Fires of Minerve is the fourth installment of The Heretic's Secret, an epic tale told in 11 novellas. Surrounded on three sides by deep gorges, the walled city of Minerve is considered impregnable, but it has a weakness and it is Peter's job to spy out what that is. Meanwhile Adso teaches John the art of war and John and Isabella consider their future.
Not all the Crusades were fought on the far edges of Christendom. In the thirteenth century, a bloody Holy War was fought against a sect of heretical Christians, the Cathars, who lived in Languedoc around the modern city of Toulouse. The war lasted decades and tens of thousands were murdered, mutilated or thrown on vast bonfires. A powerful culture of poets and troubadours, with its own distinct language, was destroyed and modern France created. The crusade spawned the Dominicans and the formal Inquisition, and the bitterness it created lasted 200 years into the brutal religious wars that devastated Europe in the Reformation.
Caught up in the horror are two childhood friends. Peter—an assistant to the shadowy, enigmatic priest who leads the crusade—is convinced that the war against the Cathars is God's will, a mission that will lead him to the highest ranks of power in Rome itself. John—who finds himself drawn to the strange ideas of the heretics—simply seeks the peace to learn and understand through reading the forbidden books hidden in remote castles across the land. As the armoured knights of the crusade destroy city after city and the flames of the Inquisition spread, Peter and John find themselves on opposite sides of a search for an ancient secret that may have the power to change the world.
"…a brave book, an unsettling book, and one that is very much needed at this time."—The Globe and Mail
"…an astonishingly nuanced and masterfully told story…"—Quill & Quire
About John Wilson
See more books from this Author
Published April 12, 2012
by John Wilson.
History, Literature & Fiction.