The Peddler of Wisdom by Laura Matthias Bendoly
Publication Date: December 18, 2018
eBook & Paperback; 425 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
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.
“Put together a hidden Medieval village, a widowed healer who tries to overthrow a murderous invader, and a possible– if dangerous– romance, and you have The Peddler of Wisdom, add to this Laura Matthias Bendoly’s spritely style and a complex world where no one can be trusted, and you will be sucked into this tale as swiftly and completely as I was. Read it.” – Sonia Gernes, ProfessorEmerita, University of Notre Dame, author of What You Hear in the Dark, New and Selected Poems
“An exciting plot, vivid characters and a clearly imagined 17th-century France. A rich tapestry of folklore, tarot, and alchemy.” – Maureen Boulton, Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies, Toronto and Professor Emeritus of French, Dept. of Romance Languages University of Notre Dame
My Review: Okay, I am just going to be honest with you. I need more novels like The Peddler of Wisdom on my bookshelf and in my life.
No, really. I have literally started a Laura Matthias Bendoly fund, so that I can purchase anything she ever writes. (Y’all think I’m kidding.)
But I digress.
This novel is just so good! It’s historical fiction with a plethora of fantasy and a smattering of romance. Now y’all know how picky I am about my books. Historical fictions have to be true-to-history, fantasy novels have to be magical and romance has to be a sub-plot. (I know, I’m a dork. But I’ve been a bookworm my entire life; might as well embrace my nerdy standards.)
Irene is the village healer in 17th century France. She is quiet and kind, yet immovable and dauntless. She is also very skilled in her craft, though haunted by her inability to save the village from the plague. The author allows her readers to get to know Irene personally, and then starts throwing in various twists and turns.
Friends, I kid you not when I tell you that I was completely engrossed in this novel. I was hooked from the very first. The historical detail was rich and the fantasy elements were bewitching. I fell in love with Irene and Joaquíno and loved getting to know them as the plot thickened and grew. The Peddler of Wisdom literally has everything that anyone could possibly want or need in a story. Think the ‘Tudors’ meets ‘Shannara.’ Absolutely yummy from start to finish. I may or may not have gone into mourning when I turned the last page. #isodid #iconfess
Wonderful novel, incredible author. Get the book!
About the Author
Though I grew up in northern Indiana, most of my work takes place elsewhere. My characters are slightly offbeat eccentrics. They wear Goth clothes and invent secret passwords. They make friends with outsiders and from those fringes my heroines gain their strength. Though these protagonists don’t have supernatural powers, they absorb a kind of magic from those they help and gather as friends. This is so with hero Stella Delaney, whose mission to save a trafficked foreign girl gains strength from the powers of a mysterious Gullah woman. So is it the case with Eileen Morgan, whose trip to Scotland wraps her in a world of ghosts and a deadly struggle for entitlement between a wealthy land-owning family and their one-time vassals, now barely hanging on.
I write about the places I have seen as an outsider but in which I could see myself in another life…a boat guide along one of the Georgia marshes, a shepherd in the Scottish lowlands, a craftswoman in Cornwall, in Western Great Britain, or a healer in rural Southern France. Will I ever be that woman? Only if I write myself there, and I love to bring new readers along.
I live in Columbus Ohio with my family.
Blog Tour Schedule
Monday, February 4
Excerpt at The Lit Bitch
Tuesday, February 5
Review at Pursuing Stacie
Wednesday, February 6
Excerpt at Suzy Approved Book Reviews
Thursday, February 7
Review at 100 Pages a Day
Friday, February 8
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit
Sunday, February 10
Excerpt at Old Timey Books
Tuesday, February 12
Review at Passages to the Past
Wednesday, February 13
Interview at Passages to the Past
Thursday, February 14
Review at Coffee and Ink
Friday, February 15
Feature at CelticLady’s Reviews
During the Blog Tour we will be giving away two eBooks of The Peddler of Wisdom & 4 Apothecary soaps! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on February 15th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.