Every Friday Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Gillion at Rose City Reader where you can share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.
This week I’m featuring one of my library books, Prophecy, It’s the second in S J Parris’ Giordano Bruno series set in the reign of Elizabeth I. Bruno was a monk, poet, scientist, and magician on the run from the Roman Inquisition on charges of heresy for his belief that the Earth orbits the sun and that the universe is infinite. In this book set in 1583, Elizabeth’s throne is in peril, threatened by Mary Stuart’s supporters scheme to usurp the rightful monarch.
It begins with a Prologue:
Mortlake, House of John Dee
3rd September, Year of Our Lord 1583
Without warning, all the candles in the room’s corners flicker and feint, as if a sudden gust has entered, but the air remains still. At the same moment, the hairs on my arms prickle and stand erect and I shudder; a cold breath descends on us, though outside the day is close.
‘Treaties be damned!’
Henry Howard throws back his chair and pounds a fist on the table, so suddenly that again we all jolt in our seats. The candles have burnt down so far that his shadow leaps and quivers up the panels behind him and creeps over the ceiling, looming like an ogre in a children’s tale.
Lord Henry Howard, was a devout Catholic and a dangerous man, the head of the most powerful Catholic family in England. He took part in the 1583 Throckmorton Plot, one of a series of attempts by English Roman Catholics to depose Elizabeth I of England and replace her with Mary, Queen of Scots, then held under house arrest in England.
Candles flickering, shadows cast and a feeling of dread and suspense in both these extracts set the scene for a thrilling story!