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The Heretic

Henry Vyner-Brooks

In 1536 it seems the entire known world is changing--strange new lands are discovered and the Reformation is challenging Rome and its power. In England the king's declaration of a new church and dissolution of the monasteries overturns the customs and authorities of centurie... Read More

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Item # 1540681


Item # 1540681

In 1536 it seems the entire known world is changing--strange new lands are discovered and the Reformation is challenging Rome and its power. In England the king's declaration of a new church and dissolution of the monasteries overturns the customs and authorities of centuries. In the new world order, spies abound and no one can be trusted.To Brother Pacificus of the Abbey of St. Benet's in Norfolk, it looks like his abbey alone will be spared dissolution. But this last Benedictine house is mired in murder and intrigue. Then when Pacificus falls under suspicion, more than his own dark past comes to light, while the body count keeps rising. Pacificus's fate becomes entwined with that of three local children after their parents are arrested for treason and heresy. Protected only by this errant monk, a mysterious leper, and a Dutch eel-catcher, the children must quickly adjust; seeking their own identity, they soon find that neither parents nor protectors are quite what they seem.Based on historical events, this post-medieval mystery is laced with romance, fueled by greed, and punctuated with bouts of feasting, smuggling, and jailbreak.
  • Store Only: Yes
  • Product type: Book
  • Format: Softcover
  • Release Date: Sep 27, 2014
  • UPC: 9781782640950
  • Volumes/Discs: 0
  • Pages: 0
  • Audience Age Maximum: 0
  • Audience Age Minimum: 0

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A masterful work of fiction by LoverOfStory on 1/9/2015

The Heretic is a brilliant work of historical fiction, history and storytelling woven together to create a masterpiece of modern fiction. Henry Vyner-Brooks is a careful historian and offers an insightful evaluation of the early 16th-century religious upheaval and struggle for freedom in England.

As an author, Vyner-Brooks stands among the best. The Heretic captivates the reader with its masterful storytelling, beautiful language, and thought-provoking narrative. In an age of media and fast-paced entertainment, this book welcomes the reader into a deeper and more abiding form of enjoyment: a piece of well-written literature that stirs the soul. This book is beautiful in its form and powerful in its message.

The Heretic deals with the struggle for religious freedom and the crisis of faith faced by those caught up in the times. The book allows its characters to struggle, suffer, and wrestle with their beliefs and convictions and, for some, to face death because of those beliefs.

The use of the third-person present tense adds a unique and insightful element to this book. Through this medium, the reader is drawn into the complex struggles, thoughts, and emotions of the characters. Often, the narrative itself carries the story, not relying over-much on dialogue to move it along (and yet, when employed, the use of dialogue is purposeful and rings true).

A word of caution to readers: This book contains certain content that may be difficult or inappropriate for some readers. Vyner-Brooks does not shy away from sometimes gruesome content (descriptions of the brutal persecution of those who sought religious freedom, a few murder sequences etc…). There is some mild sexual content (nothing explicit, but he does not ignore the reality of sexual sin and perversion). There is a smattering of mild obscenities such as “d**n” and “h*ll” and the (correct) usage of words such as “b****rd,” wh**re,” and “b*tch.”

In the use of this content, however, Vyner-Brooks is careful and thoughtful in his depiction of them and avoids unnecessarily gratuitous content and descriptions. Moreover, their presence adds to the value of this book as a work of historical fiction by providing the reader with a true reflection of the times.

I received this book from bookfun.org in exchange for an honest review.

Those Who Turned the World Upside Down.. by Babbling Becky L on 1/4/2015

The Reformation has started, the country of England has broken with the Catholic Church, and Henry VIII has proclaimed himself head of the Church of England.The Anglicans, having gotten freedom of religion from the Catholics, refuse to grant it to others. It is a dangerous time to live, and expressing any opinions, religious or political, is just cause for death.

We are introduced to Pacificus, a monk at what appears to be an obscure abbey. An Anabaptist couple is arrested for refusing to acknowledge the king's sovereignty of faith. Pacificus is given charge of the four young children.

There is more excitement, more murder and gore, more intrigue, and more medieval pageantry wrapped up in this story of faith and ideology than a first look would have one believe. The story is initially a little hard to get into, but well worth the effort for history lovers and people interested in the background of the Anabaptists and the terrible turmoil in England during the reign of Henry VIII. I learned more about Cromwell and and few others than I would have in a history class.

Although this is an incredible book of faith, some readers will want to know that the "D" word and the "h" word are used some. The wonderful part of the book is seeing Pacificus wonder, muse, and pray his way through events until his adopted name finally fits him.

Some favorite quotes:
"He sits, as does the abbey-and everything else-on a sandbank between two rivers."
"Surely Luther's faith and Calvin's grace will populate heaven with scoundrels? Can a man do nothing to earn salvation? Must we all come like cowards, beggars, and lepers?"

I received this book from bookfun.org in exchange for an honest review.

Wonderful book! by Marjolaine on 11/28/2014

This novel by Henry Vyner Brooks is an amazing read! Become engrossed in the story of the lives of the characters in this historical novel as you follow their joys and sorrows chapter after chapter.
The Heretic is set in the time of the Reformation: 1536. Henry VIII is king of England and changes are sweeping over the land. This book begins through the eyes of a man called Pacificus, a monk with a mysterious past which he is trying to forget through peaceful and faithful service to God. To Pacificus' dismay, new laws are being enacted, causing monasteries to be deserted and literally endangering his peaceful existence. Strangely enough, Pacificus becomes intensely entangled in the plight of an Anabaptist family who are condemned to death! Follow as the story unfolds, and the characters become involved in a whirlwind of plot, intrigue and adventure! Most importantly, follow the spiritual life of Pacificus as he realizes he cannot rely on His weak Roman Catholic traditions to save his soul.

When I began this book I was, to be honest, disappointed to see that it is written in first-person tense. I have never done well with that style of writing. However, I could tell that the storyline in this chunky paperback was a real gem, so I enthusiastically read on. From my experience, this is a book the reader must be devoted to, if they want to gain a solid understanding of all the characters and plots in this exciting novel. I had trouble understanding the plots, but upon re-reading the book (yes! a second time!), am understanding everything better. The first two parts of the book are slow, and then suddenly the book picks up pace and the reader can't stop devouring the complex tale! It's an amazing read, especially past page 300. Humorously, it took me almost a month to read the first half of the book, but then I read pages 300-600 in one afternoon! I was left astounded at the epic-ness of this book.
As for the faith aspect, that was beautifully woven throughout the book. There were a couple moments where I was actually brought to tears, specifically at the moments of conversion. This author deals with salvation in an accurate and honourable fashion. Thank you! It was beautiful and God-glorifying.
Concerning historical facts, this book is based on historical accounts. The main characters are fictional, but so authentic as to please the most critical historian. I was pleased that the author kept to rules of the times; he didn't allow any of the romances in the story to go as far as kissing or anything because in the 1500s Christians had a good amount of dignity. I am not a historical critic, but I have studied quite a bit about this time period and nothing major bothered me. Conservatively, there are portions that do disturb me. The author took the liberty to let some of the characters use language in some portions (the regular words such as ''damn''), and there were some crude details which I didn't appreciate. Also, if you are conservative, one of the characters was a prostitute and therefore I would think twice before handing this book to a younger reader. Also, some portions are violent and graphic for children.
Nevertheless, as an adult I was able to ignore those portions and words I didn't approve of, and engross myself in the swashbuckling, faith-filled tale!
Needless to say, I am eagerly following this author and hoping he continues with his writing career!

I was presented a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review! All thoughts are my own.

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