Dark Fires: In the later part of 1400's the world is poised on entering a new age. It isn't know yet if for good or evil. Fighting against the rising protest, the Catholic Church unleashes anew the Inquisition to stamp out dissent and heresy.
Caught helplessly by the tides of change is Justin, a youth of the streets, who has no memory of his origins and lives from day to day by begging. After rescuing a renowned scholar from street tugs, he is adopted into the family and acquires a sister. Unfortunately they fall into the clutches of the Inquisition and through extraordinary efforts Justin rescues them. What follows is a chase through Europe as the family tries to find safe shelter from persecution. They end up in a neglected corner of the continent, where unexpectedly Justin comes into his own.
I was always intrigued by this time period, the dawning of the Renaissance and a century later the flowering of the Reformation. I aimed for the midpoint. The prize at stake was the soul of Europe, a radical change of ideas and beliefs.
I also found the political geography very interesting, a patchwork of nations and principalities, with plenty of opportunities for friction among them.
Of course, as always for this genre of novels, I use historical context to serve the needs of the story, often at the expense of accuracy. My main intent as always is to capture the flavor of the times.
Go back to the writer or go home