Rev. Mother Anastasia+
Co-founder and Abbess of the Order of St. Esclarmonde
This book is clearly well-researched, but more importantly for a novel, it tells a thoroughly engrossing story. As Esclarmonde struggles with her faith and the war sweeping her country, Craney explores issues of theology, a variety of historical events and characters, forbidden love, and the strength and strain of family ties through war. Some of the battle and persecution scenes are quite gruesome as the depictions are quite true to life, and at times the language is a little overblown, making some scenes difficult to follow. Overall, though, this is a well-written and compellingly told story of a little-known figure from medieval France.
This book would appeal to those interested in medieval French history and readers who were intrigued by some of the historical underpinnings of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, and it is a well-told epic story of faith and love."
Ann K. D. Myers
The Historical Novel Society Review
“What is a masterfully orchestrated novel? One like this one that tells a spellbinding tale but also has rich illustrations and provocative quotations at the start of each section and chapter. These images and thoughts do not simply illustrate the story, they tell a parallel story in Tarot-card faces and in citations from some of the most thoughtful sources we are blessed with: Rumi and the Gospel of Thomas most prominent among them. These pre-figures and pre-thoughts set the mood for what follows. Not unlike how mood-altering music is used in the background in a dramatic movie . . . The Fire and the Light is a marvel of a tale, tied quite firmly into what facts there are, and woven deftly into a tapestry touching those facts and connecting them into a tale at once enjoyable and alarming.”
-- Abe Van Luik, ThoughtsandPlaces.org Book Reviews
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