Dieter Moitzi's Reviews > The Seven Keys of Hildegard: Of Mercy & Of Death

The Seven Keys of Hildegard by David Dupuis
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review

liked it
bookshelves: net-galley

Note: This book was provided at not cost by NetGalley, where this review has been posted.

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.

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Seven Keys of Hildegard.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

September 8, 2020 – Started Reading
September 8, 2020 – Shelved
September 8, 2020 –
September 10, 2020 – Finished Reading
October 3, 2020 – Shelved as: net-galley

No comments have been added yet.