By Robert Merle
1572: Returning from his studies in Montpellier, Pierre de Siorac is ambushed by a jealous Périgord nobleman. A duel ensues, and Pierre must subsequently travel to Paris, to seek his pardon from the King. The capital city and the royal court are a disorienting new environment for Pierre: a world of sweet words and fierce pride, where coquettish smiles hide behind fans, and murderous intents behind elegant bows; a world of genteel tennis matches and deadly swordplay, whose elaborate social graces mask a simmering tension that will soon explode to engulf the entire city in one of history's most infamous bouts of butchery - and signal the dawn of a new and bloody era in the history of France.
Here, Pierre faces the greatest challenge of his young existence - to make his way through this deceptively dangerous milieu, to win a royal pardon, and finally to escape from Paris with his life, and the lives of his beloved companions, intact.
Heretic Dawn is the third book in the swashbuckling Fortunes of France series, after The Brethren and City of Wisdom and Blood.
Translated by T. Jefferson Kline