The Heretic

The Heretic

by Henry Vyner-Brooks


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781782640950
Publisher: Lion Hudson
Publication date: 10/27/2014
Pages: 608
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.60(h) x 1.60(d)

About the Author

A landscape architect by training, Henry Brooks 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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The Heretic 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
WhisperingStories More than 1 year ago
The Tudor years were a frightening time to live. When King Henry VIII passes ‘The Act of Supremacy’ to his people of England, and then declares himself the head of the Church of England, for all those who followed other faiths, their lives just became more dangerous. Those that disagreed with the king’s religious views were executed in a brutal and cruel manner. When the Fenton children are left orphaned, after their parents were convicted of treason, Brother Pacificus takes them in and tries to get them to the safety of his sister Sarah. However this is not as easy as it sounds and he needs help, but not all characters are whom they seem. The Heretic is set over a four year period, between the years 1536 and 1539, an era in which it must have been horrendous to have lived. The story is gripping and will have you turning pages like lightning. It is however a very brutal book as well, with exceptionally graphic scenes that if you are of a squeamish nature, you may want to pass over these parts. The book isn’t for the faint-hearted at over 600 pages long, though it sometimes plays out like there are numerous stories within the main story, and lots of characters so you don’t really notice the length of the book. It is mainly about religion and the faith of the people, with the Heretics being devotees to the Bible and the reformation movement. The historical accuracy within this book just shows you how much planning and revision went into it. This is a dark, epic novel that will teach you a thing or two about the Tudor years. It will also throw you off course more than once, and keep you in suspense over and over again. A fantastic novel that is certainly worth your time.
JBronder More than 1 year ago
This story is about a pivotal time. Henry VIII has been declared the head of the church, those that don’t follow the correct religion are tortured and killed. And there are those like Brother Pacificus who has a past and questions his following the “true” church. Brother Pacificus becomes the guardian of three children when their parents are murdered for being heretics. It is up to Pacificus to try and get them to some family that will protect them. But Pacificus is just one part of the story. There are so many characters that face death, life, religion, and what it really means to believe in something. There is a lot that is happening in this story. The story has many layers that you might not think much of at first, but they over lap and shape this book into much more than a simple story about one monk protecting three kids and questioning his own beliefs. The books becomes many stories interwoven together. The research and historical facts make this book more realistic and make it more than a book you can casually read. This is a great story and anyone that likes history will love this book. It does take a little bit to get into but once I got into the story I couldn’t wait to see what happened next. Make sure to check out The Heretic. I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Virginiaw More than 1 year ago
I wasn't sure I was going to be able to enjoy this book at first because it seemed to start a little slow in the beginning and I was confused as to all the characters but then all of a sudden it all came together for me and I couldn't put it down. I loved the characters once I figured out who everyone was. Get through the first few chapters and then you will love the suspense and the romance in this historical fiction book during Reformation England. I hope to read more books by Henry Vyper-Brooks. I received this book from book for a fair and honest opinion.
ksnapier475 More than 1 year ago
The Heretic is an interesting book. The story and vivid descriptions help make it stand out.The theme in the book is religious freedom and the difficulties one can encounter. The reader witnesses the struggles the characters go through as they wrestle with their faith. At times death is the option they take. The book does contain some graphic descriptions and some language but it is not out of line with the story line. I received this book from and the author in exchange for my honest review.
loriweller1 More than 1 year ago
The Heretic is an awesome historic tale of the religious battle for freedom in the 1500's. The size of the book depicts the depth of the research this author had to do because the book is full of fact in the form of fiction. Once started, it is hard to put down. The battle between the Anglican Church and Henry VIII is depicted. The thoughts and feelings of people are included to put more depth into the book. Overall, I would encourage anyone interested in this time period read this book. I recieved this book from the Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.
chrisGA More than 1 year ago
I knew I would enjoy reading this novel of historical fiction, but its sheer size (608 pages) caused me to keep putting it off until I “had more time”. My advice to other readers is to just jump in and become totally immersed in life in the 1530s. There are three parts (plus a final chapter) that taken separately break down this verbal feast to manageable bites. Once the storyline grabs you, the length of the novel is a plus rather than a negative. Maps and a list of characters help the reader navigate through the multitude of locales and people portrayed. I could have used a glossary of 16th century terms, but it was not difficult to figure out most of the meanings (ie. Straithe ,pobs, tail-clout). The story takes place in a time of flux in society and religion. Henry VIII has taken control of the church and disbanded most of the monasteries. Dissenters are persecuted for their heresy. Life is uncertain on all fronts. Several comments seem to me to convey the prevailing attitude of the times: “What strange forces shape our world, our destinies, our unlived pasts and forgotten futures?” “… some great unseen hand is moving the wheels of fortune in ways he cannot determine.” “Maid, you cannot “prefer” now, only take what s offered.” In this setting we encounter folks from all walks of life: the orphans, the leper, the eel-man, the monks, the millers, the abbot, all the King’s men, the heretics, the whore, the spy, the privateers, the smugglers, the courtiers, and the rebels. This story of intrigue and warring agendas was as dark in places as the times, but I enjoyed the humorous touches of comic relief. Brother Pacificus, who is not at all serene, fussing to himself about the disruption of his quiet life of work and prayer. A character is described as so narrow-minded he could see through a keyhole with both eyes. Prepare to vicariously live in the world the author portrays and enjoy the clashes of attitude and will. I received this book through The Book Club Network in exchange for this my honest opinion.
