In the borderlands of the village Les Échelles, giants sleep and werewolves howl. Travelers must cross deep gorges to pay visit. The only strangers are treasure-hunters seeking the riches of Zahara, a drowned Crusader bride. She planted the nearby woods with rich botanicals, now the healing herbs of Irène Guéri, apothecary in these parts. When a cruel invader storms the village he brings along his shy, though brilliant alchemist, Joaquíno Durande. Will Irene join forces with this scholar, risking her profession and her neighbors’ trust, or flee to the valley? Enormous decisions await, and great danger as friends, neighbors, and even the tools of Irene’s workshop rise, enchanted, into the fray of war.
My Favourite Quotes:
Again I must limit myself to five quotes! My mantra when I get to this section of my review especially with this book!
“‘A healer’s best cure,” LaSage said often, ‘is to help the patient heal himself.’… ‘People have within them the best means to recover. They need to find the will.'”
“Some people are determined to hate, Madame LaSage told Irene. They’ll spurn you, report you, even when you offer good advice. They are spent souls. Fear and pain has vanquished them. No cures or act of friendship will penetrate.”
“Would their lips meet? Could she turn away? She couldn’t. The salt in her eyes already tingled. His fingers on her wrist held tight. Their pulse was one. It hammered in her brain and deep inside her throat. She inhaled sharply, but before the air had reached her lungs, his mouth had drunk it in, and they kissed, tied with a filament of moonlight, breath ceasing, sight swirling, two sorcerers entangled in the firmament.” (I hold my breath every time I read that one and release it in an epic literary sigh.)
“Noisette lifted one hand to her mouth, ‘Baron Durande says some creatures you take for enemies can be friends if you let them. A snake and a bird. A fox and a hare. A wise woman and a liar. If their spheres align, even opposites can become friends.'”
“It was deeds in the end that counted. Not titles or oaths, those mixed-up, malleable things that fussed and stirred like sand in your eye or ashes in a downdrift.”
“Even if it was death they faced, they were not alone. Dying willingly with those one loved was triumph. Something poets would write about – the town that fell into a chasm to save itself.”
(And yes I can count! haha I just had to put one more in!)
2019 appears to be the year of book reviews of authors I have previously reviewed. Could it be because I loved their first books and was compelled to break my current I am not reviewing any books in 2019 rule? The answer is an emphatical: YES!
You can find my previous review of Laura Matthis Bendoly’s YA novel Laerka here! (Which is still one of my all-time favourite book covers!)
Now on to The Peddler of Wisdom!
Dear Readers, have you ever come across an author who was meant to write a specific genre of novels? Well, I have and it is Laura Matthis Bendoly and historic & supernatural fiction! Just wow!
From her ability to submerge me in 17th century France with mesmerizing world building, to a plot which kept me on my toes, I was instantly hooked by The Peddler of Wisdom.
Her female protagonist was strong, independent and caring while being in a world where her very existence was threatened by her chosen profession, yet she never let anything stop her from being exactly who she needed to be for herself and the people in her village.
I was drawn into the story so much in fact that I actually dreamt I was a part of the storyline after I finished the book (in one day!)! This has never happened to me literary lovelies, EVER!
Lastly, there were so many quotable passages in the book that at one point I just started writing down the pages numbers and putting a tiny pencil dot write beside the sentence. My hands also ached at the end by my intense clutch of this stunning novel!
So if you are a lover of historical fiction, strong women, an intricate plot and just vivid writing this novel is for you!
I heart The Peddler of Wisdom this much:
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ !!
You can buy The Peddler of Wisdom from Amazon here! (*** AND I MEAN IT GO PURCHASE IT ASAP!!)
You can also check out Laura Matthis Bendoly’s Facebook Page!
As well as her blog: laurambendoly.com
*** Copy received from the author in exchange for an honest review ***