Wednesday, January 10, 2024

The Muse of Freedom (A Cévenoles Saga Novel) by Jules Larimore #AwardWinning #HistoricalFiction #RecommendedReads

The Muse of Freedom

(A Cévenoles Saga Novel)

by Jules Larimore

A French Huguenot apothecary’s legacy of secrets, a mystic healer’s inspiration, a fateful decision.

IN THE MYSTERIOUS CÉVENNES MOUNTAINS OF LANGUEDOC, FRANCE, 1695, Jehan BonDurant, a young nobleman forcibly held in a Dominican prieuré as a child, comes of age only to inherit a near-derelict estate and his Huguenot family’s dangerous legacy of secrets. While he cherishes his newfound freedom apprenticing as an apothecary, his outrage mounts over religious persecutions led by King Louis XIV’s Intendant Basville, who is sent to enforce the King’s will for “One King, One Law, One Faith”.

The ensuing divisions among families and friends and the gradual revelation of his own circumstances lead Jehan to question his spiritual choices. He embarks on an odyssey, in pursuit of his life’s purpose and the meaning of love, that unfolds in a way he least expects. Deep in the enchanting Gorges du Tarn, he discovers his muse and soul mate, Amelia Auvrey, a free-spirited, mystic holy woman who offers guidance, revealing ancient healing practices and spiritual mysteries.

Along the way, they befriend young Huguenot peasants and inspirés, a Roma couple, and the Commandeur of the Knights of Saint Jean Hospitallers, and learn of Jehan’s Jewish and Cathar ancestors. Together, Jehan and Amelia quest for peace and spiritual freedom by aiding the persecuted until the Intendant’s spy reports their activities and the King’s dragoons are sent out after them. To retain their freedom, they must choose to live in hiding in a remote wilderness, join a festering uprising or fight against it, or flee their cherished homeland with thousands of other refugees in search of hope.

Inspired by the true story of Jean Pierre Bondurant dit Cougoussac, distilled and blended with Cévenole magic lore, this is a vividly told coming-of-age adventure and family saga of courage, tenacity, and the power of love.

Fans of Poldark, Magic Lessons, The Lost Apothecary, The Huguenot Chronicles, and The Alchemist will find thematic elements from those stories melded into this thrilling and obscure slice of French history.


"Wonderous first novel. Jules is an alchemist, drawing on the poetic power of words, assembling a colorful combination of characters to authentically explore the landscape of the human heart; its yearnings, boundaries, expectations and limitations."
~ Elijah Alexander, actor, (Atticus Aemilius in The Chosen), Amazon five-star review

"Brilliantly told, a story that will stick with you long after you've turned the last page . . . fresh and compelling, as relevant now as it was then."
~ Janet Wertman, award-winning author of The Seymour Saga trilogy.

"Jules Larimore's lush, vibrant prose and sharp eye for historical detail at once transported me back to Occitan haunts and castles. This is a must-read for anyone who loves novels set in that alluring region of southern France."
~ Glen Craney, award-winning author

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