> Bless Their Hearts Mom: Book Review: The Heretic by Henry Vyner-Brooks
Monday, December 1, 2014

Book Review: The Heretic by Henry Vyner-Brooks

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this book, free of charge, from Kregel Blog Tours, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it

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This book could have gone under History Corner, but I decided to put it here today,
as we have different posts about new world orders and concepts.


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.


Warning, this book is 600 pages long and a full one and a half inches thick! It is not the easiest of portable paperbacks! But it definitely meets the criteria of an epic novel! The good news is that it reads very quickly, and grabs you from the first chapter! In fact, it is hard to believe it is the author's debut novel! Just be prepared for a couple of nights of reading though! We all know how Henry VIII's life was full of political drama, romance, political greed and religious strife. This book takes all of those historical events on and adds an intriguing tale of friendship, romance, loyalty and the changing of the world around Pacificus, as his inner world changes as well. It is a well rounded mystery, thoroughly entrenched in the mid 1500s! There is so much history in fact, you may find yourself doing some after reading research, to see just how much was real fact and what wasn't! If you have someone on your gift list, who is a major history buff, get them this book and they'll love you!

About the Author:

Henry Vyner-Brooks, a landscape architect by training, manages a large estate in the Lake District, a task which he combines with his work as an assistant pastor in a local church.

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