Tuesday, December 2, 2014

(Review) The Heretic by Henry Vyner-Brooks

Publisher: Lion Fiction/Kregel Publications, September 26, 2014.
Genre: Historical fiction.
Format: Paperback.
Pages: 608.
Rating: 2 stars for okay.
Source: Free copy from Kregel Publications in exchange for a review.

Link for the book @ Amazon,
and @ Barnes and Noble. 

Summary:
1536-1539, England.
The Heretic follows a four year span in the life of a monk named Pacificus; and during the age of Henry VIII and the Reformation movement in England.
Brother Pacificus holds dearly to his "true" Church. The heretics are the people devoted to the English Bible and the Reformation movement.
The list of characters introduced in The Heretic are lengthy. For example: Henry VIII and his court, the fellow brothers of Pacificus in the abbey, and a family named Fenton. I counted 52 characters that are on the character list.
The story is written in the present first person narrative.

My Thoughts:
I had a difficult time bonding with the story. After reading over 600 pages, I never became invested in the story. I believe it is a variety of reasons, but the main reason is the story does not hold strong to one character. Pacificus is the story's voice. He projects outwardly at what he views. But how he feels, his inner life-I needed more from him in order to become invested in his outcome. Henry VIII seems a backdrop. Henry VIII is a famous/infamous historical character, but he is bland in The Heretic.  I really wanted to like The Heretic. The time period is one of my favorites in history. I wonder if the book would be better suited for a series of books. Instead, it is a swirling hive of activity without the ability to create emotion in the reader.


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