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Of Mercy & Of Death

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Member Reviews

The Seven Keys of Hildegard of Mercy and Death is a well researched and entertaining novel in which author David Dupuis weaves weaves historical fact with fiction as introduces the reader to an eleventh century nun ancient prophecies, popes, bishops and an 11th century German nun whose visions foretold the end of times.

 This story is filled with suspense, mystery and maneuvering as it takes the reader through a century of church intrigue as well as the life of one small child whose fate is inextricably interwoven with that of his protectors and the church as they battle against the dark forces preparing for the arrival of the Son of Lucifer.  

This book takes some concentration since there are many story lines and events that are occurring concurrently as the narrative in this web of prophesies progresses.  

An ideal read for those who love thrillers saturated in conspiracies, religious lore and action.
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Interesting read, looking forward to the next book to be honest.  I was engrossed in this book.  I have recommended it to several members of my parish and also have recommended it as a purchase for the school library.
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Of Mercy and of Death by David Dupuis, is the first book in the Seven Keys of Hildegard series and I was bowled over by this book.  Back in the 12th century a German nun named Hildegard had a vision of the end times. In 1917 three children in Fatima, Portugal had a vision of Mary, the holy mother and in 1936 a young man is hurled to his death from a mountainside in Italy. Through the historic events of the 20th century we follow the path of Hildegard's prophecies towards Armageddon...which is very, very close!

This is a well plotted,  well written thriller which is perfect for Christians and non-Christians alike. I found the book totally gripping and can't wait to read book two, Of Love and Betrayal which is also available now. If you love mysteries and secrets I guarantee that you will love this novel, I recommend it extremely highly!
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Thank you Mr. Dupuis, Netgalley, and the wonderful publisher for allowing me to read and review this novel. 

First, I think the overall idea for the novel is great and it definitely has the potential to become a a great series; should the author choose to continue the story line. However, I found the dialogue between characters to be too formal, especially when Maria is speaking. She is after all a young girl, and more likely to be nervous and not so confident. Even when she is heading to America, she is confident that everything will work out even though she is going to a country she’s never been to, without knowing anyone, and a new mother of an infant. She has no guarantee of employment or housing. I believe the author should have written more about her time in the convent, awaiting her child to be born, and making plans for the future so it’s not such a stretch for the reader. 
I believe the character of Maria should have been more fully developed, and we should know more about her and her background, or at least the baby’s father before we plunge headlong into the story. 
Another issue with the book is that the author doesn’t really take the time to set the scene. The author lets us know where the characters are, but doesn’t take the time to share the experience. Each of the character’s senses should be employed so the reader will become engaged and invested in the story.
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Not really my sort of book. Hildegard von Bingen, a medieval abbess and mystic, has visions of the end times. Centuries later, there is a rivalry between the good religious and worshippers of evil. I found the plot far-fetched - in places, silly - and the writing at times pedestrian. There was just enough interest to keep me reading, but no more.
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A bit like Dan Brown but then with the Catholic church as the heroes. 

A set of devil worshippers tries to get a hold on the Seven Keys of Hildegard and the popes and the secret Brethren do all to prevent that. Are the keys just documents or are they meant to be key figures? 

I liked the papal history and the story was well written but I HATE sudden open endings and the need to buy the next novel.
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This is an interesting and riveting book. I kept turning pages to learn more, to uncover more secrets. I loved it. I don't want to spoil your pleasure of discovering this story, so I won't give you much plot details but my this is one of those books that stays with you forever. I'm definitely going to re-read in the future!
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i really enjoyed this mystery, i thought it was a unique read and I enjoyed going through trying to solve it. I look forward to more from the author and this series.
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Well-plotted, well-written book with good characterization, history, and intrigue. I lost sleep for three nights finishing it.  Narrative flows smoothly between continents, characters, scenarios, and timelines.  I was unaware this title was part of a series until I finished it, and I'm so happy the next book is already published and waiting for me!
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Of Mercy & Of Death had me googling various events in Catholic history.  I was familiar with some of the prophecies... but, the nun's prophecies... YIPES!  I'd never heard of Hildegarde until I read the story.  What a fantastic tale!  I truly sped through the book quickly!  I deliberately slowed myself down so that I could truly savor the delightful story of intrigue and ancient prophecies.  I cannot wait to read the second book.  Found out that it is actually already available on Amazon. Sooooooooooo... I WANT IT!!! I actually know that I'll want to read all five books once they're finished.  I hope that the author has the following books available to read super soon!?!  I'm like a little kid when I'm ready for the next book in a series!! And, this one!! Daaaaaaaaaaang!! It's superbly written.  And, it will seriously have you freaking out wondering if it was divine inspiration that made you pick up this book to begin with.  I personally... kind of think that it is! REALLY!  Loved the story!
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Strange that there were several things about this book that I didn't like, and yet I felt drawn in by the plot (maybe my crypto-conspirationist side), despite it being somewhat convoluted and rather far-fetched. The story starts with Hildegard von Bingen (born in the very late 11th century, died in 1179) having her visions (or seven keys) written down for future generations to use as a sort of Doomsday warning. Ever since, her revelations have been hidden by a secret brotherhood of monks under the guidance of the papacy. The first key comes to pass with the appearance of Our Lady to three children in Fatima, Portugal, in 1917. I followed several strands and subplots, leading me from Rome to Turkey to New York to Canada, with a wide but fortunately manageable cast of persons, amongst whom several popes, most notably Pius XI, Pius XII, and John XXIII.

