When fugitive Italian monk Giordano Bruno—philosopher, magician, and heretical scientist—arrives in London, he’s only one step ahead of the Inquisition.
An undercover mission for Queen Elizabeth I and her spymaster provides added protection. Officially, Bruno is to take part in a debate on the Copernican theory of the universe at Oxford University; unofficially, he is to find out whatever he can about a Catholic plot to overthrow the queen.
But when his mission is dramatically thrown off course by a series of grisly deaths and the charms of a mysterious but beautiful young woman, he realizes that somewhere within Oxford’s private chambers lurks a brutal killer.
The first book in the Giordano Bruno series has a lot going on. Lots of world building, and history building to the point that most of the plot kind of takes a sideline while SJ establishes everything involved in this series.
I have to credit SJ for the clever sort of play on the whole he who increases power increases sorrow theme however I think that it was lacking in the true emotional depth and possibilities that could have been explored.
Instead it just sort of felt like everyone was just sort of going through the motions without actually expressing something to make the readers feel the sense of curiosity or suspense. I would have rated it four stars if more of that had been included but I still believe this is worth a read if you haven't picked it up yet.
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