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Daughters of the Grail

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3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  495 ratings  ·  55 reviews
"Suspenseful and dramatic. Readers will care about these characters."
--Sharon Kay Penman
Author of The Sunne in Splendour
Thirteenth-century France. Bridget has grown up mastering the mystical gifts of her ancestor, Mary Magdalene, whose unbroken female lineage has kept a legacy of wisdom alive for a thousand years. But the all-powerful Catholic Church has sworn to destroy...more
Mass Market Paperback, 409 pages
Published June 27th 1995 by Ivy Books (first published October 15th 1993)
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Outlander by Diana GabaldonGone with the Wind by Margaret MitchellPride and Prejudice by Jane AustenHere be Dragons by Sharon Kay PenmanThe Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick
Hunks in History
56th out of 136 books — 246 voters
Spirit of Lost Angels by Liza PerratThe Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre DumasThe Three Musketeers by Alexandre DumasA Tale of Two Cities by Charles DickensThe Sister Queens by Sophie Perinot
Historical Fiction - France
53rd out of 191 books — 149 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,265)
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Misfit
This is really one of the best books I have ever read. It's not Gone With the Wind or the Far Pavilions, but it's pretty darn close. So much of the historical fiction I read is centered in England, Scotland and Wales, and I enjoyed reading about this period in history in southern France and about a religion I knew nothing about (having not yet read The DaVinci Code).

This was an exciting tale of Cathars, Knights Templar, evil priests, Bridget and her daughter Magda - descended from Mary Magdelen...more
Rio (Lynne)
Unlike Chadwick's more recent novels (this one is from 1993) this story has fictional main characters. Everything else though is full of history. Daughters of The Grail covers the brutal Catholic Crusade to wipe out The Cathars in 13th century France. Simon de Montfort, 5th Earl of Leicester (not to be confused with his son, who led the rebellion against Henry III) was approached by Pope Innocent III and The King of France, Phillip Augustus to lead the crusade. All of the real players are here i...more
Mira, a escriba
“As filhas do Graal” provou-me novamente o porquê de esta ser uma das minhas escritoras favoritas! Os pormenores subtis, inteligentemente usados, que combinados com todo o enredo e o desenrolar dos acontecimentos transmitem um toque de envolvência e verosimilhança que num romance histórico é imprescindível. Nas suas obras, somos, indiscriminadamente, marionetas que movemo-nos e avançamos ao ritmo dos acontecimentos e do mar de emoções. E não, não conto onde se encontra o Graal. Para o descobrire...more
Misfit
This is really one of the best books I have ever read. It's not Gone With the Wind or the Far Pavilions, but it's pretty darn close. So much of the historical fiction I read is centered in England, Scotland and Wales, and I enjoyed reading about this period in history in southern France and about a religion I knew nothing about (having not yet read The DaVinci Code).

This was an exciting tale of Cathars, Knights Templar, evil priests, Bridget and her daughter Magda - descended from Mary Magdelen...more
Jennifer
I greatly enjoyed this novel. It was a wonderful mix of historical fiction and mystical legend and the two were blended together so expertly that I sensed no division between them. Historical figures rub shoulders with fictional characters and together they have been woven into a brilliant story that will keep you intrigued throughout.
Set in the thirteenth century in the Languedoc, the cosmopolitan south of France, this is the story of Bridget, ancestor to both Mary Magdalene and the Virgin Mar...more
Karla (Mossy Love Grotto)
The plot has been covered in other reviews, so no need to retread that all here. Also, I'll be upfront and say that I didn't finish the book.

Daughters of the Grail had much to keep me interested at first, and I didn't have the urge to skim like I did with The Love Knot. However, eventually, the book hit a snag as the plot became cyclical and I wasn't interested in reading the same story all over again, only with different characters. So I tossed it. I read about half, and the grade is based on t...more
Tara Chevrestt
This was too slow for me. I gave up halfway thru, yet still waiting for the heroine, Bridget and the hero, Raoul, to "hook up" so to speak. Thus, the romance was slow to start up. Also, I found the action overall disappointing compared to Chadwick's others, namely The Love Knot and The Marsh King's Daughter. There is war and talk of religion and little else. What killed the whole story more for me than anything tho was Bridget's "healing powers." Supposedly a descendant of Mary Magdalene, she is...more
Lucinda
History is brought to life in this tale of religious strife, the unexplained supernatural and Catholic idealism.

Another spectacular novel by Elizabeth Chadwick, whose lengthy series of books on medieval England is truly outstanding, containing such depth and detail within. This beautiful book is about religious contention and rivalry amongst those within the church and those within court; whose ambitions lead to catastrophic changes. The author skillfully blends authentic period details with mo...more
Sandra
Uma verdadeira viagem no tempo até ao séc. XIII onde o leitor consegue absorver o ambiente que se vivia na altura em França. O enquadramento histórico está muito bem conseguido, notando-se que se trata de uma obra cuidada. No final do livro existe uma nota da autora dirigida à pessoa que acaba de ler o livro, explicando quais os pormenores que foram retirados da realidade e quais são ficcionados. Pessoalmente fiquei deliciada ao ver que alguns dos pormenores mais marcantes do romance aconteceram...more
Oriana
The story begins with Magda’s death caused by torture and mistreatments at the hands of the Church after her being accused of witchcraft. Her daughter Bridget knows it’s now her turn to continue her family bloodline, the descendants of Mary Magdalene. This young woman is quite unconventional and someone who easily gains your admiration after witnessing her strength and honesty.