What I didn't like was the writing, which in places was outright clumsy, wooden even; a thorough last proof-reading could also have benefitted the book IMO (note to the author: the singular of "brethren" is NOT "brethren" but "brother"—"brethren" is simply an antiquated plural form, the equivalent of "brothers"). Some of the characters could have been fleshed out a bit more so as to allow the reader to identify with them. I expected a stark black-and-white characterization of the "good" ones vs. the "evil" ones and was therefore not too shocked when I found exactly that (even though it got old after a while)—after all, the Dan Brown-thrillers don't really shine with subtle character development either, and I think we're here in a similar vein of writing. What annoyed me, however, was the fact that I requested this book in the "History"-section of NetGalley, and as to the historical treatment of the popes, I was sorely disappointed. I guess most of the raw data have been researched and are therefore accurate; but instead of an even remotely historical vision of controversial men such as Pope Pius XII, we get what I would call unadulterated hagiographies.

All in all, however, and despite these inherent flaws, I found the journey rather entertaining and kept reading with gusto and sometimes even with bated breath.
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I absolutely loved reading this book! I was drawn in from the start. I found throughout the book, mystery was maintained but there was just enough information given to the reader regarding the 'keys' to make me want to keep reading. I will definitely be reading the next book in the series and look forward to the series as a whole!
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Of Mercy & Of Death: The Seven Keys of Hildegard by David Dupuis
Publication Date: October 11, 2019

Description by NetGalley...
“In 1167, a German nun has a troubling vision, prophesizing the end times. In 1917, Mary appears to three children in Fatima, Portugal, revealing mysterious secrets. In 1936, a young man is inexplicably hurled to his death off the side of a mountain in Italy, and the newborn he unknowingly leaves behind is spirited away to America by his terrified mother. But why?

Tackling events throughout the early 20th century, The Seven Keys of Hildegard: Of Mercy & Of Death will challenge the very truth of what the church and the world knows. Through two world wars, and from the Vatican in Rome, Italy, to New York City and small town Canada, two knowing popes, an unsuspecting archbishop and a monsignor become entangled in Hildegard’s ancient web of prophecies. And one thing is certain—Armageddon is nigh.”
Thank you to @NetGalley and Books Go Social for the digital ARC in return for my honest review.
My thoughts...
This book intrigued  me from the description. I was interested in the concept of Armageddon, good vs. evil, and I’m a big fan of historical fiction. Unfortunately, there were too many places in the story where I lost interest and just wanted to move on, especially during dialogues between the “evil guys.” So, there were a lot of skimming. Also, fortunately I am familiar with the different roles and positions within the Catholic church. If you’re not, it might be a confusing read. I wanted to like this book, but it fell short. It just wasn’t the book for me.
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Really enjoyed this book, especially since I study medieval literature & am interested specifically in female mystics like Hildegard! I found the story compelling and so intriguing. I loved Dupuis' writing style, and will definitely be reading more of his works!
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First thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an e-copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.  

A very intriguing story with plenty of twists and turns.  The story flows easily and effectively and will keep you in suspense.  There are other books in this series and I look forward to reading them as well.
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My thanks to NetGalley, David Dupuis and Freisen Press for an ARC in exchange for a book review.
The Seven Keys of Hildegard of Mercy and Death is a captivating novel. David Dupuis intricately weaves historical fact with fiction and introduces the reader to ancient prophecies, popes, bishops and an 11th century nun. This story is filled with suspense, mystery and intrigue. You don’t have to be an historical fiction fan to be completely absorbed in this book. There are plenty of twists and turns that left me wanting for more and as this is Book #1 in a five book series, I am looking forward to reading the next installment.
This is a highly recommended and wonderful read. 
Five stars.
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Never-ending battle between good and evil, God and the Devil. Who guards seven keys? And what the church has to do with it?

Gripping historical fiction, adventure and mistery.
Great story.
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