This is a novel about relics.
Relics can move mountains, so history tells us. They cure the sick, promise success, enable whole kingdoms to win wars.
Many relics might only be dogs’ bones, or the hair of a shaggy horse, maybe the shrunken hand of a punished Byzantine thief, or perhaps the heart of a slaughtered ox. Who would know?
But a piece of byssus, arguably the most enigmatic cloth in the world, cannot lie, and its very existence underlines the life of Christ and the meaning behind the Holy Church.
The cloth’s power can only be wondered at. It is the kind of relic which inspires heroic deeds. The kind of relic that inspires murder.
In telling this story, it also becomes a novel about faith.
Faith in power. In money which can beget power. Faith in one’s own self and one’s strengths. Faith in one’s friends and even in God. Or maybe it is even a story about lack of faith…
From Constantinople to Caen, from Venice to Viviers, from Rome to Rouen, relics are traded like pepper and frankincense, silk and silver, lapis and alum. Sold to the highest bidder.
Who then shall pay the highest price of all for a fragment of aged cloth? For the highest price must surely … and inevitably … be death.
A moving and exciting tale...
Sharon Bennett Connolly, Heroines of the Medieval World