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Prophecy: An Elizabethan Thriller Audiobook, by S. J. Parris Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: S. J. Parris Narrator: John Lee Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Series: The Giordano Bruno Series Release Date: May 2011 ISBN: 9780307714411
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (947 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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S. J. Parris returns with the next Giordano Bruno mystery, set inside Queen Elizabeth’s palace and steeped in period atmospherics and the strange workings of the occult.

It is the year of the Great Conjunction, when the two most powerful planets, Jupiter and Saturn, align—an astrologi­cal phenomenon that occurs once every thousand years and heralds the death of one age and the dawn of another. The streets of London are abuzz with predictions of horrific events to come, possibly even the death of Queen Elizabeth.

When several of the queen’s maids of honor are found dead, rumors of black magic abound. Elizabeth calls upon her personal astrologer, John Dee, and Giordano Bruno to solve the crimes. While Dee turns to a mysterious medium claiming knowledge of the murders, Bruno fears that some­thing far more sinister is at work. But even as the climate of fear at the palace intensifies, the queen refuses to believe that the killer could be someone within her own court.

Bruno must play a dangerous game: can he allow the plot to progress far enough to give the queen the proof she needs without putting her, England, or his own life in danger?

In this utterly gripping and gorgeously written novel, S. J. Parris has proven herself the new master of the historical thriller. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Tudor England again proves to be fertile ground for an outstanding historical thriller, as shown by Parris's marvelous second novel featuring philosopher spy Giordano Bruno (after Heresy)...The suspenseful search for the murderer and the conspirators behind him makes the pages fly by. An admirable original sleuth and persuasive period detail bolster the taut plot. Publishers Weekly, starred review
  • As in Heresy, Parris has crafted a cracking good suspense yarn, with twists and turns enough to satisfy the most exacting fan of the spy thriller. I bet you'll never guess who mudered Cecily Ashe. Lucia Anderson for The Free Lance-Star
  • Parris based both of her books on real-life historical figures, which include Bruno. She knows the period well, and her writing is reflective of that knowledge. Readers will hear the sounds of Elizabethan England, smell the Thames River, taste the food and feel the luxurious fabrics of the clothes worn by courtiers.
    Kirkus Reviews
  • Parris looks to be an up-and-comer in the historical fiction/mystery arena; buy accordingly. Library Journal
  • "This one is all about plots, spies, and counterspies, with repudiated monk Giordano Bruno smack-dab in the middle...an intriguing glimpse into the politics of the era...An entertaining historical mystery... Booklist
  • Heresy is a must-read for every fan of historical thrillers . . . Giordano Bruno turns out to be that rare hero, charismatic and nuanced enough to impel an encore. Matthew Pearl

Listener Reviews

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  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cupoftea | 2/13/2014

    " S.J. Parris's Prophecy is the book I've been reading during my break at work. I'm just about finished and hate putting it down. It gets better the further along you go. A slice of history and a reminder the Elizabeth I used spys. It basically starts with a murder and a time when Catholic clergy were executed and pursued in England. Plots abound and I can't wait to see if they all co-inside or are on a different track. 10/27/11 I finished this book. I loved it. The twists and turns are worthy of Elizabethan times. Bruno hopefully will be back with a new tale. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lenah | 2/7/2014

    " Entertaining and a page turner! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rob | 2/3/2014

    " I wanted to love this book. The author has done a great job of researching these few years in history. My biggest issue was that the previous book in the series, Heresy, gave the reader the impression that the Privy Councel and and the general anti catholic feelings of the time were barbaric and oppresive. "Prophecy" made it clear that the there were indeed some very bad Catholics conspiring to not only overthrough the Realm, but to kill the queen. Both takes are relevant but it's like the author grew in her understanding of the situation while writing the second book. Not a horrible thing, but very noticable in a historical novel. Overall, I am more knowledgable of the time period because I read these books. Looking forward to what she comes up with in her next novel. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 TJ | 1/28/2014

    " Good intriguing book. Fun to read and enjoy "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sherie | 1/21/2014

