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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars History is brought to life in this tale of religious strife, the unexplained supernatural and Catholic idealism., 22 Dec 2012
This review is from: Daughters Of The Grail (Paperback)
Another spectacular novel by Elizabeth Chadwick, whose lengthy series of books on medieval England is truly outstanding, containing such depth and detail within. This beautiful book is about religious contention and rivalry amongst those within the church and those within court; whose ambitions lead to catastrophic changes. The author skillfully blends authentic period details with modern convention to produce such emotional drama, which is both intense and powerfully stirring. The historical detail within this book is exquisite, thus producing such atmosphere and realism within the narrative. The characters are totally beguiling, within a most intriguing and enjoyable storyline that fascinates one throughout. I would like to ask that you prepare yourself to be dazzled by this historical masterpiece that evokes its genre perfectly, as a great representation of the medieval era. Convincing and compelling you will be swept away by the conflict, the shocking drama and the glittering details to our past that add a touch of nostalgia to a reminiscent, evocative narrative.

Thirteenth-century France: Bridget has grown up mastering the mystical gifts of her ancestor Mary Magdalene, whose unbroken female lineage has kept the legacy of wisdom alive for thousands of years. But the all-powerful Catholic Church has sworn to destroy Bridget for using her healing talents and supernatural abilities.
Bridget's duty to continue the bloodline leads her into the arms of Raoul de Montvallant - a Catholic. But when the Church's savage religious intolerance causes Raoul to turn rebel, a terrible vengeance is executed by Simon de Montfort, the unstoppable Catholic leader...

As a fan of historical fiction and works such as `The Pillars of the Earth' and `World without end' by Ken Follett, that both contain references to the church, I was naturally intrigued to read this book. I personally feel that the past is brought to life more vividly when the storyline is based upon the power of the church and in particular the Catholic Church, that for so many years held such sway over the ruling of monarchs and the governing of such a great nation. It was a time of selfish ambition, of conflict and disagreement within the church, of harsh ruling and betrayal. Reading from around the time of King Henry VIII and backwards to the Thirteenth-century, within this great timeline is such change and revolution that it is something I greatly enjoy discovering through literature. There was still animosity against `magic' and the unexplained, such as Witchcraft or supernatural abilities that went against the Catholic ruling - hence as an example for the character Bridget.

This is such a fascinating, interesting read and one that will certainly appeal to those who not only enjoy this genre but who are also interested in the Church. The writing is just spectacular and this is a series that I urge you to discover, for books by Elizabeth Chadwick do really take your breath away!
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