Hector is a young Jesuit who teaches science at a Catholic prep school. He is also part of a group that‚ for years‚ has been trying to decipher the secrets of a book known as the Voynich Manuscript. With a cult following of amateur and professional cryptographers the world over‚ including the most famous British and American code-breakers of World War II‚ the Voynich manuscript is now housed in the Rare Books Collection of the Beinecke Library at Yale University.
Written in an unknown language and illustrated with enigmatic drawings which no one has been able to translate or otherwise decipher for over 400 years‚ the work first surfaced in the court of the mentally unstable Rudolph II of Bohemia‚ cousin of Felipe II of Spain and Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.
This same Bohemian court also gave refuge to two of the greatest scientific minds of all time: the famed Danish Tycho Brahe and the German Johannes Kepler. These two astronomers -together with their contemporaries Nicolaus Copernicus and Galileo Galilei- were engaged in the most formidable scientific dialogue in the history of science‚ and laid the groundwork for nearly all that followed.
Is there a connection between Voynich and the brilliant scientists who frequented the court‚ as many believe? Could the manuscript perhaps be the codified findings of either Brahe or Kepler‚ written in a special language to conceal their scientific discoveries from the Church and its then brutal Inquisition? If so‚ what else had the two scientists discovered?
When a key to unlocking Voynich is discovered in the church where the young Jesuit teaches‚ powerful forces conspire to keep the contents of the manuscript from being decoded. And it is up to our young Jesuit to unlock the secrets which have been hidden in plain sight for centuries.