Amazon 5 Star Review:
Wow! Reading this book is like spending time in Ancient Greece! The author's ability to make the customs and culture, the system of government, and the class system of that time come alive is remarkable. As for the plot and the murder mystery, I have to admit I never saw the conclusion coming! A very good read.
Daughters of Nyx
It is 428 b.c.e. and Athens is roiling with intrigue over Pericles’ successor. Were it days ago, Timarcus would be at its center. But Kore has unexpectedly returned to him after seven years of separation and he is once again besotted. Then as quickly as she returns, she is gone, struck down by Apollo’s gentle arrow. Yet if it was a natural death, why can Timarcus 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 about her death, 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 weave the fate of men.
An Editor's pick at BookLife~Publisher's Weekly
This novel completely transported me to ancient Greece, bringing history to life. The author is in total command of the setting and time period. You just step back in time and feel like you are living there, worrying about the brewing battle between Athens and Lesbos, and as you follow Timarcus as he tries to figure out who killed Kore, the love of his life. The prose is absolutely beautiful and yet never gets in the way of this elegant, fast-moving mystery.~ Jan Brogan, author of the Hallie Ahern series.
Bonavist immerses readers in ancient Greece with cultural and historical tidbits that are subtly woven in without feeling stilted. Her inclusion of genuine belief in Greek gods and Timarcus’s fear of a painful afterlife for Kore are especially welcome motivators of character action. She also captures Timarcus’s grief in delicate complexity as he veers from total dejection and disbelief to violent rage. Other emotions, including Zeno’s complex feelings for Timarcus, add more layers to the story.
...the propulsive story holds the reader’s interest all the way to the end. Readers will enjoy following Timarcus through the puzzles in this deeply researched historical.
Takeaway: Fans of classical settings and amateur investigators will savor this fully realized ancient Greek mystery and its resonant portrayal of grief. ~ BookLife/Publisher's Weekly
What Readers and Writers say about Purged By Fire
"...utterly beguiling" — Kirkus Reviews
"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 The Muralist and The Art Forger
“...a richly detailed depiction of everyday medieval life." — Historical Novel Society
I so thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I could not put it down. ...I simply enjoyed the fact that this was a well written historical fiction. Life, love, and the human spirit soar from the pages and filled me bountifully! — Kyra Morris
... 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