Daughters of the Grail Paperback
Thirteenth century France. Bridget has grown up mastering the mystical gifts of her ancestor, Mary Magdalene, whose unbroken female lineage has kept a legacy of wisdom alive for a thousand years. But the all-powerful Catholic Church has sworn to destroy Bridget for using her healing talents and supernatural abilities. Bridget's duty to continue the bloodline leads her into the arms of Raoul de Montvallant - a Catholic. But when the Church's savage religious intolerance causes Raoul to turn rebel, a terrible vengeance is exacted by Simon de Montfort, the unstoppable Catholic leader of a crusade against peaceful 'heretics'. As war rages on, it is the children of these passionate souls, Magda and Dominic, who must strive to preserve the ancient knowledge for future generations - and find the love and courage to endure...
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 448 pages
- Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
- Publication Date: 07/12/2006
- Category: Historical fiction
- ISBN: 9780751538991
Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews.
Review by lindymc
Set in the south of France, 13th century, when the Catholic Church set out to destroy the Cathars. This was known as the Albigensian Crusade, led by Simon de Monfort (father of the Simon who led the Baron's revolt in England against Henry III in SKP's Falls the Shadow). The historical background was new territory for me - I'd never heard of this crusade, and had only a passing introduction to the Cathars. There is a comparison to the premise put forth in the DaVinci Code - that of direct descent from Mary Magdalene. Good story, great characters, (2 generations) -- Elizabeth Chadwick in the forum referred to this novel as historical fiction with a bit of fantasy. The two female lead characters (mother Bridget and daughter Magda) have the power to heal and see into the future.
Review by Kasthu
Set in France in the early 13th century, Daughters of the Grail (previously published as Children of Destiny) features the Albigensian Crusade against the Cathar heresy. Bridget, while not a Cathar, is a healer who is wanted for heresy nonetheless. Her story is intertwined with that of Raoul de Montvallant, a Cathar sympathizer. The story continues in the next generation with Magda and Dominic.I’d studied the Cathars in school, but it’s been a while, so I was glad for the opportunity to have my memory refreshed. While I didn’t enjoy Daughters of the Grail as much as I've enjoyed some of Chadwick’s other novels (her earlier books are heavier on the romance than the history), I did enjoy the story, especially in the second half of the book, when Magda and Dominic’s stories took over. There is, however, great character development, and this novel is well-researched, as Chadwick’s books always are. I wasn’t too keen on all the “visions” that the characters kept having, and had a hard time keeping track of that was real and what wasn’t. On the other hand, Chadwick’s descriptions are excellent, and the scenes at the end are so horrifyingly real that you feel as though you’re actually there watching it all happen. For more on the Cathar heresy, read the first two pages of the author’s note at the end before reading this book.
Review by JessicaSim
This is the perfect book for when you feel the need to escape. The story will engulf you and take you to a different place and time. Through all the hardship of the story it will leave you feel reassured about love, though a bit sweetly depressed too.The story takes place in the middle ages and is set in the south of France. We get to meet some very brave people, they all are of very different beliefs but this doesn't hinder them as they are just trying to make the best of their lives and not hurt others. This is not as simple as it sounds though as (Church) politics and the hunger for power prove persistent enemies of a peaceful daily life. When you are acquainted with the beauty of the Languedoc and maybe even have dwelled in one of the old Castles and strongholds, this story will get even more compelling. I found it a great read and hearitly recommend it!
Review by Sarah_Gruwell
I've never read anything about the Albigensian Crusade nor about Cathars before. I mean, I've read mentions of them when reading medieval non-fiction, but it was only in passing and as footnotes. Yet, Elizabeth Chadwick brings it to bold and brilliant life in this book. I felt the peace the Cathars felt as they went willingly to their deaths, the never-ending fear of being forever hunted by a fanatical sector of the Roman Church, and the love that springs between individuals despite the horror of persecution. Chadwick's talent at world building and transporting her readers into the past shows itself again with wonderful skill.Elizabeth Chadwick brings her characters to vivid life again, as well. I especially enjoyed Magda and her romance with Dominic. One of those fated loves are always a joy to read for me. Magda isn't afraid to stick up for what she wants in life, a man who will walk life with her and not only father a child on her. Raoul also was a character after my own heart. A man who devotes his life to his people and his family, trying to better their lives and protect them to the best of his ability given the harsh circumstances of a Crusade against them. I was not especially in love with Bridget, though. I found her very hard to connect with. She seemed almost too good to be true, too sure of her place in life and where that life is to go. There only seemed to be that one goal in life and almost no other direction for her character. Probably why I feel more connected to her daughter than her.The use of fantastical elements like the Sight and hands on healing actually worked fairly well. I went into the novel expecting to have to grit my teeth and skim over those parts for the beauty of the historical setting that I knew would be there, given the author. However, I was pleasantly surprised. The use of these magic elements were woven into the narrative in a way that presented them as just another thread in the tapestry of the story. They weren't front and center; Magda and Bridget were pretty blase about them actually. And while some of the other characters seemed a little too blase at times (I mean, your girlfriend can heal with a touch and you just blink in a medieval setting?!?!), that part wasn't really that big a part. Things kept flowing on story wise and everything was woven into the overall plot nicely.I vastly enjoyed this addition to my medieval historical fiction shelf. Elizabeth Chadwick does it again with talent and aplomb. And while some of the characters were a bit hard for me to connect with, everything else came together to create a fantastic story.