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The Lost Prophecies

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575 AD: A baby is washed up on the Irish coast and is taken to the nearest abbey. He grows up to become a scholar and a monk, but, in early adulthood, he appears to have become possessed, scribbling endless strange verses in Latin. When the Abbott tries to have him drowned, he disappears. Later, his scribblings turn up as the Book of Bran, his writings translated as porten 575 AD: A baby is washed up on the Irish coast and is taken to the nearest abbey. He grows up to become a scholar and a monk, but, in early adulthood, he appears to have become possessed, scribbling endless strange verses in Latin. When the Abbott tries to have him drowned, he disappears. Later, his scribblings turn up as the Book of Bran, his writings translated as portents of the future. Violence and untimely death befall all who come into the orbit of this mysterious book.


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575 AD: A baby is washed up on the Irish coast and is taken to the nearest abbey. He grows up to become a scholar and a monk, but, in early adulthood, he appears to have become possessed, scribbling endless strange verses in Latin. When the Abbott tries to have him drowned, he disappears. Later, his scribblings turn up as the Book of Bran, his writings translated as porten 575 AD: A baby is washed up on the Irish coast and is taken to the nearest abbey. He grows up to become a scholar and a monk, but, in early adulthood, he appears to have become possessed, scribbling endless strange verses in Latin. When the Abbott tries to have him drowned, he disappears. Later, his scribblings turn up as the Book of Bran, his writings translated as portents of the future. Violence and untimely death befall all who come into the orbit of this mysterious book.

30 review for The Lost Prophecies

  1. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Mckenzie

    It was a chore to plough through this book. Each section was written by a different author and covered a different period in time so some parts were better than others - I enjoyed the 4th and 5th acts. I'm just glad I'm finally finished with it!!! It was a chore to plough through this book. Each section was written by a different author and covered a different period in time so some parts were better than others - I enjoyed the 4th and 5th acts. I'm just glad I'm finally finished with it!!!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jane Irish Nelson

    Six authors who all write mysteries set during medieval times have collaborated on this collection of novellas, with a connecting thread — the prophecies of the title. Most of these stories are set in or around the the medieval era, and feature the authors' protagonists from their separate series. To set the scene, an Irish monk with a mysterious origin writes a collection of poetic prophecies, and down through the ages they seem to come true — or their readers attempt to make them happen. The o Six authors who all write mysteries set during medieval times have collaborated on this collection of novellas, with a connecting thread — the prophecies of the title. Most of these stories are set in or around the the medieval era, and feature the authors' protagonists from their separate series. To set the scene, an Irish monk with a mysterious origin writes a collection of poetic prophecies, and down through the ages they seem to come true — or their readers attempt to make them happen. The only story not set in the past is the final one, and the best (in my opinion); it is set in the future when Earth has been ravaged by Global Warming and nuclear war. A religious sect appears, taking the final prophecy as their sacred text. They believe the world is about to end, and only believers will be "raptured" — and they will do just about anything to make the prophecy come true. This is a dire warning of where we may be heading in our own future if we aren't careful! Highly recommended.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Hearn