Mirella More than 1 year ago
The author has penned a masterful story written in a lyrical prose that reveals a rich and colorful cast of characters and a fascinating storyline. Its main theme is religious freedom and the fight for independent choice. Forging ahead, the author bravely keeps faith with the harsh times and does not hide the brutality typical of that era. So there is plenty of sex, murder, and punishment. None of it, however, is gratuitous. Rather, it has been presented with accurate historical background and for clear motivation that keeps the story rolling ahead.  This novel is not light. In fact, it is a very challenging read with its many complexities and numerous characters. It takes a great deal of concentration and effort, but the effort will be well worth it for those who persevere. It truly is a delicious, multi-faceted, historical novel about a turbulemnt time in England's rich history. 
VicG More than 1 year ago
Henry Vyner-Brooks in his new book “The Heretic” published by Lion Hudson introduces us to Brother Pacificus. From the back cover: 1536 Who will survive the new world order? 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. History, Christianity, Secrets, murder and family are just some of the ingredients that Mr. Vyner-Brooks has added to this extraordinary adventure that is “The Heretic”. King Henry VII has declared himself head of the church and wants to wipe out any traces of Catholic monasteries, abbeys or churches. Brother Pacificus is more than a monk, he is an ex-knight and has agreed to oversee the safety of Elizabeth Fenton‘s children because she probably will be executed for heresy. There is a murder, then another murder that Pacificus has to solve. There is the issue of religion and being saved. All of this while trying to stay alive and keep the others that way as well. This is a great way to begin a new first-rate series. Mr. Vyner-Brooks has given us a unique action adventure that will keep you on the edge of your chair as you read and flip pages as fast as possible. I recommend this book highly and look forward to the next book in this series. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Lion Hudson. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I received a copy of THE HERETIC by Henry Vyner-Brooks from Lion Fiction via Kregel.  I was beyond excited to obtain a copy of this book.  It is quite epic, not only in length but in what I like to think of as “bonus content.”  The bonus content includes maps and a character list.  I love those in books, because some like this one are long and you might get confused keeping track of people and places.  The story takes place in 1536 – I adore history – during the reformation of the church.  I have read other novels that involve this time period, but they are usually focused upon romance or mystery.  These aspects are still touched upon, but I enjoyed how religion is the main focus.    The historical aspects then go on to encompass the essence of the 1530’s.  You feel as if you are living then, and you learn about things you might not have heard before.  Oftentimes I would step away from the story to look something up on the Internet for further learning.    I also loved how this book involves Henry VIII.  I have read numerous novels and biographies on him, and this was a chance for me to see a different side. 
Mazzou More than 1 year ago
Suspense...intrigue...romance... This novel by Henry Vyner Brooks is an amazing read! Become engrossed in the story of the lives of the characters in this historical novel as you follow their joys and sorrows chapter after chapter.     The Heretic is set in the time of the Reformation: 1536. Henry VIII is king of England and changes are sweeping over the land. This book begins through the eyes of a man called Pacificus, a monk with a mysterious past which he is trying to forget through peaceful and faithful service to God. To Pacificus' dismay, new laws are being enacted, causing monasteries to be deserted and literally endangering his peaceful existence. Strangely enough, Pacificus becomes intensely entangled in the plight of an Anabaptist family who are condemned to death! Follow as the story unfolds, and the characters become involved in a whirlwind of plot, intrigue and adventure! Most importantly, follow the spiritual life of Pacificus as he realizes he cannot rely on His weak Roman Catholic traditions to save his soul.    When I began this book I was, to be honest, disappointed to see that it is written in first-person tense. I have never done well with that style of writing. However, I could tell that the storyline in this chunky paperback was a real gem, so I enthusiastically read on. From my experience, this is a book the reader must be devoted to, if they want to gain a solid understanding of all the characters and plots in this exciting novel. I had trouble understanding the plots, but upon re-reading the book (yes! a second time!), am understanding everything better. The first two parts of the book are slow, and then suddenly the book picks up pace and the reader can't stop devouring the complex tale! It's an amazing read, especially past page 300. Humorously, it took me almost a month to read the first half of the book, but then I read pages 300-600 in one afternoon! I was left astounded at the epic-ness of this book.     As for the faith aspect, that was beautifully woven throughout the book. There were a couple moments where I was actually brought to tears, specifically at the moments of conversion. This author deals with salvation in an accurate and honourable fashion. Thank you! It was beautiful and God-glorifying.     Concerning historical facts, this book is based on historical accounts. The main characters are fictional, but so authentic as to please the most critical historian. I was pleased that the author kept to rules of the times; he didn't allow any of the romances in the story to go as far as kissing or anything because in the 1500s Christians had a good amount of dignity. I am not a historical critic, but I have studied quite a bit about this time period and nothing major bothered me. Conservatively, there are portions that do disturb me. The author took the liberty to let some of the characters use language in some portions (the regular words such as ''damn''), and there were some crude details which I didn't appreciate. Also, if you are conservative, one of the characters was a prostitute and therefore I would think twice before handing this book to a younger reader. Also, some portions are violent and graphic for children.    Nevertheless, as an adult I was able to ignore those portions and words I didn't approve of, and engross myself in the swashbuckling, faith-filled tale! Needless to say, I am eagerly following this author and hoping he continues with his writing career! I was presented a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review! All thoughts are my own.