’The Heretic’s Tomb bridges the gap between the 14th century and current times as it takes the reader back in time to the Black Death or more commonly referred to as the plague. The first sentence puts the reader right in the middle of it. “Lady Isabella Devereaux watched black plumes of smoke rise from the nearby village of Thornbury. More bodies were being burned.”
The first half of the story sets the stage with suspicions of heresy against Lady Isabella who possess an amulet, believed to have magical powers. The amulet is coveted by Sir Roger de Walsingham, seasoned warrior for King Edward. Sir Roger has evil plans for the amulet and will do almost anything to possess it.
The modern day protagonist, Annie, finds herself swept back into time when she falls down an old chimney shaft and finds a piece of metal with some of the same markings as the family heirloom around her neck. What happens next is astonishing.
Filled with suspense and the ruthless harassment against Lady Isabella by Sir Roger, The Heretic’s Tomb depicts the hardships that people faced during that time. Medical knowledge was at a minimum and skepticism of anything new permeated among rich and poor alike.
Simon Rose method of combining two different worlds is seamless. Rose keeps the focus narrow so the story line flows smoothly. This is a great fantasy with realistic facts and is not far reached. Rose has created a strong balance between the two characters. Middle grade children will enjoy the adventure as Annie tries to help Lady Isabella and stay out of Sir Roger’s way.”