    I’ve read all the other Medieval Murderers series and this one is every bit as well written. A monk in 6th century Ireland has a series of visions and writes prophetic visions of the world to its very end. Then 6 well-known authors carry the story forward, each moving forward in time within the context of their own series of stories, e.g., Bernard Knight writes of 12th century Devon, and Susanna Gregory writes of 14th century Cambridge. I thoroughly enjoyed each of the stories - really little mu I’ve read all the other Medieval Murderers series and this one is every bit as well written. A monk in 6th century Ireland has a series of visions and writes prophetic visions of the world to its very end. Then 6 well-known authors carry the story forward, each moving forward in time within the context of their own series of stories, e.g., Bernard Knight writes of 12th century Devon, and Susanna Gregory writes of 14th century Cambridge. I thoroughly enjoyed each of the stories - really little murder mystery novellas - even to the final one, the end of the world. The story by C.J. Swanson is a true cautionary tale; it kind of gave me the heebie-jeebies, truth be told.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    Good idea that didn't work. I kept on with it as I always feel I should finish a book and also hoped it might improve with the more experienced authors, but what a waste of reading time. Despite some well known names, none of the author's stories held my interest (and I like historical mysteries). One of the well knowns, Sansom, should surely know better than to mix up flaunt and flout (comment on behaviour of two gay men: "...here they are flouting it in public", obviously also missed in the ed Good idea that didn't work. I kept on with it as I always feel I should finish a book and also hoped it might improve with the more experienced authors, but what a waste of reading time. Despite some well known names, none of the author's stories held my interest (and I like historical mysteries). One of the well knowns, Sansom, should surely know better than to mix up flaunt and flout (comment on behaviour of two gay men: "...here they are flouting it in public", obviously also missed in the editorial process. The Sansom story had nothing at all to do with mediaeval murderers but was set in a dystopian future and would have struggled for publication without his name attached.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I had high hopes for this book. It consists of 6 interlinked short stories by 6 different medieval murder authors. Everything was going so well until we reached the last chapter and then I felt let down because it became dystopian and suddenly wasn't what it said on the tin. :( I might consider reading another from the series but I'm not as enthusiastic about it as I thought I'd be. I had high hopes for this book. It consists of 6 interlinked short stories by 6 different medieval murder authors. Everything was going so well until we reached the last chapter and then I felt let down because it became dystopian and suddenly wasn't what it said on the tin. :( I might consider reading another from the series but I'm not as enthusiastic about it as I thought I'd be.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mavis Hewitt

    Really a set of short stories with a connection, this one being a book of prophecies. If you like the authors and their characters, you'll probably enjoy these, the last act leaves this theme and goes into the future, but that is interesting reading, although science fiction, not medieval. Really a set of short stories with a connection, this one being a book of prophecies. If you like the authors and their characters, you'll probably enjoy these, the last act leaves this theme and goes into the future, but that is interesting reading, although science fiction, not medieval.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    Each individual story was good, but I found the final story completely out of sync with all of stories in the rest of the entire series. It was fine as a stand alone story, but it just didn't fit in with the whole theme of the series. Each individual story was good, but I found the final story completely out of sync with all of stories in the rest of the entire series. It was fine as a stand alone story, but it just didn't fit in with the whole theme of the series.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Linda Jean

    I found this a really good book that could have failed so badly. Several authors take part of the story and it becomes "a historical mystery" This is well worth a read. I have too much time on my hands, I have read three books in two days I found this a really good book that could have failed so badly. Several authors take part of the story and it becomes "a historical mystery" This is well worth a read. I have too much time on my hands, I have read three books in two days

  9. 5 out of 5

    John Nebauer

    A series of short stories linked by a Dark Ages book of prophecy. As with any short story collection the quality of stories can be uneven.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Barbra

    This book features a book of prophecies called the Black Book of Bran written by a sixth century Irish monk. You follow the book through the ages.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Snell

    Love this book

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ho Reviews

    Since The Lost Prophecies might be the first of a series, I cannot wait to see the development of the leading characters.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Iola

    This sensational book takes a new spin.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Dayton

    I loved the detail when describing the settings and the history behind the motivations of the characters.

