Daughters of Nyx

Murder in Athens at the eve of the Peloponnesian war; an accusation that could change the fate of a nation state. A love that’s angered even the Daughters of Nyx, those fickle divinities who cut and weave the fate of men.

428 b.c.e. Athens is roiling with intrigue over Pericles’ successor. Were it days ago, Timarcus would be at its center. But Kore has unexpectedly come back to him after seven years of separation and he is once again besotted. But as quickly as she has returned, she is gone, struck down by Apollo’s gentle arrow. Yet if it was a natural death, why can he not feel her presence as his beliefs promise? Instead he is haunted by images of Kore’s shade weeping, unable to pass to Elysium’s bright fields. As Timarcus hunts for the truth, suspicion soon points to General Cleon, Athens' ruthless new ruler. Should Timarcus denounce the most powerful man in Athens, bringing exile or worse upon himself to avenge Kore? As he unravels the astounding secret about her death, the humbling gods make him understand that the two of them never had a say in what befell them. They had always been at the mercy of the Daughters of Nyx who decide the fate of men.

"...utterly beguiling" Kirkus Reviews

“...a richly detailed depiction of everyday medieval life." — Historical Novel Society 

 "The writing is lyrical, the characters deep, the plot fast-moving and the setting — 13th century France — is so rich you can taste it. I was bowled over by this ill-fated love story set amidst a war-torn Europe I knew nothing about."  — B.A. Shapiro  best-selling author of ‚Äč The Muralist and The Art Forger

... Bonavist’s debut work of historical fiction is set in a 13th-century France convulsed in religious conflict. The Catholic Church, in league with the French monarchy, conducted decades of war and crusades against the Languedoc region of southern France in an effort to extirpate the Cathars, the “good Christians” as they call themselves in Bonavist’s fast-moving and utterly beguiling story. The tightly woven exposition familiarizes readers with the complicated state of religious and psychological tension that exists in the South as peaceful Cathars try to go about their daily lives even as persecution at the hands of the Dominican-run Inquisition continues to mount. Three main characters are caught within these tensions: Isarn Benet, a legal advocate for the crown; Marsal, a strong-willed young woman Benet saved from the deadly siege of the city of Béziers; and a woman named Tibors, an elder of the Cathar faith and a healer of great local renown who gave safe harbor to Benet... The warmth of the portrait Bonavist paints of Tibors and her safe, sane little Cathar enclave makes the eventual horrors of the Inquisition feel more immediate than any history book... An absorbing reconstruction of the faith wars of the Middle Ages. A rich, intensely rewarding novel that humanizes a long-forgotten religious conflict.

 Kirkus Reviews 

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copyright  Diane Bonavist 2019