Raoul de Montvallant is a Catholic but his family always protected the Cathars. The Catholic Church’s intolerance and fe...more
Beadyjan
Elizabeth Chadwick never fails to enthrall me with her fabulous stories of believable characters taking part in true historical events, and this book's no exception.

From start to finish I was hooked into the story of Bridget a descendant of Mary Magdalene, her healing abilities, life and persecution as a Cathar in medieval France.

I was there every step of the way and when I put the book down I continued to dream of the events, both exciting and horrific, shed a few tears along the way and surpri...more
Carol
I really wanted to like this book. There were many good reviews and the story line interested me. I ordered it in paperback because it is not digital and waited a couple of weeks to get it. But I just couldn't connect with this one. I was very interested in the bloodline of the Virgin Mary and the history of the Templars as story lines. Maybe it was just me, but I could not connect these story lines with the Cathers. Their story would be interesting also, I just could not connect the two. I was...more
Nisareen
Aug 29, 2012 Nisareen rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Nisareen by: Deborah O'Regan
Daughters of The Grail covers the brutal Catholic Crusade to wipe out The Cathars in 13th century France. Bridget has grown up mastering the mystical gifts of her ancestor, Mary Magdalene, whose unbroken female lineage has kept a legacy of wisdom alive for a thousand years. But the all-powerful Catholic Church has sworn to destroy Bridget for using her healing talents and supernatural abilities.

Bridget's duty to continue the bloodline leads her into the arms of Raoul de Montvallant--a Catholic....more
Katie
I'm picky when it comes to historical fiction about the Middle Ages, and Elizabeth Chadwick is one of the authors that I trust to write it well. She never presents her research in obvious info-dumps, but it is clear from the very natural way that she uses period specific terms and references historical figures that she has done it and done it thoroughly.

These aspects which I enjoy so much about her writing are present, as always, in Daughters of the Grail but unfortnately, and unusually, the sto...more
Sarah Gruwell
I've never read anything about the Albigensian Crusade nor about Cathars before. I mean, I've read mentions of them when reading medieval non-fiction, but it was only in passing and as footnotes. Yet, Elizabeth Chadwick brings it to bold and brilliant life in this book. I felt the peace the Cathars felt as they went willingly to their deaths, the never-ending fear of being forever hunted by a fanatical sector of the Roman Church, and the love that springs between individuals despite the horror o...more
Rusty
It's interesting to see how others see a book I truly enjoyed. For example, I found that the term Cathars used in this novel was actually coined later than the period for which the book was written. The term Bon Hommes was the first used to refer to people with their humble beliefs. The Albigensian Crusade pit a force from northern France against the group and systematically wiped it out in the name of the Catholic church. Of course, the church confiscated the lands and property of the southern...more
Judith
The theme of this book is so highly appealing to me, that I would have loved the book no matter what precisely it had told. I deeply admire the people who adhered to the Cathar religion, not for the Christian ideas behind it, but for the way they lived and treated others. They preached love, they required their believers to look inside themselves and overcome their own fears and emotions. It was a gnostic type of Christianity, Cathars were on a way to really get to know themselves. This is so cl...more
Célia
Depois de "O Labirinto Perdido", eis-me de volta ao século XIII e às perseguições aos cátaros na antiga região francesa do Languedoc. A história começa acompanhando os passos de Raoul de Montvallant, um católico pertencente a uma família tolerante para com os cátaros, e Bridget, descendente de Maria Madalena, que após a morte da sua mãe se vê a braços com a tarefa de continuar a descendência feminina e transmitir conhecimentos e poderes com séculos de existência.

A história decorre durante quase...more
Elsa
Esta autora conquistou-me com «O Nó do Amor», mas se ainda tivesse dúvidas acerca da sua qualidade, com esta obra elas ter-se-iam desvanecido por completo.
Confesso que demorei algum tempo a terminá-lo, mas julgo que tal se deveu mais a factores como cansaço e falta de tempo do que ao desinteresse pela obra. Porque é um livro que exige tempo e concentração.
Inicialmente achei que os elementos simbólicos que vamos encontrando eram demasiado óbvios e que tornavam a obra mais pesada. Continuo a mante...more
Jacey
I’ve been hooked on Elizabeth Chadwick’s historicals ever since someone left one at our house last year. They are definitely romances, but the background is accurate and often real historical personages are woven into the thread of the plot (as main or supporting characters).

