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The Muse of Freedom: a Cevenoles Sagas novel

Author(s): Jules Larimore

Location(s): Cévennes (Cevennes)

Genre(s): Historical, Fiction

Era(s): late 17th century

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: an adventure to carry the reader through a thrilling and obscure slice of French history.

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