From Jeanne Kalogridis, author of the Vlad the Impaler trilogy, comes a novel of medieval France, Burning Time. In this book many issues come to play: pagan ritual, magic, the Black Death, as well as an appearance from Edward the Black Prince during the Hundred Years War.
Sybille is one of the Race, an embodiment of the pagan goddess Diana, who came into existence years before God, ad the two beliefs that exist in a world fighting for the belief in only one of them. Sybille has now been captured by the Inquisition and she is supposed to confess her sins (conducting magic against the Pope) to Brother Michel. Instead she is going to tell him her life story, from birth to present, of how she came to be a real-life embodiment of the Goddess, of thee powers and wars and plague that fight against her, and how Brother Michel is the key to it all, even though he does not know this.
While at certain points the story become confusing and overly complex with the magic and the ritual, as well as Kalogridis employing cheap clichés to make the plot work better (the use of bewitchment, where Brother Michel dreams of Sybille’s past), the book on the whole represents an interesting insight into the life and strife during the fourteenth century.
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Originally published on December 3rd 2001.
Originally published in the Long Beach Union.