|Free Book ⚕ Acts of Faith: Part 1 of The Inquisition Trilogy ⚐ eBooks or Kindle ePUB free
‘I would rather stand with God and against man than with man and against God’ Israeli author Martin Elsant has retired from his career as a radiologist and now embraces his passion for Jewish history with his writing His published books to date – BAR MITZVAH LESSONS, PEOPLE ARE JUST NO DAMN GOOD, and now ACTS OF FAITH, the initial volume of his proposed trilogy THE INQUISITION The trilogy is his intelligent research into the life of Diego Lopes and his interrogation by the 16th century Inquisition Martin lives in Jerusalem With refined sensitivity Martin escorts us into the period of the Inquisition, offering some quotes such as ‘An Auto de fe is not so much an Act of Faith, which the words import, as of the hypocrisy of Inquisitors, who thus make a mockery of God and man, by abusing the venerable name of religion, and forcing the secular judges to become their butchers,’ the words of Archibald Bower form 1761! Making use of such pungent information and incorporating textual data from significant writers, Martin shares his view of the Inquisition and Diego Lopes’ life ‘In this particular context, I believe that suggesting remote possibilities is not terribly out of place It just makes me a fellow traveler with people who actually witnessed this event and believed it to be so unusual that it must have been supernatural My only difference with them is that I add a component of human involvement to a process that they believed required only Divine intervention.’That referenced event is explained in Martin’s terse synopsis – ‘At an auto da fe in 16th century Portugal, Diego Lopes was chained to a stake and a pyre was lit Then, according to both Christian and Jewish witnesses, he mysteriously disappeared in front of thousands of astonished spectators The only point of contention was that the Christians believed he was so evil that he was dragged body and soul directly to hell, while the Jews believed he was so righteous that he was taken body and soul up to heaven What really happened? And can love, strong enough to cross a religious divide, survive the fires of the Inquisition?’ This exceptionally interesting novel revisits the life of Diego Lopes, engaging not only our interest in the well sculpted characters but also offers insights into that period of history in which The Inquisition existed – and by creating an historical novel of impact, Martin opens the trilogy as a source of fine reading entertainment and education As the world molds variants of the ‘Inquisition’ in contemporary disguised forms, this novel gains importance in understanding the ‘remote possibilities’ Martin suggests Very highly recommended. Faith, Hope and LoveActs of Faith: Part One of the Inquisition Trilogy by Martin Elsant is a beautifully written love story about faith, commitment and love.The year is 1569.It is a time of simplicity, new discoveries (cocoa was a new commodity), the power of the Catholic Church was in full display, and there were marked lines between the haves and havenots.It was also during the height of the Portuguese Inquisition where the Catholic Church was endeavoring to root out those who lived contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church The main actions of those being investigated were the possible religious crimes of Judaizing, bigamy and witchcraft.In front of this backdrop a tender love story unfolds between a promising seminarian student, Ari, and a beautiful aristocratic young lady by the name of Maria Their relationship blossoms, but unfortunately the brother of Diego Lopes (Maria's father), has died at the hands of the inquisitors.Her uncle's death places a significant theological strain upon the beliefs between Maria and Ari which results in their separation and journey on separate paths leading to a miracle.Acts of Faith: Part One of the Inquisition Trilogy by Martin Elsant is an engaging novel that is sure to stimulate the heart, mind and faith of the reader The narrative involving the developing relationship between Ari and Maria is light, sensitive, flirty and humorous However, in stark contrast the methods, motives and description of the inquisition process are disturbing.Combined together the author has shared a story that is sure to inspire the reader through the narrative of love, joy, pain, suffering and commitment to one's belief. This is a story about possibilitiesElsant takes us into the period of the Inquisition There are historical accounts and questions raised by the author that make this book worth delving into Diego’s disappearance is surreal in some aspects, but it’s made authentic by the author’s approach I was swept up by Ari and Maria’s story which, ultimately, is the result of the Spanish Inquisition This is a story that focuses on historical details and those who people the story This interesting novel is not for everyone, but it’s certainly a 5 star story for those who appreciate historical research into the period of the Inquisition and for those who enjoy a tale of intrigue melded with history and literature It is a book, though not for everyone, that a certain readership will appreciate This author’s skillful structuring results in a piece of work worth discussing after it’s been read. Portugal, 16th century Aristides is a seminary student when he first meets Maria Lopes Maria’s father, Diego, is a wealthy merchant from a New Christian family who soon comes under the Inquisition’s scrutiny When Diego is arrested, Maria realizes she will need a miracle to save him from the direst of punishments, the auto da fe But Diego Lopes’s burning at the stake is one of legend According to witness accounts, while tied to a lit pyre, Lopes vanished before the eyes of thousands Was he dragged to hell as his accusers believed, or could the ingenuity of a few brave souls make the impossible possible?The story begins with a hefty dose of matteroffact exposition, stunting the book’s early momentum Thankfully, as chapters progress, wellrounded characters and a budding romance enrich the storyline The inner workings of the Inquisition and the boiling tension in Portugal at that time are intricately explored Elsant not only brings to life the Inquisition’s methods but also the chilling reasonings ( aptly described as “excuses”) behind such cruelty Tensions are high for everyday citizens as rivalries over business and/or land can end with a baseless accusation of practicing Judaism There are somewhat gruesome medical and scientific experiments (especially if you have a fondness for pigs) that occasionally stretch beyond the realm of belief for the time Elsant’s introduction mentions how some