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City of Wisdom and Blood: Fortunes of France: Volume 2 (Paperback)
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This is book number 2 in the Fortunes of France series.
Montpellier in 1566 is one of the greatest seats of learning of the age, a cradle of Renaissance humanism. But even this proud city of philosophers is not safe from the menaces that endanger the peace of France--the city militia are struggling to contend with the lawlessness and religious hatred that threaten to tear the whole country in two. Only fools walk the streets at night unarmed, while a profession of faith in the wrong company can lead to a knife in the back.
Now an adult, Pierre de Siorac must leave the family stronghold of Mespech, and travel south on dangerous roads to the great university city, accompanied by his strapping but naive brother Samson and the crafty Miroul. Well-armoured, with swords and pistols at their belts, the trio are confident of repelling any bandits who cross their path, but their new life away from the safety of their home will bring with it many other new dangers and delights.
Following on from The Brethren, City of Wisdom and Blood is the second book the sweeping saga, Fortunes of France.
About the Author
Robert Merle (1908-2004) was born in French Algeria, before moving to mainland France in 1918. Originally an English teacher, Merle served as an interpreter with British Expeditionary Force during the Second World War, and was captured by the German army at Dunkirk, the experience of which served as the basis for his Goncourt-prize-winning Weekend at Zuydocoote. He published the 13 volumes of his hugely popular Fortunes of France series over four decades, from 1977 to 2003, the final volume appearing just a year before his death of a heart attack in 2004.
Translated from the French by T. Jefferson Kline.
Praise for The Brethren:
"Swashbuckling historical fiction... For all its philosophical depth [The Brethren] is a hugely entertaining romp... The comparisons with Dumas seem both natural and deserved and the next 12 instalments [are] a thrilling prospect." — Christobel Kent, Guardian
"A vivid novel by France's modern Dumas... [there is] plenty of evidence in the rich characterisation and vivid historical detail that a reader's long-term commitment will be amply rewarded." — Sunday Times
"We're swept away by triumph, tragedy, action and adventure... It's a novel like this that makes reviewing one of the best jobs in the world." — Bookbag, Five Star Review
"Cleverly depicts France's epic religious wars through the intimate prism of one family's experience... Beautifully written." — Metro
Praise for the series:
"The spectacular 13-volume evocation of 16th-17th-century France." — Independent
"A master of the historical novel." — Guardian
"Robert Merle is one of the very few French writers who has attained both popular success and the admiration of critics. The doyen of our novelists is a happy man." — Le Figaro
"A wonderful, colourful, breathlessly narrated historical panorama." — Zeitpunkt
"The Dumas of the twentieth century." — Neues Deutschland