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The Treasure of Montségur

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  373 ratings  ·  52 reviews
One woman's unforgettable quest for freedom, love, and god.
ebook, 304 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published 2002)
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Kate Lawrence
The story of the Cathars was brought vividly to my attention when I read Labyrinth, by Kate Mosse, a few years ago. I wanted to see what another novelist might make of the story. Burnham follows the legend of the hidden treasure, supposedly secured in a remote cave at the direction of Cathar leaders on the night before they were forced to surrender Montsegur to the French in 1244. Specifically, this novel is the story of the woman entrusted with the dangerous mission of hiding the treasure--sack ...more
I have to begin this review by telling you that I am Catholic. Not a go to church every Sunday Catholic but one that sends prayer and praise in the right direction and has a working relationship with my God...lately, that means I talk a lot and if He's not stuffing clouds in his ears, He's listening. Anyhoooo....

I enjoyed this book because it explored faith outside the church and reminded me that regardless of our chosen religions and the endless lessons on 'judge not', we just don't seem to tru
Kathryn Bashaar
I read this book while travelling in Languedoc, where it takes place. I really enjoyed it. I like how Jeanne is looking back on her life and admitting that she was jealous and headstrong in her youth. And I like how her spiritual life brings her contentment in old age, in spite of poverty and persecution. She is a wonderful, strong, vivid character. But, there is no escaping the Catholic church's persecution of heretics. This book is very sympathetic to the Cathar heretics, and casts them in a v ...more
♥ Marlene♥
On Monday, September 15, 2008 I wrote about this book:

I feel awful because you mailed this book all the way from Australia to me, but I did not like it at all.
Just visited amazon and there I noticed, yes it has some great reviews but most people don't agree with those reviews.
I was very disappointed cause I had expected so much more. The part where Jeanne grew up as a young girl and her first love was interesting, so i thought hey, this is going to be great, but then we went back to the future w
This is a fascinating look at the extermination of the Cathars from the South of France in the Middle Ages. The Cathars were a group of Christians with beliefs quite different from the Catholics. As a result, a crusade was waged against them and they were all killed.

This novel is set during that time, with a protagonist who was raised by Cathars. The story is told with alternating view points and flashbacks, which together weave an interesting and heartfelt story.

This is historical fiction at i
Overall it was a great book and a real page turner. I finished it on vacation in a couple of days. I would have given it 5 stars, except for two things that irked me, as noted by other reviewers. First, the visions of the "future-time." I felt that it was a ploy to pad the story and didn't contribute to the plot. Also, the ending was unsatisfying to me, not necessarily because of what happened, but how the author portrayed it. However, it wouldn't prevent me from recommending the book, as it is ...more
I've always been fascinated with the history of the Cathars so when I saw this book for sale at the library, I had to buy it. It's a very easy read and beautifully written. It's also an illuminating look into the life of one of the Cathars from a personal perspective, which is refreshing compared to the historical, non-fiction texts I've read on this subject.
Overall, I liked the style of this book well enough that I would read more by this author. I think anyone who didn't know the history of th
Karen Whittingham
I just finished reading this book, The Treasure of Montsegur: A Novel of the Cathars, by Sophy Burnham, while still engrossed in "Kingsblood Royal," but I want to write my review while it's still fresh.

I've read several books on the Cathar heretics and their supposed treasure smuggled out of Montsegur before the mass martyrdom of the Cathars, and I have to say that far and away this is the best! Not only does Burnham capture the blended Catholic-Cathar culture of the South of France and its para
Read 2003 to unanimous applause at the Jasmine Creek Book Group.

The Treasure of Montségur: A Novel of the Cathars, by Sophy Burnham. 2003. 304 p.
In 1209 in Béziers, France, the Inquisition is charged with exterminating Cathars, the Church of Love. It is a time of terror, with neighbor pitted against neighbor, and religious passions running high; a time of suspicion, burnings, and systematic genocide. Against this turbulent background, Jeanne of Béziers finds herself embroiled in the resistance,
I was "so-so" about the book, but our book club had a lot of fun talking about it. The main character wasn't very attractive and the more we talked about it, I began to think that this was a crafty and precise strategy on the part of the author, in order to tell the story. The tone was bitter and frightening which enabled the writer to focus on the horror of the inquisition (I don't want to capitalize it because it was such a horrific time in history). One of our book club members was moved by s ...more
I enjoyed reading this book, but it seemed sparse, and the ending seemed very contrived. I would recommend to those who enjoy reading the "destined to be damned" type of historical fiction.
A beautifully written book, with a storyline told from the perspective of a female living at the time of the Cathars.
I had this on my "to read" list for about 10 years. Then I began reading Ina Caro's "Road from the Past" (see my currently reading list -yes I'm still reading it - it's one of those books you parcel out and savor) and she has a chapter that talks about the Cathars as she described Montsegur, Beziers and other medieval fortified cities in SW France. The Cathar's were a religious group that broke from the Church in the 13th C. They advocated among other things translating the Bible into the French ...more
At first I thought the unusual style of writing would put me off but once I got into the rythm I found it a real page-turner. Jeanne was a headstrong, foolish & jealous woman, full of human foibles & likeable because of it. Her story, & the story of the Cathars, is one of hardship, of faith, & also of happiness. I thought the ending quite lovely.

