Paris, 1585: Giordano Bruno has come to Paris, a city on the edge of catastrophe. Alone and near destitute, Bruno turns to old friend and zealous preacher Paul Lefevre. But when the priest is murdered, Bruno is pulled into a dangerous world.
If Bruno can't uncover the truth, not only is the future of the de Valois monarchy threatened - but his own life will be the forfeit.
©2016 Stephanie Merritt (P)2016 W F Howes Ltd
"Impossible to resist.... Parris creates a convincing sense of the past, woven with so much intrigue that the head fairly spins." (Daily Telegraph)
"It has everything - intrigue, mystery and excellent history." (Kate Mosse)
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I'm not sure if it was the writing or the poor performance, but I struggled with this one! I have listened to previous works by this author with no problem - so, maybe, it was more the performance? I do, however, struggle a bit with Bruno, who seems to walk, almost willingly, into every obvious trap which has been set for him!
"Bruno returns in less convincing form"
I've said before that I think Parris is a better historian than Clements, who writes the John Shakespeare series, and her accounts of the flavour of Elizabethan times are far more convincing. Having said that, this one is a bit of a disappointment. I began to get rather tired of the exiled Bruno's attitudes which seem to be increasingly querulous, infantile and muddle-headed. Probably this is unfair, and you will say that it must have been tough to maintain a principled stance, as a dissident, in the face of so much religious intolerance and in the face of the sheer weight of self-interested royal and establishment influence. But it gets harder to sympathise with his quest for ownership of a book that he really thinks will contain knowledge to change the world. I suppose this is a very modern perspective. Books have changed the world - but not many of them, and the ones that did were famous for their ideas about the world, and not about some esoteric knowledge of it, known only to an elite few, that probably doesn't exist. Yes, I know people thought that sort of thing in those times - but you see how hard it is put yourself into that mindset, and I don't think Parris brings it off. This is my main complaint. The plot however is also rather confused and bears the marks of too hasty writing - writers are not well served by market demands for more of the same and fast. And I found it hard to care about the outcomes - none of the central characters seemed worth too much bothering about, one way or the other. Henry 111 of France is a poor, fragile soul at best, and his mother Catherine de Medici an unlovable tyrant. Nobody is really likeable or interesting in a more than passing way.
I did manage to get the end, however, which suggests it is worth a listen so long as you don't expect too much. Daniel Philpott's reading is fine. No complaints there. And I learned that the court of Henry 111 was in its way more alarming that Elizabeth's.
"Great book but why the change of narrator?"
I've hugely enjoyed this series and would highly recommend the books to anyone who loves a good historical mystery. I was disappointed though in the change of narrator, having listened to the whole series, and this hugely affected my overall enjoyment of the book. I got used to the change eventually but Laurence Kennedy is way too tough an act for anyone else to follow. I really hope he'll be back for any new books in the series!
"Giordano bruno is a must read!"
Really enjoyed this story,There is loads of gripping chapters that will leave you shocked and gasping 📚 😍
"Great new addition to the Bruno series."
Excellent addition to the series. Could be the best yet. It's set in an interesting time in French history and I am now keen to learn more about this period.
"Not the best in the series"
I have enjoyed the series but compared to the previous books I thought that the storyline was weak and some of the coincidental meetings at times implausible. Audiences with Catherine de Medici, summons by Queen Louise and Henry III happen easily - even for a heretical outsider? I don't think so in a the hierarchical court of the times. Overheard conversations between Henry Guise and his sister and meetings in the inn impart the exact information required which is too good to be true. Our hero is thrown into the same cell as a Count who unlocks the identity of the woman at the centre of the plot, very convenient. Every renewed acquaintance is in a key position and nobody informs on our hero at a time when political intrigue and self interest or at least self preservation was the order of the day. The Elizabethan court and Philip Sidney and Walsingham are sorely missed in this book.
"Giordano Bruno and the King"
Exciting Theological Thriller
The main man Giordano Bruno, I tried Parris books because I enjoyed the CJ Sansom Shardlake novels, I personally think that the Bruno books are better. The main reason for this is the character of Giordano Bruno, a man born 200 years too early, a man who believes in reason in a time of religious chaos.. He uses reason, patronages and his insider knowledge of the workings of both the church and state to solve murders whilst trying to stay ahead of the Inquisition and zealots from both sides of the Christian church. I may have made this book seem very dry but its a page turning read of mad aristo's, femme fatales and dangerous henchmen get up to all kinds of skullduggery in medieval Paris.
The foppish spoilt king Henry III was a great performance. You could go from feeling the urge to punch him on the nose to feeling pity for a man who only became king after the death of older siblings and caught between The Catholic League and the needs of his protestant subjects.
It was a two shift listen for me!
Sometime's books take a dip in quality when the author moves the location but each of the Bruno books have been set in a different place, so the move to Paris didn't affect the story at all. I would rate this book as my favourite book in the Bruno series. A real page turner.
"Best book of the series so far"
I found "Conspiracy" to be the best in Giordano Bruno series so far. The story is set in the spectacularly degenerate and corrupt court of the Valois and the atmosphere of constant danger, where anybody could be a potential assassin, is brilliantly recreated. The story has many twist and turns and the suspense makes it "unputdownable". Daniel Philpott's narration also deserves a special mention. Although the dialogues are still narrated in the character's native accents, these do not dominate or ruin the audiobook. I was sorry when the book ended and look forward to the next installment in the series.
"Intrigue in Paris in Elizabethan times"
Our Italian hero spies for Elizabeth's court in catholic France to find out what the English catholic plotters are up to. Meanwhile he is mates with Henry - King of France, but is distrusted by everyone at court because of his magical & heretical books and treatises. Confused- you will be- entertained most definitely!
"Good stuff from Paris and Philpott"
Good narration and a story that keeps you hooked. Lots of red herrings!
Philpott brings the stories to life. His portrayal of the different characters is excellent
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