Review of Montségur by Catherine de Courcy

Written by on August 29, 2018 in Book Reviews And Interviews

History and drama fans will really enjoy this terrific blend of fact and fiction.

Montségur by Catherine de Courcy starts in 1236 in southern France.

Esme, a young forest child finds herself caught up in the frightening days of the inquisition. Raimond, her foster brother is taken by an inquisitor called Friar Pierre Tiquè and forced into the service of the inquisition. Horrified, Esme follows them, her journey taking her through Carcassonne and Foix, ending in Montségur. She starts her life again on top of the mountain with members of the Cathar religion, detested by the Catholic Church because their beliefs differed. She learns about their simple way of life and practices and develops an understanding of Montségur’s connection to the bloodline of Jesus and Mary Magdalene.

As the armies of the Catholic church surround the mountain, Esme discovers wisdom and strength from deep within as the intentions of the besiegers become apparent.

A tale of history and drama

Montségur is a novel that’s about bravery, love, faith and passion. Esme is a young girl, full of life, determined, caring and loving to all around her despite her hard start in life. Throughout the story, her desire to be with Raimond and protect him are unyielding. She is a hearty character, striding into the action whenever she can, standing guard and giving sanctuary. With help from the elders she treasures, she is steady with everything she faces.

Catherine de Courcy’s descriptive writing brings alive the struggles faced by the Cathars every day from the Roman church and the inquisitors. It goes a long way to show how faith can prevail in the harshest of circumstances. The history of the high Middle Ages has been integrated well into the novel, using details of well researched, documented historical figures, adding depth to the saga. There are twists and turns, details about the Cathar beliefs and practices and about a dramatic period of history in France that continues to fascinate to this day.

The descriptive narrative of the land, the forests, lakes, villages and castles is vivid, it allows you to follow Esme’s journey for hours and hours building up images in your head of what she is going through.

Available from Amazon.

Find out more about Catherine de Courcy at her website:

Related Articles

Le Mot Juste: How to Impress Tout le Monde with Your French

Le Mot Juste: How to Impress Tout le Monde with Your French A tiny but fabulous book of words – French words. The sort of words that roll of the tongue and sound delicious, romantic and so… well French! Imogen Fortes has pulled together a list of fabulous French words that are used in every […]

Continue Reading

Finding Gilbert: A promise fulfilled by Diane Covington-Carter

This book is simply beautiful, within its pages are stories within stories, and they all began with an encounter between an American soldier and a little French boy in the months following the D-day landings on Omaha Beach, France, in June 1944. Finding Gilbert, a true story The soldier was the author’s father, Donald Kenneth […]

Continue Reading

Review of Parallel Lives by Jennifer Andrewes

This book is simply un-put-downable. Whether like me you are an expat who loves reading about other regions of this amazing country, you love visiting France on holiday, are considering moving here, or you simply enjoy taking a wonderful fly-on-the-wall glimpse into other people’s lives, this book will keep you captivated until the very last […]

Continue Reading

Review of Paris Postcards by Guy Thomas Hibbert

In a series of short stories of love, life and Paris, Guy Hibbert’s eloquent writing portrays the pulse of the city and the lives and loves of some of its inhabitants over a century. Standalone stories but in some, their fates intertwine in a clever twist that gives the book a coherence you don’t often […]

Continue Reading

Review of Riviera Dreaming by Maureen Emerson

Maureen Emerson has written a truly fascinating book about life on the French Riviera and two of the men who shaped its style in the early 20th century. About Maureen Emerson Maureen lived in Provence for 20 years, working as a local co-ordinator for CBS and NBC at media festivals in Cannes. Over the year, […]

Continue Reading


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.