main focus of the story is on the fair haired young girl, the Dancer and her followers. Marguerite Aldridge describes scenes of amazing beauty and mystery, secret visionary rites carried out in high and hidden places in the Languedoc.
During these ceremonies the sinister Corbeau (crow in French) wears a black bird mask, a man standing on a horse creates a cross of fire and a white tree hung with white threads shimmers on the edge of precipices or is seen apparently hanging in the air. The Dancer in her white clothes has obvious connections with Sufism, the whirling of the Mevlevi dervishes that brings spiritual enlightenment, or in her case, the ability to prophesy. These scenes invaded my imagination and keep returning as dreams.
Alongside these fantastical rituals, the Catholic church is conducting a ferocious crusade against the Cathars. Through the character of the well named Brother Francis, Marguerite Aldridge exposes the cruelty of his fellow supposed Christians who believed that heretics should be tortured and killed. For their own good. No sign of loving your neighbour amongst these warlike priests and monks. The siege of Beziers is described in compelling detail.
Also dancing through these pages is a young boy, Jared. No more can be said without plot spoiling, but watch this child, he is at the centre of the storm.
Nothing is quite certain in this book. Who is doing what to whom and why? A fascinating read, recommended to all grail seekers.