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Review of Montségur by Catherine de Courcy

History and drama fans will really enjoy this terrific blend of fact and fiction.

Montségur by Catherine de Courcy starts in 1236 in southern France.

Esme, a young forest child finds herself caught up in the frightening days of the inquisition. Raimond, her foster brother is taken by an inquisitor called Friar Pierre Tiquè and forced into the service of the inquisition. Horrified, Esme follows them, her journey taking her through Carcassonne and Foix, ending in Montségur. She starts her life again on top of the mountain with members of the Cathar religion, detested by the Catholic Church because their beliefs differed. She learns about their simple way of life and practices and develops an understanding of Montségur’s connection to the bloodline of Jesus and Mary Magdalene.

As the armies of the Catholic church surround the mountain, Esme discovers wisdom and strength from deep within as the intentions of the besiegers become apparent.

A tale of history and drama

Montségur is a novel that’s about bravery, love, faith and passion. Esme is a young girl, full of life, determined, caring and loving to all around her despite her hard start in life. Throughout the story, her desire to be with Raimond and protect him are unyielding. She is a hearty character, striding into the action whenever she can, standing guard and giving sanctuary. With help from the elders she treasures, she is steady with everything she faces.

Catherine de Courcy’s descriptive writing brings alive the struggles faced by the Cathars every day from the Roman church and the inquisitors. It goes a long way to show how faith can prevail in the harshest of circumstances. The history of the high Middle Ages has been integrated well into the novel, using details of well researched, documented historical figures, adding depth to the saga. There are twists and turns, details about the Cathar beliefs and practices and about a dramatic period of history in France that continues to fascinate to this day.

The descriptive narrative of the land, the forests, lakes, villages and castles is vivid, it allows you to follow Esme’s journey for hours and hours building up images in your head of what she is going through.

Available from Amazon.

Find out more about Catherine de Courcy at her website: catherinedecourcy.com

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