Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Heretic by Henry Vyner-Brooks Book Review

About the Book:
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.

The HereticTo 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.

My Thoughts:
This book packs a punch and is one that must be read with the intention of rereading. The first time you read it, do so for enjoyment. Then, after you've finished, take another journey through and enjoy all the historical events. But be careful. If you're not a history buff (like me), you may catch yourself very much enjoying this historical fiction novel so much that you find yourself digging into events and people just to see what is fact and what isn't. And then finding that you got sidetracked because what you found was so enthralling that it's two in the morning before you know it. (Don't ask me how I know this.)

Most people don't realize what they have until they've lost it. This book reminded me just what a precious gift of religious freedom, if somewhat questionable, we have. Our religious freedom isn't something that was given to us lightly. Devout people who loved God and the Bible more than tradition gave up their lives for this. Just so they could have a Bible. So they could read God's Word for themselves. They were hunted like animals. Burned at the stake in front of jeering crowds. Tortured. Imprisoned. All because they wanted a Bible to read for themselves. This book, full of heroes - even some who weren't very willing at the beginning - is a book that you can get much out of. From a homeschooling aspect, this is a great book that has much to learn older students would enjoy. I honestly think it would be easy to get an entire school year of lesson plans for 9th to 12th graders. This isn't just a novel. This is a living, historical account of what real people endured. Like I said earlier. Be prepared to read this one more than once. And have a notebook nearby so you can take notes and research things for yourself.
Highly Recommend.

Tweet: Keep 'em coming, @KregelBooks - The Heretic was a gr8 book! Loved it; read my review #historicalFiction

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