Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Mortal Glamour

A Mortal Glamour by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
Historical Fiction
The convent La Tres Saunte Annunciacion in France is experiencing some tough times. It is the 14th century and the country has just gone through the devastation of the Black Plague which killed thousands. The Catholic Church has two popes; one is in Rome, while the other is in the French city of Avignon. They are both seeking power and are at odds with each other.

Seur Aungelique has been sent to the convent by her father for refusing to marry a groom of his choice. She is young and headstrong and escapes one night to go to the Comtesse Orienne who is very sexually accomplished and just interested in her own pleasures. Aungelique hopes to meet Pierre Fornault whom she loves.

She is brought back to the convent and under the new Mother Superior Leonie is given strict penances. Soon however moans of pleasure and pain can be heard from her cell every night. Degradation seems to slowly follow for the rest of the convent and the sisters and even the animals and crops fail.

This is a very slow moving story and the reader must have 'stick-to-it-ness' to keep at it. This is a basic story about good and evil. It was interesting on how the Church felt it should deal with this situation but this story was just too dark and slow for me

First Line: "In Saunt-Vitre-lo-Sur most of the houses were deserted; rye and oats stood unharvested in the frost-shriveled fields."

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