This book is slightly more speculative, though written about the Albigensian Crusade when a force from northern France systematically wiped out the Cathars in the name of the Catholic church and just so happened to acquire t...more
Laura
I think Elizabeth Chadwick is absolutely brilliant at bringing the Medieval period; she gets the details - the sights, sounds and smells - just right, so that when I read her work I always feel that I'm in the story, living the events alongside the characters. And I did enjoy "Daughters of the Grail", which focuses mainly on the persecution of the Cathars (Catharism is now a mostly defunct branch of Christianity) in France in the 13th century, and it was incredibly interesting to read about thei...more
Betita
Um belissimo Romance com alguma História à mistura.
Gostei essencialmente da parte dos Cátaros de quem já tinha ouvido falar mas pouco ou nada sabia. No livro temos bem a percepção dos seus modos de vida e qual o seu objectivo em relação à Igreja Católica e vice versa.
Temos também um belo retrato de como a Igreja estava degradada naquela altura e como era cruel com aqueles que conseiderava hereges e poderiam ameaçar o seu "pacato" modo de vida.
A personagem que mais gostei foi sem duvida Claire qu...more
Helen
Another cracking historical novel by Elizabeth Chadwick. I know it's a bit of a cliche but she really does bring history alive in a gripping and wonderfully detailed way. This was different from all the other Chadwick novels I've read in that it's set in medieval France as opposed to England. The story centres on the vicious persecution of the Cathars, a religious sect decreed to be 'heretics' by the Church (also a theme of Kate Mosse's 'Labyrinth'). The characters in the novel are caught up in...more
Bron
I warmed to this story as I got into it. As the title suggests, it’s a variation on the “holy grail, holy bloodline” theme but it’s much less stodgy than Labyrinth, doesn’t have the mysterious puzzles of The Da Vinci Code, or any irritating switching between time lines! Instead it’s a more or less straightforward historical novel recounting the lives of several people who were caught up in the atrocities of the crusades against the Cathars. The central couple, Claire and Raoul Montvallon have ch...more
Nona
Daughters of the Grail by Elizabeth Chadwick is an interesting look into the mystery of the Grail and what might have happened, in my opinion.

It spans two generations fueled by love, loyalty, pain and the belief in something great then themaselves. Raoul, Claire and Bridget we're a great story in themselves but the pain caused and given from the events they shared drove the hatred and love on the next generation with Dominic, Magda and Gulliuame (sp?).

There are alot of events dealing with the c...more
Pippa
I feel very mean only giving this three stars because the quality of writing was superb. I just found it such a distressing book to read that I have been put off reading anything else by Elizabeth Chadwick for years.

She happily culls central characters, right, left and centre. I know... it was like this. It was a terrible time, but I identify so deeply with characters that I live their lives and this was too much for me. If you are not one who identifies with characters in books you will love i...more
Fijke
I enjoyed reading this. This is probably one of Chadwick's less romantic books. There was still an element of romance but the book also has a big focus on women's political and religious roles in medieval society as well as on bonds between female friends and female family members. The story isn't a happy one, there's a lot of struggle and hardship and the novel shows strong women who have to save themselves. I really like this book because it's enjoyable and pretty light reading with strong fem...more
Eve (Bee) Beltane
Aug 01, 2011 Eve (Bee) Beltane rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers of historical fiction and anyone who enjoys a good tale.
I enjoyed reading this book and the characters grew and garnered more experience in each chapter which built upon the story before. I didn't race through the book but rather enjoyed my time with it however, I did race to the ending as I felt I knew what could or should happen, but due to all the interesting twists and turns written in the previous chapters, my suspense was kept heightened.

I like the way Elizabeth Chadwick blends a good deal of historical fact with just the right amount of ficti...more
Lindsey
Another excellent novel by EC. I cannot recommend her books highly enough and this one was exceptional. A bit different from her other novels as it involved supernatural elements about a healer descended from Mary Magdalene. However, at no point did this aspect seem far fetched or hammy, but very realistic and well written as I have come to expect from this author. I loved the characters and the fact that the story evolved into being about their children as the book went on. I learnt a lot about...more
Jackie Wolfred
Sep 07, 2011 Jackie Wolfred rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: others who like historical fiction in the early 1200's
I checked this book out from the local library twice. The first time, I read several pages and decided it was not for me. I read a few other books, and then came back to this one, since I love what author Elizabeth Chadwick writes, having read several of her other books. It took me longer to read than the others, but I am glad I hung in there with it.
I love Historical Fiction, especially from authors who research their topic well. This book was hard to put down at times.
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Best selling historical novelist Elizabeth Chadwick won a Betty Trask Award for her first novel The Wild Hunt. She has been shortlisted for the UK's mainstream Best Romantic Novel of the Year Award 4 times and longlisted twice. Her novel The Scarlet Lion about the great William Marshal and his wife Isabelle de Clare, has been selected by Richard Lee, founder of the Historical Novel Society as one...more
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“Chretien speaking to Dominic:

'Magda is no ordinary young woman. There is a blood price on her head way beyond that upon any Cathar, indeed way beyond mine. I advise you most strongly to think with your head, not your loins.'
'I am thinking,' Dominic said softly, 'with my heart.”
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