Monday, December 1, 2014
Kregel Blog Tour: The Heretic
Pacificus, is the central character throughout The Heretic--a monk with a past he has worked hard to keep buried. The monastic life seems the perfect place to enjoy peace and isolation as a painter of sacred figures and scenes. Those goals are set aside the fateful day he is asked to hide five children whose parents were arrested on charges of heresy. An eel catcher and his maiden sister open their home to the children and Pacificus thinks his job is done. But he feels compelled to follow up on the outcome of their parent's trial and thereby stays connected to their lives, becoming increasingly entangled in their future.
Pacificus' brother lives in a nearby leper colony with secrets of his own--even from his brother. Feeling as though his affliction is God's punishment for past wrongs, Simon lives under a weight of guilt and regret. Grappling with his faith and trying to navigate the ripples of reformation prove a daunting task.
When a fellow monk gets murdered, Pacificus feels compelled to make inquiries; which unfortunately puts him in the spotlight of suspicion. On top of this, he gets tapped by the bishop to be his inside man in a game of which the rules and alliances are not what they seem. His life of peace and solitude is quickly evaporating.
This book is a mix of mystery, church history, theological debate, adventure, political intrigue and chivalry. The story takes a bit of time to get moving and for those (like myself) who have forgotten much of European history, the political figures and loyalties are a bit tricky to keep straight. There were a few anachronistic parts of the story but many readers may not even notice.
Like an elaborate game of chess--complete with pawns at the mercy of bishops and kings--The Heretic is a book that will hold you in suspense through each move and countermove. And just when you think the king is in check, the tables are drastically turned. I found the book to be an exceptional read with plenty of twists and turns and a thoroughly satisfying conclusion to an epic adventure.
Read an excerpt of the book. You can purchase The Heretic directly from Kregel Publications for $16.99 (a steal for this 608-page book!). Grab one for yourself and the history lover on your gift list!
Disclaimer: I received a copy of The Heretic from Kregel Publications for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received.