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Publisher's Summary

Lisbon, 1755: A distinguished-looking gentleman emerges from the bowels of a ship freshly arrived from London, and sets into the city with a singular purpose. This is Sebastian Foxx, born Sebastiao Raposa, and his parents were abducted by the Inquisition when Sebastian was just 13 years old. Now trained in the arts of coercion by bounty hunter Benjamin Weaver - whom listeners will recognize from several of Liss's other novels - Sebastian has returned to the city to repay old debts… and to find the man who killed his father. He'll need money. He'll need power. But most importantly, he'll need to find his allies and identify his enemies among the Inquisition's spies. David Liss is the author of The Twelfth Enchantment, The Whiskey Rebels, The Ethical Assassin, A Spectacle of Corruption, The Coffee Trader, and A Conspiracy of Paper, winner of the 2000 Edgar Award for Best First Novel.

©2014 David Liss (P)2014 Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Dennis
  • FORT PIERCE, FL, United States
  • 11-02-14

I never knew how powerful the Inqistion in Portual

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Some of the little known his of how oppressed the "New Christian" (Jews) in Lisbon
suffered and died for nothing but to keep the church rich.

What did you like best about this story?

The story told a tale with alot of twist and had more than a few surpises

What about Samuel Roukin’s performance did you like?

The reader Mr Roukin was masterful as always I enjoy his reads

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Time would not allow that but I finished it as soon as possible

Any additional comments?

Wasn't too crazy about the ending and hope Mr Liss will write another

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jean
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 11-29-14

Action packed adventure in an unusual setting

This is an interesting historical novel about the Portuguese Inquisition. We briefly encounter Benjamin Weaver hero of other Liss works. It is 1745 and Weaver, now middle-aged, is still catching thieves. He takes under his wing a thirteen year old Portuguese boy, Sebastiao Raposa, who has been smuggled to London from Lisbon, where the Portuguese Inquisition has imprisoned and executed his parents.

Sebastiao anglicizes himself into Sebastian Foxx. Our protagonist is Jewish, although his family is “new Christians”-Jews who, generations before, were forced to convert to Christianity but who are nonetheless subject to the special attention of the Inquisition.

The story jumps ten years and Weaver has taught Sebastian how to pummel thieves and practices the subtler art of deception. Foxx is unhappy and angry he decides to return to Lisbon to seek revenge for the death of his family. Our protagonist returns to Lisbon as Sebastian Foxx in the guise of a young Englishman bent on making a shipping fortune.

The story is packed with action, suspense, vengeance, thorny moral problems. The author works the famous earthquake of 1756 into the story. The plot moves swiftly to a shattering climax that throws notions of vengeance and atonement into sharp relief. Samuel Roukin narrated the book.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • murray
  • LOS ANGELES, CA, United States
  • 01-09-16

can't believe i listened to it all

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

believable characters, plot, dialogue which this book lacked.

What do you think your next listen will be?

nothing by this author

What does Samuel Roukin bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

the narrator was much better than this book deserved

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

disappointment having read two previous books that I liked by this author

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Unsatisfying

I have with great enjoyment read all of David Liss's other works, so picking up his latest book was an easy decision. Unfortunately, this one does not live up to his usually high standard. The Day of Atonement feels abridged to me.

I am not giving anything away by saying that the main character's parents are taken by the inquisition and that he then looks to get revenge on one specific priest who had them arrested. With the exception of a paragraph we spend with Fox's mother, we are not further acquainted with his parents, so we only care about what happens to them because being taken by the inquisition is terrible regardless of whom it happens to. Later in the book, numerous references are made to Fox's father being a "great man", but we really don't know anything about him. Again, we only care because we feel like we have to, not because we feel a connection with the character.

We are equally as ignorant about the book's "villain". He is a generic "evil priest", portrayed in countless other books and films. An easily despised character whose actions are driven by the sole purpose of making the reader hate him.

The main character is perhaps the most pointless and dull main character I have recently encountered. The most interesting thing about him is his (brief) affiliation with Benjamin Weaver.

Fans of the Weaver novels, or well written books in general, are not likely to find this book very satisfying.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

One of this author's finest

I've enjoyed all of this author's works, but this novel was one of his best.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Outstanding and Enjoyable

Another book by David Liss that I highly recommend to those that enjoy a good story and a plot that draws you in and keeps your attention throughout.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Starts good, but drifts into absurdity

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

This book is well read and holds interest during until the wind up. The main character is ridiculously unreal and, as the story progresses, becomes absurd. After spending many hours listening, I was tempted to quit several times even though the end was within reach. The plot became quite ridiculous and preposterous as the story dragged on. At points, the plot was so bad that it caused me to laugh in pain. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone. And, until this book, I had been a fan of David Liss books.

What about Samuel Roukin’s performance did you like?

Excellent reading.

What character would you cut from The Day of Atonement?

I would cut the main character and almost all of the supporting characters.

Any additional comments?

Don't waste your time on this dog.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

David Liss is one of the best

Any additional comments?

I am a fan of historical novels on the whole but to me, David Liss is one of the best and has created a niche, filling it with interesting characters and surprisingly engaging plots. The coffee trade, the stock market and the inquisition could veer to boring but never do with Liss' characters. While Sebastian Foxx is an interesting lead, I did miss Benjamin Weaver.