Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Shroud

I’m a sucker for conspiracy theory/religious suspense type of books. I liked The Da Vinci Code, but my favourite was Angels & Demons. I've read several of these types of books since, you can find one here and another here. I just couldn’t resist on reading The Brotherhood of the Holy Shroud by Julia Navarro.

Here’s the blurb:
The Brotherhood of the Holy Shroud is the explosive international bestseller that mixes fact and fiction to tell the riveting story of one of the world’s most controversial relics—the Holy Shroud of Turin—and the desperate race to save it from those who will stop at nothing to possess its legendary power....

A fire at the Turin cathedral and the discovery of a mutilated corpse are the latest in a disturbing series of events surrounding the mysterious cloth millions believe to be the authentic burial shroud of Jesus Christ. Those who dare to investigate will be caught in the cross fire of an ancient conflict forged by mortal sacrifice, assassination, and secret societies tied to the shadowy Knights Templar.

Spanning centuries and continents, from the storm-rent skies over Calvary, through the intrigue and treachery of Byzantium and the Crusades, to the modern-day citadels of Istanbul, New York, London, Paris, and Rome, The Brotherhood of the Holy Shroud races to a chilling climax in the labyrinths beneath Turin, where astounding truths will be exposed: about the history of a faith, the passions of man, and proof of the most powerful miracle of all…

Why hadn't I heard of this author before? I absolutly loved this book, I was hooked right from the beginning. I loved the way the author intertwined the story with an old religious sect and the Templar's. I admit it took me while to get used to the jumping back and forth between the past and present, but after a while it just seemed natural.

The characters were amazing. They all felt so real, hard to explain, I found their reactions to whichever obstacle that was thrown at them to be believable. I don't remember feeling as if certain things were out of character, their emotions or their reactions, especially during the historical part of the book. I felt for certain characters like Mendib, Ana and Sofia. Knowing that their safety was at risk, and also hoping for the best. Couldn't stand Addaio, but I understand the difficult decisions that he had to make, although I thought he made the wrong ones.

The ending was a complete surprise! Didn't see it coming. But I liked it, I can understand why the author to leave the secrets underground. Except for one person...but I won't get into that...

The Brotherhood of the Shroud by Julia Navarro (4.5/5) Fiction: Historical & Contemporary; Religious Suspense; Published: Random House - Spain (2004); Translated from Spanish by Andrew Hurley; New Author; Favourite Read 2008;100 + Reading Challenge (38); July Book Blowout (14); Library book; Added to shopping list;

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