THE FIRE, THE SWORD AND THE DEVIL by Janet & Dennis Adair Rosenstock

THE FIRE, THE SWORD AND THE DEVIL

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Incestuous sex and other trashy goings-on in France and the New World, 1520-1543--with a secondary cast that features the likes of Rabelais, John Calvin, Henry VIII, Jacques Cartier, and Marguerite of Navarre. Center stage is young Jean La Rocque de Roberval, who--after his incestuous maman Isabeau dies--retrieves sister Madelaine from her convent (and from convent lover Anne-Marie); soon Madelaine is in her brother's bed--and later Anne-Marie is brought to the castle as her companion so that they carry on their lesbian love. Meanwhile Francis I has his eye on Madelaine as a potential mistress, while his mother Louise has a gleam for Jean and has him promoted to commander of the army in Picardy. And the ghost of Jean's mother/lover is still around, entering the bod of Madelaine. Then: birth of incest-child Marguerite, Madelaine's madness and suicide by hanging, Jean's fun with the flagellants, and Anne-Marie's masquerade as Marguerite's mother. But the incest beat goes on--because Jean now lusts for his toddler daughter (when not whipping chambermaids). And then it's on to New France as the years pass: Marguerite loves Robert l'Eccossais, who is discovering Canada; Anne-Marie is bedding the Indian prince Taiguoagny; and Jean, now bonkers, maroons Marguerite (who's not really his child after all) on an island, where she has her lover's baby. . . while Jean has himself castrated by his barber. Banal, wretched clichÉs under a heavy layer of titillation.

Pub Date: Feb. 22nd, 1982
ISBN: 059501030X
Publisher: Personal Library--dist. by Everest