Describe a book like this - "Decorated with stunning and illustrative images, this novel is a must have for art and religious history enthusiasts, open-minded skeptics, and conspiracy theorists, alike. Inspired by a survey of modern scholarly works concerning the origins of Christianity, Trinity of the Sun skillfully assimilates many erudite facts within a crafty, seamless, two-fold tale of intrigue." and you've immediately caught my attention.
Former nun Carmen Leon has been privy to much information over the years and with others has pieced together information that suggests the role of Jesus was quite different to the one the Church tells us he played historically. She is one of a group that believes Renaissance artists knew of the real history of Jesus, John the Baptist and Mary Magdalene and used a secret code to reveal the truth in their paintings. She is now ready to impart what she has learnt to art student niece Sophie, and the two travel round Europe so Carmen can illustrate her point.
The book contains a number of images to help illustrate what Carmen explains, and this is one of the rare occasions when I wish the kindle was in colour as the images lost a lot in grey and white. However I felt they still showed enough to work, and sufficient information was included to allow the reader to look them up online if they were so inclined.
I quite liked The Da Vinci Code, enjoy art, and books with a religious bent and an element of historical fiction always go down well with me. I found I really enjoyed the story and the retelling of the lives of the three major figures in particular. Carmen presents an interesting figure and setting the story by having her explain her discoveries to her niece allowed the author to progress it step by step for the reader too. I didn't particularly feel a connection with either of them but this is so plot-driven it wasn't a concern to me.
There were a couple of negatives however. Firstly there were a few typos and in some places the author has used words that just didn't seem right, and I found myself slightly lost as to what he was trying to convey and wondering whether he really meant to use a similar word instead. Secondly, this is the first in a series, and while I would definitely love to read the second book I didn't like the way this ended. It finished on a cliffhanger but it didn't feel like the women had achieved a particular thing or had come to a significant point in their journey when that cliffhanger presented itself. It just lacked the sort of impact or sense of conclusion I'd expect. This is a criticism I have levelled at other books that have formed part of a series, and while I appreciate how hard it must be for an author to divide material and choose where to split from one book to the next I think they need to bear the reader's experience in mind and consider that each may well be read on its own too.
Despite the criticisms I really enjoyed this book and found it a stimulating read without being too heavy.
Format: Kindle, review copy
My Rating: 4*