Diane Bonavist

on Tour

December 1-14



Purged by Fire:
Heresy of the Cathars

(historical fiction)

 Release date: July 29, 2016
at Bagwyn Books

ISBN: 978-0-86698-810-0
274 pages


In the thirteenth-century, a unique civilization flourished in the region that is now Southwestern France. The tolerant rulers of this realm embraced the Cathar faith which kept the simple teachings of the early followers of Christ, and rejected the venality of the Catholic Church.

To destroy the heretical faith, the pope declared a holy war. With the infamous words “Kill them all, God will recognize his own,” the crusade against Christendom began. For two decades, these wars decimated the old regions of the Languedoc and the troubadour culture. But when they still failed to destroy the heretical faith, the papacy gave special powers of inquisition to Dominican monks. Their mission was to root out heretics, compel confessions, and burn the unrepentant at the stake.
Purged by Fire tells the intertwining stories of three people enmeshed in the treachery of the Inquisition. Isarn Benet believes he has survived the wars by accepting the pope’s will and the French rule, until Marsal, the child he once rescued, arrives on his doorstep, forcing him to question every conciliation he has ever made. Marsal has lost everything to the Inquisition. Raised to always turn the other cheek, now she wants back what the Catholic Church has stolen, and she will aid anyone who helps her do so, even outlaws and rebels. Isarn’s son Chrétien can barely remember his life as a soldier and troubadour, the time before he knew and loved Marsal. Condemned and hunted by the Catholic Church, the two escape to the mountain fortress of Montségur.
Here, as the forces of the Inquisition lay siege to their place of refuge, they must make one final choice—between life and love or death and faith!
Eiffel Tower Orange


purged-by-fire-diane-bonavistDiane Bonavist’s fiction
has appeared in Tiferet Journal,
The Milo Review, Fable Online,
and The RavensPerch.
She is a former Editor in chief of Tiferet Journal.

Her other novels are  Daughters of Nyx,
a mystery of ancient Greece and Waters and the Wild,
a multi-generational story set in the Hudson River Valley,
both to be published in 2017. 

Visit her website. Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter

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Buy the book  on Amazon


I found the descriptions of the day to day religious life of the Cathars to be just as interesting as the historical period.
I felt that the author did a nice job of exploring the various players in the events and helped to bring this sad period to life through her characters.
For those who enjoy learning about history through fiction, I feel it is a good book for learning about the crusade against the Cathars.

The French Village Diaries

From the beginning I enjoyed the writing style and the alternating chapters.
This book gave me a good insight to the religious discrimination and persecution of these times and why the Christian beliefs of the Cathars were at odds with the French crown and Roman Catholic Pope. Not an easy subject, but Diane has made it very readable. I’m sure this book will appeal to anyone who enjoys reading historical fiction.

Musings of a Writer & Unabashed Francophile

I was immediately pulled into the story in the first pages.
I felt immersed in the world Ms Bonavist created. I’m hoping that she will write more historical fiction, whether about Cathars or others.


I knew little about the history of the Cathars. The author gives an excellent description of what the Cathars believed in, compared to the Catholic French.


 I would recommend this book to anyone interested in French history from the 13th Century. I myself enjoy reading historical novels and did enjoy this story, but most likely would have enjoyed it more if I had more knowledge about the Cathars before reading.

Good, enjoyable: for the ending and the plot twist.

Eiffel Tower Orange