A sweeping historical epic and powerful romantic drama set in medieval France: a time of the Great Plague, of witchcraft, and the Inquisition.
During the height of superstition, in the midst of the Great Plague, religious fervour and terror of witchcraft sweep fourteenth-century France.
Locked in a torture chamber within the walled city of Carcassonne the Abbess Marie Francoise listens helplessly to the screams of her sisters while she awaits the arrival of the Inquisition to take her confession. As relapsa, the worst of heretics, a fiery death awaits her at the stake.
The Grand Inquisitor's scribe, Brother Michel, arrives with his mentor, Father Charles, confident that her soul can be saved. But upon meeting the Abbess, Michel is assailed by a sudden, horrifying wave of desire for her: a desire that is both physical, and attended by memories of another man's life; and spiritual: for surely this is the woman he saw with his own eyes perform a miracle outside the Palace of the Popes in holy Avignon?
As the Abbess slowly divulges her past, Michel's safe and ordered world is ripped apart. Her tale will shake the very foundation of his belief, while his heart will be trapped between the cleansing fires of Christian purity and the seductive flames of his desire.
'Kalogridis captures the life and times of 14th century France wonderfully ... an absorbing and suspenseful read!' Starburst
'A powerful narrative incorporating love, lust, mystical spiritual sects and the Knights Templar. Fab.' Ms London
'A rich potion of witch lore and religious erudition' SFX
Jeanne Kalogridis is a well-respected author of numerous dark fantasy and historical novels: she also writes under the pseudonym of J M Dillard.