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.
I found this book a little hard to get into, but it got easier to read and more interesting as I went along. It is set in a time period I don't often read about in fiction books, the 1500's, but it turned out to have some fascinating information in it. We take our religious freedoms for granted, and a book like this shows what a world is like where people are burned at the stake and hunted down for daring to believe and live as the Bible says, not as the government and/or church says.
I liked the main character, the plot, and setting, and once I got into the book, I found it a very interesting and informative read.
The Heretic is available from Kregel Publishing.
Thanks to Kregel for the review copy.
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