  15. 4 out of 5

    rabbitprincess

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I didn't really have very high expectations for this book and was moderately okay with it for the most part, but the ending really derailed it for me. Since this book comprises six interlinked mysteries, I shall discuss each one separately. The overarching concept of this book is a set of cryptic Latin quatrains written by a sixth- or seventh-century Irish monk named Brân (whose name without the accent always made me think of muffins), who was basically the Irish Nostradamus. Anyway, his likely-s I didn't really have very high expectations for this book and was moderately okay with it for the most part, but the ending really derailed it for me. Since this book comprises six interlinked mysteries, I shall discuss each one separately. The overarching concept of this book is a set of cryptic Latin quatrains written by a sixth- or seventh-century Irish monk named Brân (whose name without the accent always made me think of muffins), who was basically the Irish Nostradamus. Anyway, his likely-seizure-inspired prophecies cause havoc through the ages, as the six "acts" show. Act 1 was all right. It adds the concept of someone copying out the Black Book of Brân (as it's known) and adding his own quatrain to the end to warn people that the book is basically a load of bollocks and that one should not read too much into it. This act features Bernard Knight's "Crowner John" and was actually not bad. Act 2 did not hold my interest very much. While I appreciate the unique perspective on the 1200s or whenever it was by showing Tartars and setting the story in a very cold part of northern Europe/Siberia (sorry, I've returned the book to the library so my recollections of the book are already growing dim) instead of focusing on England, I did not really enjoy the story and thought the solution kind of came out of left field. It was a classic closed-circle mystery but damned if I would have been able to figure it out. Act 3 actually managed to pique my interest, even though Michael Jecks did his damn "use a twee dating system involving the date in relation to feast days and years of kings' reigns, then put the real date in a footnote, instead of just PUTTING THE REAL DATE WITH THE TWEE DATE" thing that drives me up the wall. Unfortunately, the thing that piqued my interest was the fact that the victim was flayed alive. Ewwww, how horrifying. But other than that I was not really impressed. The killer came out of left field here too. Either I'm an idiot or these are not plotted very well. I'd rather it be the former, actually. It's a shame to have poorly plotted books. Act 4's setting of Cambridge was very nice, but I really did not care about the characters AT ALL and nearly gave up on the book here. There's only so many times you can read about characters "asking curiously" and "frowning unhappily" before you snap. Act 5 was actually quite good, comparatively speaking. I was a bit harsh on this author's act in King Arthur's Bones, but his contribution to this book was really neat. I think the plot and timing (around the time of the Gunpowder Plot in 1605) really helped sell this story for me. Easily my favourite act in this book. Act 6 was, to be blunt, a load of tosh. Set in 2135, it is the usual hodgepodge of post-apocalyptic climate change doom-and-gloom fiction, except with a book of Irish prophecies thrown in. I did appreciate that the author didn't really add too many novel technologies, but I'm just so jaded with all of these climate change stories that I was really not impressed. It also felt very threadbare in terms of plot, and the protagonist was not very relatable, at least for me. To sum up, I was not really enamoured of this book, but at least I borrowed it from the library. Had I bought it I would have been much more disappointed.

  16. 4 out of 5

    æsc

    I enjoy the Medieval Murderers' books for what they are--short stories you can dip in and out of, some brilliant and some not entirely satisfying. The Lost Prophecies is one of the best of the bunch, following the adventures of people who come into contact with a manuscript of prophecies written by an otherworldly Irish monk. By 'not entirely satisfying,' I mostly mean that I like to have more things tied up than are in most of these stories. This is the nature of short stories anyway, of course I enjoy the Medieval Murderers' books for what they are--short stories you can dip in and out of, some brilliant and some not entirely satisfying. The Lost Prophecies is one of the best of the bunch, following the adventures of people who come into contact with a manuscript of prophecies written by an otherworldly Irish monk. By 'not entirely satisfying,' I mostly mean that I like to have more things tied up than are in most of these stories. This is the nature of short stories anyway, of course--you're left to imagine what happens to the characters after the final paragraph, including Bran himself. Some of the stories have more of a plot than others; a few just illustrate and incident and have done with it. The introduction by Bernard Knight is short, sweet and haunting, but I just can't quite seem to get invested in his Crowner John--the story is really just John doing his job, without any tension or repercussions. This is followed by Ian Morson's Venetian con man in a captivating story with a lot going on. Michael Jecks is up next, and his story of murder in a monastery is dark but compelling; for all its gruesomeness it might be the best of the bunch. Then Susanna Gregory's Cambridge detectives appear, and this is a good read even though some parts seem superfluous. Philip Gooden moves us into the post-Elizabethan age, and while this is another story without much of an ending, it also is relatively relaxing after all the violence of the last couple. The book then jumps ahead several centuries into a post-apocalyptic future in a story that really grabs, even as it's a bit of a shock to the system in many ways. I took this book travelling, so that I could have a story here and there on train journeys and still pull my head out of it. It's a good travelling book and well worth a read.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Felicity Terry