of the science was only remotely possible at the time Diego’s story takes place; however, these elements factor heavily into the second half of the story.Elsant’s narrative shines the most during heartfelt moments when Aristides and Maria try to reconcile their faith in the midst of devastating cruelties A clutch of enjoyable main characters helps balance the narrative’s darker aspects Overall, a wellresearched time period and setting create an emotionally engaging narrative.Review originally posted via the Historical Novel Society at I really enjoyed reading this book as I thought it had a great story line based on historical facts and events Back in the 16th century, the Inquisition would arrest anyone suspected of practicing a different religion than Christianity and put them on trial I thought the author did a great job of creating a fictional story about people living through this period in history, as this book gave me a sense of how life was like back then This was a very scary time for a lot of people, for both nonChristians and Christians, as anyone could be turned into the Inquisition with very little evidence to support the charges It was especially hard for Jewish people as they had to hide their beliefs and practice their religion in secret and hope to not be caught I liked that the main character, Ari, had one perspective concerning the Inquisition at the beginning of the book, but throughout the story, his perspective and beliefs started changing as he saw the true intent of why people were being arrested I also enjoyed the love story between Ari and Maria as it was beautiful but also realistic and true to life I felt like I learned a lot from reading this book plus was also entertained by the story. Romance, History, IntrigueThis book took me by surprise Not only is it well written and well edited, but it’s engrossing entertaining! I’m not one for ancient history, but the author ties in the history of the Inquisition and other religious history well, so that reading the book doesn’t feel like a history lesson.Ari and Maria are likable characters, and you root for them to find a successful relationship Obstacles great and small get in their way, as it does, but as a reader you never lose hope that love will win the day Romances often go too far with the challenges couples face, and some things are unforgivable There’s a good balance here, though, that makes this a satisfying read.I will say, the first chapter is long winded There is farbackstory in this one chapter to get us to the point where Ari and Maria meet than is strictly necessary Much of this can be cut out, and it could be a deterrent for other readers, particularly those who decide whether to continue with books based on the first few pages I admit, I almost gave up too.But, once you get past that first chapter, the book takes off and you find yourself so immersed in the story you don’t realize how long you’ve been reading Wellpaced and told with clear expertise, I recommend this book to anyone who like romance, history, and mystery! |Free Book ☢ Acts of Faith: Part 1 of The Inquisition Trilogy ⚆ At an auto da fe in th century Portugal, Diego Lopes was chained to a stake and a pyre was lit Then, according to both Christian and Jewish witnesses, he mysteriously disappeared in front of thousands of astonished spectators The only point of contention was that the Christians believed he was so evil that he was dragged body and soul directly to hell, while the Jews believed he was so righteous that he was taken body and soul up to heaven What really happened? And can love, strong enough to cross a religious divide, survive the fires of the Inquisition? The answers to these questions are the story of Acts of Faith When Abuse of the holy office takes a center stageIndeed Martin Elsant has proven his love for Jewish history through this on the inquisition This part one of his trilogy is indeed rich in contents concerning the inquisition While the author’s work was in some ways influenced by the work of Miriam Bodian, Elsant also provided us with another way to look at the period of the inquisition The author exposed some of the ills of the period through extensive study of the period in question A close look at the protagonist of this book provides us with information about the Portuguese inquisition.One great event happens—which is the disappearance of Diego from the stakes This single event tore through the heart of both the Christians and the Jews leaving them with different opinions The Jews, on one hand, believed he was taken up to heaven for his righteousness and on the other hand the Christians believed he was dragged down to hell body and soul.The author also talked about the deeds of Aristides de Sousa Mende in saving the refugees singlehandedly This deed account for the greatest act of rescue by one man in history. Martin Elsant shows a real stroke of genius in the creation of The Inquisition Trilogy Acts of Faith is a brilliant start, and I’m excited to see where Elsant takes it from here.Acts of Faith humanises some of the most horrendous aspects of the Inquisition, honing in on a romance between Ari (a student of theology and loyal to the Vatican) and Maria (an aristocrat whose uncle has been killed) The resulting tale of love, loss, and the struggle of these characters to reconcile their beliefs to their attachment to one another, is truly beautiful It adds a great depth to what is otherwise an informed and immersive work of historical fiction I would recommend Acts of Faith to just about any reader It’s a thoughtful consideration of human nature in the midst of a truly horrific period of inhumanity, and raises many insights that are still applicable to today’s culture and how we relate to one another as fellow human beings I can’t wait to read the sequel. Catholic readers might not like what I discovered about Mother Church in this enlightening book I certainly didn’t In fact I was horrified I’d heard of the Spanish Inquisition but really didn’t know much about it Well, if I hadn’t already evolved into a nonpractising Catholic over the years, coupled with what we are learning about the Catholic clergy these days, I would definitely not have wanted to identify as Catholic The book starts rather benignly: a sweet sad love story between an educated young woman and a man training for the priesthood Their differing views on good and bad separate them Up until that point, the story isnt especially exciting But once the young man leaves the seminary to become a notary for the Inquisition, wowdoes the pace, content and plot pick up speed.This book is one I won’t forget soonand it’s the first of a trilogy Fascinating, enlightening read.