I won't go into the atrocities perpetrated by the Catholic Church throughout history, & all in the name of God & the one true fa
“Kill them all, God will know His own”

When questioned by a crusader on how to recognize true Catholics from Heretics during the battle at Bezier in 1209, this was the answer from a papal legate. Subsequently, 20,000 people were massacred.

The story of the Albigensian Crusade and the extermination of the Cathars by members of the Catholic Church by orders of the Pope in 13th C France is one that is not widely known. The Crusade was a win-win situation for both the Church and the nobility of Langu
I wouldn't even put one star if I had to choose, but I wanted to write a review for other teens who are thinking of getting this book. I got this book from the library yesterday. I often read adult category books, amish and historical fiction. This was an awful book, I only got to the first couple chapters and put it down. I was expecting it to be a good book, but it wasn't at all. Don't read this book if you are a teen as it has bad parts!
Jeanine Erades
Mooie meeslepende historische roman over het leven van Jeanne de Béziers, een van de overlevenden van het drama van Montségur, waarbij 200 katharen levend werden verbrand. Mooie beschrijving/beleving van de kathaarse religie en de geestelijke ontwikkeling van Jeanne.
First I want to say that I got this book free through the Goodreads giveaway. This is the first book I have read by Sophy Burnham, but it won't be the last. I love historical fiction and was not disappointed by this book. I enjoyed reading about Jeanne's journey, the humanness of her spiritual journey, the struggles and triumphs. Great read. I had a hard time putting it down.
A fascinating tale in that it was completely new to me. That is one of my favorite parts of the historical fiction genre, the opportunity to learn something new. I liked how time and events were revealed with recall and questions asked.
Sara Elise
this is maybe one of the best books i've ever read? the characters are fully human, the writing is extraordinary, the novel is really interestingly paced.
Ivani Torales
Muy buena novela para conocer más a fondo la historia y las creencias de los cátaros que habitaban en la antigua Occitania.
La novela se centra en la vida de la protagonista, Jeanne, fascinada por la vida mundana, pero aferrada a sus amigos creyentes y a su fe cátara. Esta constante lucha interna se ve reflejada en los acontecimientos externos, hasta que Jeanne tiene que hacer su elección final: renunciar a su fe para seguir viva o morir y alcanzar la Iluminación.
Punto positivo para los datos his
An excellent work of historical fiction. I will be looking for more works by Sophy Burnham.
Keri Roberts
One of my favourite books of FOREVER
Aug 05, 2008 Knotarainni rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Medieval history buffs
I picked up this book because it is the same time period in France as the book I just read, Virgin Blue. In my travels to France, I visited more cathedrals and churches than is possible to remember. This fictional account of historic events filled in some of the gaps in my understanding of the violence unleashed by the Catholic church in their holy war against the Cathars and other religions and sects. I couldn't put it down, but I don't think it's necessarily a mainstream read.
Torn on this book. I don't know if I liked the ending or not. But not liking the ending doesn't necessarily mean it's poorly written.

The Treasure of Montsegur deals with a very hard time to live in man's history. The author treats the Cathar religion as if it is true, does her best to give a satisfying ending to a very sad situation. The graphic, gratuitous sex left me wishing I'd never picked up the book. If author hadn't added it, I would have enjoyed the story and characters better.

Otherwise well researched and written.
Sarah Bressers
I hardly knew anything about the Cathars before reading this book, so the newly learned history was good. I did not like the heroin much, especially in her younger days, but she felt real enough. I was annoyed by the recurring telling of the visions a fool from her childhood had of 'the future times', which did not add anything to the story and felt like a cheap trick; but overall I liked the book.
13th century Fraice is a perilous place for Christians whose doctrine differes from that of the Roman Catholic Church, but poverty confers the protective mantle of invisibility. Once lady of her own manor, Jeanne is just another beggar, a hag dependent upon the charity of her betters. When her latest benefactor recognizes her for a Cathar, a heretic, Jeanne must flee for her life.
Christie Mathis
While it was a little confusing to get into in the beginning, I can not blame the book for this. I had a lot going on when I was reading this. I would suggest giving this book more of your attention than I was able to. It was a very interesting story and I loved reading it.
I found this book extremely interesting as I had never read anything about the Cathars before. I am now intrigued and will go and follow up about this sect and what happened to them and if they are still in existence.

I would have liked to have got to know the characters a little more in depth, but apart from this, I found it a great read and would recommend it.
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Sophy Burnham is an award-winning playwright, novelist, and non-fiction writer. Three of her books have appeared on THE NEW YORK TIMES and other best seller lists. Her works have been translated into twenty-four languages. Her articles and essays have been published in ESQUIRE, NEW YORK, THE NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE, TOWN & COUNTRY, READER'S DIGEST and many other magazines. In addition to her t ...more
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