    A novel written by not one, not two, but six well known British crime writers who each take a turn in writing an 'act' all of which are connected by the main premise which is the book of prophecies written by a sixth century Irish monk. Albeit with a central theme, this, when all is said and done, is a collection of short stories which, as many of you know, isn't a favourite genre of mine, but I decided to give it a go as I was interested to read something else by C.J. Sansom (I love his Shardlak A novel written by not one, not two, but six well known British crime writers who each take a turn in writing an 'act' all of which are connected by the main premise which is the book of prophecies written by a sixth century Irish monk. Albeit with a central theme, this, when all is said and done, is a collection of short stories which, as many of you know, isn't a favourite genre of mine, but I decided to give it a go as I was interested to read something else by C.J. Sansom (I love his Shardlake series) AND, secondly, I was intrigued to read for myself just whether or not this style of writing a novel would work ....... so did it? Hmm, I have mixed feelings about this but, on the whole, would have to say that I was quite surprised at just how well it did work. Set in the past (apart from C.J. Sansom's offering, which, the last story in the book, was set in the not too distant future) I was quite impressed at the array of different settings, one moment I found myself in an English monastery, the next in a Tartar tent in Russia, AND then there was the way in which (most of) the authors managed to bring the events and characters to life in such a relatively short time. On the negative side though ..... it has to be said that some of the authors style of writing suited this book more than others which didn't make for a 'constant' read in that I found myself really enjoyed one act, finding it difficult to put the book down, only to then find myself struggling laboriously with the next act. All in all, an interesting reading experience, not one I'm sure I'd want to repeat any time soon though, I'd recommend this as something just that little bit different.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Redsteve

    An interesting concept (six mystery stories by different writers, strung together by a book of prophecies written by a 7th Century Irish Monk). Sadly, not as cool as advertized. About half of the stories didn't do much for me and most of them took a while to get into, which meant, that by the time a story had grabbed by interest, it was usually 2/3rds over. To be honest, I'd grabbed this book because I'm a fan of authors Gooden and Sanson (chapters V and VI)and I was expecting these writers' cha An interesting concept (six mystery stories by different writers, strung together by a book of prophecies written by a 7th Century Irish Monk). Sadly, not as cool as advertized. About half of the stories didn't do much for me and most of them took a while to get into, which meant, that by the time a story had grabbed by interest, it was usually 2/3rds over. To be honest, I'd grabbed this book because I'm a fan of authors Gooden and Sanson (chapters V and VI)and I was expecting these writers' characters Nick Revill (who was the protagontist in V) and Matthew Shardlake - but Chapter VI turned out to be set in a post-global warming world rather than in Tudor England. Suprisingly, that was actually the story I liked best (that and Chapter II). Prologue: 6-7th C. Ireland *** Chapter I: 12th C. Devon ** Chapter II: 13th C. Russia *** Chapter III: 14th C. Westminster Abbey **.5 Chapter IV: 14th C. Cambridge ** Chapter V: 17th C. London and countryside *** Chapter VI: 22nd C. Birmingham and Tasmania ***

