed no romantic illusions about living conditions, hygiene or public sanitation. Working somewhat less well (for me, at least), was the credibility of the characters. Their qualities are a bit "pumped up" and their actions portrayed in the extreme. Still, not a bad bit of writing and continuously interesting throughout. it appears to be a serious that will go on as the protagonist's love interest is very much alive and kicking at the conclusion of "Sacrilege."
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
(NO PLOT SPOILERS) The third in the series is an incredible disappointment to me. First, enough with the repetition. I'm not tired of Bruno suddenly fearing he's being followed only to turn around with his hand on his dagger to find....nothing. I'll spare you, but there's all sort of little repetitive tricks like that going on and by the third book, I've had enough of them.

I also personally feel the choice of the plot in this one is very bad. I couldn't wait to finish the first two. I tossed this about a quarter of the way through. I will give her next book a try though - she's earned that. The further has a good grasp of history, presents it well, and generally writes so that the reader feels truly immersed.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The third book in Parris’ Giordano Bruno heretic and spy series, Sacrilege finds our philosopher hero, Bruno, at his most vulnerable yet. Still living in the French embassy it’s not until Bruno discovers the identity of the person following him through the streets of London that he’s reconnected with someone from his recent past, someone for whom he has strong feelings. When asked to help this person clear their name of a crime they didn’t commit, Bruno is unable to refuse. Seeking the permission of his employer, the spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham to go to Canterbury, he’s also tasked with uncovering any Catholic plotters in the heart of a city once famed as a site of pilgrimage and the place where Thomas Beckett’s bones were once buried.
Travelling under a non-de plume, Bruno arrives in Canterbury and discovers plots and plans aplenty. But when the body count rises and he’s accused of terrible crimes, it’s not just his friend’s name he has to clear or Sir Francis’ suspicions he has to lay to rest. Bruno finds himself fighting for his life and the only way he can save himself and his friend is to uncover a conspiracy so dark and tightly controlled that has the potential to bring down the greatest men in Canterbury – men who will stop at nothing to protect their own hides, even if it means killing innocents.
Once again, this is a terrifically written and paced novel that allows fans of the series even more insights into the central character and the strengths and, indeed, weaknesses that make him so appealing.
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