    " I've not read Heresy so I haven't any affinity for Giordano Bruno. Elizabeth I is beyond giving her country an heir and the Catholic forces who seem to be loyal to Mary of Scotland are, in fact, rallying behind her son, James. Elizabeth is protrayed as strong, but not so strong, when certain "signs" turn up in stones, tea leaves, coffee grounds, or carved into the flesh of murder victims. OK, the tea leaves and coffee grounds aren't in the book, but a whole lot of stuff that sounds bizarre is. Bruno has insinuated himself into the company of those who would dispose Elizabeth and return Catholicism as the main religion. It's seems beyond belief that he can so easily do this, all the while working for the other side. Maybe I've read too many modern who-dun-its and watched too many episodes of MI5. Bruno narrowly escapes death and saves the day. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary | 1/19/2014

    " I think I have a reader's crush on Bruno. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen | 12/22/2013

    " Took awhile for me to get through it, but it was actually pretty good. Now have to go back and read the first one, Heresy to find out how Giordano Bruno became the "renegade monk." :) Reminds me of Ariana Franklin's series....... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sharon | 12/4/2013

    " Had a hard time getting into the storyline of this one. It was ok but I liked Heresy a lot more. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Eric | 9/12/2013

    " Stands alone, or acts as a great follow-on to "Heresy." Creative historical fiction, filled with many real characters and real events and an interesting protagonist who becomes central to the real events. Worth reading alone, or as part of the series. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Launi | 8/14/2013

    " I read the first 50 or so pages and just couldn't get into it. Other people may like it, but this is not my kind of book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Felix | 11/13/2012

    " A good Historical mystery. Giordano Bruno is a breath of fresh air. A 8 out of 10 read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carla | 4/29/2012

    " Excellent read...I kept reading way past bedtime:) It doesn't have a jump start beginning, but stick with it and you'll be glad you did. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Robert | 2/16/2012

    " I like the lead character. Thought the story line was excellent and kept my gripped to the last page ! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Richard | 2/12/2012

    " I'll post a longer review later, but this was a well-written and engaging mystery novel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda | 9/20/2011

    " I liked this one better than the first one "Heresy". I'm thinking I'll read the third to see how it goes. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Zoe | 7/12/2011

    " I loved Heresy, but I thought that this one was much better. A Well written historical thriller that had twist and turns in every corner. Can't wait to read Sacrilege. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kellie | 5/11/2011

    " I enjoyed this second book even more than the first book. It was a bit less gruesome. Time to buy the next one! :-) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kimberly | 4/25/2011

    " I'm just starting this one, but it's off to an interesting start. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Luanne | 4/11/2011

    " I have always liked this period of history. The blend of history, astrology and mystery was a good mix. Giordano Bruno investigates this palace intrigue in the murder of a queen's maid. Definitely an intricate plot that keeps you on your toes. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laura | 3/13/2011

    " Historical thriller set in Elizabethan England does a good job of integrating the "historical" and the "thriller" aspects of its story. "

About the Author

S.J. Parris is the pen name of Stephanie Merritt who began reviewing books for national newspapers while she was reading English literature at Queens’ College, Cambridge. After graduating, she went on to become Deputy Literary Editor of the Observer in 1999. She continues to work as a feature writer and critic for the Guardian and the Observer and from 2007-2008 she curated and produced the Talks and Debates program on issues in contemporary arts and politics at London’s Soho Theatre. She has appeared as a panelist on various Radio Four shows and on BBC2’s Newsnight Review, and is a regular chair and presenter at the Hay Festival and the National Theatre. She has been a judge for the Costa Biography Award, the Orange New Writing Award, and the Perrier Comedy Award. She lives in the south of England with her son.

About the Narrator

John Lee is the winner of numerous Earphones Awards and the prestigious Audie Award for Best Narration. His has twice won acclaim as AudioFile’s Best Voice in Fiction & Classics. He also narrates video games, does voice-over work, and writes plays. He is an accomplished stage actor and has written and coproduced the feature films Breathing Hard and Forfeit. He played Alydon in the 1963–64 Doctor Who serial The Daleks.