The Orphans of Tolosa Trilogy

 
LISTEN TO THE WIND Book Cover

LISTEN TO THE WIND

Book I of the Orphans of Tolosa Trilogy

Epic historical adventure at its best! Complex, engrossing, and dramatic“—Kirkus Reviews

 

Sent away for their own protection when they were very young, Azemar and Azalaïs become separated when they flee from the band of outlaws who served as their supposed protectors. Armed only with fleeting memories, their names, and the wits and intelligence that have helped them survive brutal conditions, they struggle to find each other again and discover the mysterious past that links them across distance and time.

 

Who are they? And do they hold the secret of the legendary Cathar treasure? All they know is that knights and priests spell danger, and they must survive at all costs if they are to fulfill their destiny. Readers who love Game of Thrones and the medieval epics of Ken Follett will love being immersed in this first volume of The Orphans of Tolosa trilogy.

 

Medieval Historical Fiction, 388 pages, 6 x 9

Trade Paperback, $17.95, ISBN: 978-1942209584

E-Book, $5,99, ISBN: 978-1942209591

Praise and Honors for Listen to the Wind

 

NYC BIG BOOK AWARD ~ Distinguished Favorite for

Historical Fiction

THE BOOKLIFE PRIZE ~ 2019 Quarter-finalist

CHANTICLEER INTERNATIONAL BOOK AWARDS

Chaucer Award in Historical Fiction ~ Semi-finalist

"Susanne Dunlap's sweeping saga captivates readers' imaginations from the first page, plunging them back into the Languedoc region of France in the 13th Century. Her impeccable research allows her three spirited protagonists to live, love, fight and breathe life into the dangerous period of rebellion and inquisition. . . A compelling read for lovers of adventure and romance." --Anne Easter Smith, author of A Rose for the Crown, Daughter of York, Royal Mistress

"Dunlap (The Academie, 2012, etc.) breathes life into the distant 13th-century setting by providing many everyday, textural details, such as the uncomfortable realities of wearing jousting armor. Poetry and music are as essential to the plot as warfare, with engaging glimpses of trobairitz (female troubadours). . . . A complex, absorbing, and dramatic start to a planned series." - Kirkus Reviews

". . . an absolutely fascinating adventure of two orphans, born of the heretical Cathar faith in the rugged land of the Languedoc in 13th century France, who are separated suddenly when young. . . . The author is both a superb story teller and a rich historian of the period. Its customs and language, castles, troubadours, mountains, thick forests, villages, monasteries, and vineyards come vividly to life as Azemar and Azalaïs find themselves drawn into a path that will shape history." - Stephanie Cowell, author of Claude and Camille: a novel of Monet.

"This novel casts a spell with its rich setting of 13th century France, and I was immediately caught up in the lives of the main characters, particularly Azalais, an orphan struggling to survive in the Languedoc countryside who uses her intelligence to reach for a potentially dazzling future. Readers who love history will be fascinated by the context of the period's dangerous conflicts in religion and secular power. And those who enjoy suspense will be riveted by the mystery contained in a parchment. In its mix of page-turning thriller with well researched historical novel, it draws comparison to the finely crafted work of Kate Mosse and Ariana Franklin." - Nancy Bilyeau, author of The Blue and the Joanna Stafford trilogy

"Susanne Dunlap's Listen to the Wind is an engaging work of historical fiction replete with sympathetic characters. The novel is set in thirteenth-century Languedoc, a time when families are torn apart by religious persecution....The fortitude and ingenuity of her characters helps them adapt to all manner of circumstances, and the result is an engaging tale of escape, secrets, and mental toughness. For those looking for a smartly written captivating read, I highly recommend this first book in the Orphans of Tolosa trilogy." - Amy M. Hawes, Book Club Babble

"This book was very powerful, and one that was hard to put down. The story of Azalais, as she navigates a world that she does not fully understand, will leave the reader wishing for more, yet content." - The International Review of Books

"Populated by characters worth rooting for, both the nefarious and the outspoken heroes, this novel is packed with heart, imagination, and incredible testament to the human spirit." - The BookLife Prize

THE SPIRIT OF FIRE Book Cover

THE SPIRIT OF FIRE

Book II of the Orphans of Tolosa Trilogy

The journey continues

 

Thirteenth-century Languedoc, torn apart by decades of crusades against the Cathar heretics, braces for the final stand of the Catholic Church against the Good Men and Good Women at the remote fortress of Montsegur. Azemar and Azalais, now fugitives after their daring escape from the castel de Belascon, must try to reach the fortress—and fulfill their destiny—before it’s too late.

 

But the captivating trobairitz Jordane de la Moux d’Aniort and her damozel Johana have escaped with them at the last minute, putting them all in grave peril. Will Jordane’s conflicting purpose of reuniting with the rebel Raimon de Berenger thwart Azemar and Azalais’s quest?

 

A cryptic note leads Azemar to the Templar stronghold at Mas Deu, where he undergoes brutal trials—only to discover that his ultimate purpose could lead him to destroy the very culture and religion he wants to preserve.

 

The Spirit of Fire is Book II of the Orphans of Tolosa Trilogy.

 

Medieval Historical Fiction, 328 pages, 6 x 9

Trade Paperback, $17.95, ISBN: 978-1942209614

E-Book. $5.99, ISBN: 978-1942209621

 
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VOICES IN THE MIST

Book III of the Orphans of Tolosa Trilogy

What came before

Marry a Catholic stranger, or flee the only world she’s ever known: Headstrong Bruna de Gansard must choose one or the other to protect her Cathar family from the inquisitors. 

Toulouse, 1229. The inquisitors have arrived to rid the city of Cathar heretics once and for all, and are putting all unmarried girls over the age of 12 to the question. After an incident in the town calls unwanted attention to 14-year-old Bruna, a young Catholic stranger who is sympathetic to the heretics warns her family about the looming danger, and volunteers to marry their daughter to save her from being questioned.

But Bruna doesn’t want to be forced into marriage, so she chooses flight—which lands her unexpectedly in the midst of a Catholic pilgrimage to Compostela, thrusting her into a life of deceit. 

When her beauty and her voice bring her to the attention of the powerful Baron de Belascon, who owes fealty to the king of France, Bruna earns the enmity of the baron’s bitter and imperious mother and finds herself caught between her allegiance to her own people and the dangerous secret of her origins—a secret that can be revealed at any time after the arrival of a French knight who recognizes her. 

The Orphans of Tolosa Trilogy comes to a dramatic end in this gripping story of loyalty and betrayal, set amidst the violence and peril of the Albigensian Crusades.

Medieval Historical Fiction

Trade Paperback ISBN:  978-1942209843

E-Book  ISBN:  978-1942209850

On Sale September 21, 2021