I was hooked on The Night’s Dark Shade from the very first page. Raphaelle, though sometimes scared, is strong in mind, heart and beliefs. Elena has a wonderful knack of describing places so that you feel you are there, seeing them in your mind’s eye. I was instantly intrigued in the Cathars and their very strange beliefs. I had no idea there were people in history who had such a distorted look at Christianity.
I found the novel to be well researched, fast moving and completely enjoyable. It’s a story full of substance, complex characters, just the right mix of history and fiction and wonderfully lacking in fluff. A novel of love and hate, good and evil, I enjoyed each word and was sorry to see it end.
Virginie kindly asked me to write a little about how I came to write the book, and about some of the historical background. Here is an excerpt of my article:
...As for the characters in the novel, Queen Blanche, the mother of Louis IX, was an actual person, as was the royal seneschal and cousin of the king, Imbert de Beaujeu. The Cathar bishop and his deacon whom Raphaëlle meets in Lady Esclarmonde’s tower were based upon real people as well. The historical events alluded to throughout the novel are all genuine. As for the places, “Bécède” was a Cathar castle in real life and it was indeed besieged by the Lord Imbert. “Mirambel” is the name of the stronghold at Lourdes. I once visited an English hostel at the base of the castle mount. A door in an upper story of the hostel opened up into a sort of cave under the castle; it became clear to me that subterranean passages were a distinct possibility.
The Night's Dark Shade is available for purchase HERE.