  19. 4 out of 5

    Vivienne

    I am not a great fan of the short story, much preferring to immerse myself in longer narratives and more detailed character studies than the format allows. Plus, although I quite enjoyed this collection of linked short stories, I think I would have enjoyed them more if I'd been more familiar with the characters in the stories who have made their appearances in the various historical murder mysteries series penned by the authors. I had heard of their books but not yet read any aside from Sansom's I am not a great fan of the short story, much preferring to immerse myself in longer narratives and more detailed character studies than the format allows. Plus, although I quite enjoyed this collection of linked short stories, I think I would have enjoyed them more if I'd been more familiar with the characters in the stories who have made their appearances in the various historical murder mysteries series penned by the authors. I had heard of their books but not yet read any aside from Sansom's books. Strangely enough the story I found most compelling was the one set in the future, written by Sansom. That may have been because the characters were created only for that story, so no back knowledge was required.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Rob

    A pretty cool concept, with 6 English medieval mystery writers teaming up to write 6 loosely related short stories. A nice book if you know you will need to start/stop often. Each chapter/act can definitely live on its own and be read in any order... just need to read the prologue first. I liked some of the stories much better than the others. For example, I enjoyed Bernard Knight and Ian Morson a bunch - they wrote the first two acts. The final act was actually into the future and gave an intere A pretty cool concept, with 6 English medieval mystery writers teaming up to write 6 loosely related short stories. A nice book if you know you will need to start/stop often. Each chapter/act can definitely live on its own and be read in any order... just need to read the prologue first. I liked some of the stories much better than the others. For example, I enjoyed Bernard Knight and Ian Morson a bunch - they wrote the first two acts. The final act was actually into the future and gave an interesting view of the year 2035. Couple of the acts were not as enjoyable for me... so giving overall book 3 stars. However, I do plan to try another book by these set of authors as this is #4 in a series. Also will try a novel by Knight and Morson.

  21. 5 out of 5

    H. P. Reed

    Rarely have I enjoyed a string of historical stories so much as these. Strung together over time, these stories begin with the prophetic writings of a confused monk named Bran in the seventh century CE and end in a sci-fi Earth in 2135. The prophecies are written in much the same style as those of Nostradamus and are not really understood by those who read them until after they've been fulfilled. The book is not the work of one authors, but by 6 writers calling themselves the Mystery Murderers: Rarely have I enjoyed a string of historical stories so much as these. Strung together over time, these stories begin with the prophetic writings of a confused monk named Bran in the seventh century CE and end in a sci-fi Earth in 2135. The prophecies are written in much the same style as those of Nostradamus and are not really understood by those who read them until after they've been fulfilled. The book is not the work of one authors, but by 6 writers calling themselves the Mystery Murderers: C.J. Sansom, Michael Jecks, Bernard Knight, Susanna Gregory, Ian Morsan and Phillip Golden. Each brings a distinctive voice to their chapter but the whole hangs together like a well made necklace.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Pamela

    Interesting if you like to pick up a few details of life in medieval (mostly) England and Europe. Six writers each produce a mystery based on a theme - a 7th century fictional book of prophecies written by an Irish monk provokes people of later centuries to commit mayhem and murder. The writers possess varying degrees of talent - none brilliant. Some of the stories drag, others beggar belief. My favorite, and perhaps the most successful because the author limited the variables, takes place in a Interesting if you like to pick up a few details of life in medieval (mostly) England and Europe. Six writers each produce a mystery based on a theme - a 7th century fictional book of prophecies written by an Irish monk provokes people of later centuries to commit mayhem and murder. The writers possess varying degrees of talent - none brilliant. Some of the stories drag, others beggar belief. My favorite, and perhaps the most successful because the author limited the variables, takes place in a hut in 1262 in Sudak, Gothia (modern day Crimea).

