Shadows of Montsegur, written by J. (Joan) Sowards, is for students of life and history. The tragic story of Andreva de Beringer takes place during the Inquisition.
Sowards says this about her book, “Andreva, responds joyfully to her uncle’s bidding to leave the abbey and come to Southern France to care for her grandmother. The village is terrorized by the Inquisition. The army surrounds the fortress of Montsegur. Andreva’s beliefs are challenged as she witnesses the cruelty of the priests who claim to be acting in God’s name. She must fight to save the lives of her family and keep the young man she loves.”
A lifelong student of the history of Christianity, Sowards is a seasoned storyteller. She was drawn to the true tale when her college daughter wrote a paper on the Cathar religion and their extermination by the Inquisition. Sowards says, “The people were given an ultimatum to denounce their religion or burn at the stake. Over 200 men and women chose to die for their beliefs.”
Sowards says there are several important lessons to be learned from their story: “Much of history has been forgotten, such as the story of the Cathars. Let’s not forget they sacrificed for what they believed was true. Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it. People can respect one another, live peacefully side by side, and still respect the right of each to believe his own way.”
Joyce Horstmann, a reader of Shadows of Montsegur, says, “Joan Sowards’ riveting story of Andreva, a dedicated and loyal young woman of faith who must come to terms with the atrocities committed by her beloved Catholic Church during the Inquisition, portrays the power of love in the face of both religious and social strife. The heroine proves much stronger than she ever believed she could be as she learns to listen to the Spirit and choose her own fate.”
The author is currently serving a mission at Martin’s Cove in central Wyoming at the Mormon Handcart Historical Site.
Other books written by J. Sowards include Haunts Haven, Chocolate Roses, The Star Prophecy, Bridges of the Heart, and Clairvoyance. They are available on Kindle and in hard copy on Amazon.