327 pages / 588 KB
It's been several years since I read Blood of the Lamb, and didn't realize there was a sequel to it until recently. I think The Reckoning can be read as a stand alone, but it will probably make more sense if you read Blood of the Lamb first.
Peter Carenza is a young priest, who through a series of events and "miracles" becomes Pope at an early age when the Pope suddenly dies in Peter's arms. Peter can do good, but also has the power to do evil, which he has done.
What I don't remember reading in this book, is the story of how Peter came to be. A small cadre of Cardinals extracted DNA from the Shroud of Turin, found a young, innocent, and virginal nun and convinced her she must carry the baby, which was then given to an orphanage. The Cardinals followed Peter as he grew, influencing him to become a priest, who on his 33d birthday began to perform miracles.
When Peter becomes Pope, he immediately begins a process to bring the Church into the current times. He decides to reinstate the marriage of priests, and plans to set the example by marrying the love of his life—who does not necessarily love him back.
The Cardinals who created him wanted to help God with the long-awaited Second Coming. Did they succeed? This book is more complex than I remember the first one, and the characters are more developed. Many interesting people are introduced who propel the story along until we reach the satisfactory end of the book. It's also an interesting insight into how the Church may or may not actually be run.