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lady of the Lake

    Hmm....not a favorite, not one I'm going to recommend. But I did finish it so it had something to it because I will never waste my time on anything that doesn't give me something. As with many of my books lately due to summer driving back and forth between lake house and city I had this read to me in it's audio version. I think perhaps if I were reading the hard copy I may not have finished it. So it's a 2.5 out of 5 stars really. Much to be said for the audio narrator doing and excellent job. (O Hmm....not a favorite, not one I'm going to recommend. But I did finish it so it had something to it because I will never waste my time on anything that doesn't give me something. As with many of my books lately due to summer driving back and forth between lake house and city I had this read to me in it's audio version. I think perhaps if I were reading the hard copy I may not have finished it. So it's a 2.5 out of 5 stars really. Much to be said for the audio narrator doing and excellent job. (Others give the plot I so won't go over it again.)

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jo

    A collection of short stories centred around the theme of the Black Book of Bran, containing various prophecies by a seventh century Irish monk. I didn't enjoy this as much as earlier collections by the Medieval Murderers although some stories were better than others. New boy on the block C.J. Sansom adds a futuristic tale on the subject and, as much as I love his writing and liked this story, I didn't think it sat well with the other stories. A collection of short stories centred around the theme of the Black Book of Bran, containing various prophecies by a seventh century Irish monk. I didn't enjoy this as much as earlier collections by the Medieval Murderers although some stories were better than others. New boy on the block C.J. Sansom adds a futuristic tale on the subject and, as much as I love his writing and liked this story, I didn't think it sat well with the other stories.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

    An addled monk writes down his "prophecies" in the 7th Century. A series of mystery authors wrote stories revolving around these prophecies at different times in the book's life. I had high hopes and still enjoyed this read but found it lacking. I wish one of the authors had written the entire book so the writing would flow. An addled monk writes down his "prophecies" in the 7th Century. A series of mystery authors wrote stories revolving around these prophecies at different times in the book's life. I had high hopes and still enjoyed this read but found it lacking. I wish one of the authors had written the entire book so the writing would flow.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I've loved the previous books by this group of authors. This one, however, didn't meet my expectations. The final chapter by C.J. Sansome was particularly out of place. I do like his books, but this wasn't the place for this. His was set in the future, and it is written by the Medieval Murderers after all. Just not happy with it, but will continue to read their books. I've loved the previous books by this group of authors. This one, however, didn't meet my expectations. The final chapter by C.J. Sansome was particularly out of place. I do like his books, but this wasn't the place for this. His was set in the future, and it is written by the Medieval Murderers after all. Just not happy with it, but will continue to read their books.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Hilary

    It was a fun read. The Medieval Murderers are a collection of authors who write mystery novels set in Medieval times. I enjoyed this because each author used their own detectives, so I was introduced to some new authors, and read some favourites. I may or may not check out some others in the series, though.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ice Bear

    A divergent path for this set of linked stories as it finishes in the future, sort of a 'down to earth' cloud atlas. In addition some more linking of historical notes. I am warming to this series. This once is about perspective and interpretation, due to the period in which these books take place, religion is a key element, both the mystery and the misuse. A divergent path for this set of linked stories as it finishes in the future, sort of a 'down to earth' cloud atlas. In addition some more linking of historical notes. I am warming to this series. This once is about perspective and interpretation, due to the period in which these books take place, religion is a key element, both the mystery and the misuse.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ruth

    An interesting compilation of stories from some masterful story tellers. The link between the stories is a little less weaker than in other compilations of The Medieval Murderers and the description of 'medieval' is not necessarily accurate. However, a good read with some real gems. Definitely recommended. An interesting compilation of stories from some masterful story tellers. The link between the stories is a little less weaker than in other compilations of The Medieval Murderers and the description of 'medieval' is not necessarily accurate. However, a good read with some real gems. Definitely recommended.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Noel

    This book proves that it is unwise to judge a book by its cover. I absolutely loved the cover and totally didn't like the book :-( The book combines two genres which I normally don't engage in: short stories and murder mysteries. Bring them together and... what was I thinking??? This book proves that it is unwise to judge a book by its cover. I absolutely loved the cover and totally didn't like the book :-( The book combines two genres which I normally don't engage in: short stories and murder mysteries. Bring them together and... what was I thinking???

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