Margaret of Ashbury Books In Order
- A Vision of Light (1988)
- In Pursuit of the Green Lion (1990)
- The Water Devil (2007)
- The Oracle Glass (1994)
- The Serpent Garden (1996)
- The Master of All Desires (1999)
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Judith Merkle Riley Books Overview
The bestselling novel that introduces Margaret of Ashbury and launches a trilogy featuring this irrepressible womanMargaret of Ashbury wants to write her life story. However, like most women in fourteenth century England, she is illiterate. Three clerics contemptuously decline to be Margaret’s scribe, and only the threat of starvation persuades Brother Gregory, a Carthusian friar with a mysterious past, to take on the task. As she narrates her life, we discover a woman of startling resourcefulness. Married off at the age of fourteen to a merchant reputed to be the Devil himself, Margaret was left for dead during the Black Plague. Incredibly, she survived, was apprenticed to an herbalist, and became a midwife. But most astonishing of all, Margaret has experienced a Mystic Union A Vision of Light that endows her with the miraculous gift of healing. Because of this ability, Margaret has become suddenly different to her tradition bound parents, to the bishop s court that tries her for heresy, and ultimately to the man who falls in love with her.
The unforgettable Margaret of Ashbury returns in the second book of the trilogy that began with A Vision of Light.
Margaret, a resourceful midwife, is living with the insufferable relatives of her third husband, Gilbert de Vilers, known as Gregory. She is carving out a life for herself and her daughters despite the hostility and greed of her in laws. But when Gregory is captured in France and held for ransom, Margaret knows she must take action her in laws are too tight with money to be of any use so she teams up with her old friends Mother Hilde, the herbalist, and Brother Malachi, an alchemist on a quest for the secret of changing base metals into gold. Together, the trio plan to rescue Gregory and bring him back to London, where he and Margaret can start a new life away from his meddling family. And thus begins a wild romp across fourteenth century Europe. Murderous noblemen, scheming ladies, truculent ghosts, and a steady stream of challenges plague the journey. Margaret will need not only her special gift of healing, her quick mind, and her independent spirit but the loyalty of her friends and the love of her new husband to carry them all safely home.
The final adventure in the beloved and bestselling Margaret of Ashbury trilogy, which began with A Vision of Light and In Pursuit of the Green Lion.
Margaret of Ashbury is ready to settle down; the medieval healer is looking forward to an uneventful life in the country. And, indeed, life with her true love and a brood of rambunctious children is nearly perfect except for her husband Gregory’s ever meddling family. Finding himself deep in debt once again, Gregory s father has plotted to sell Margaret s daughter off in marriage to save his woodlands from a greedy abbot. In a panic, Margaret turns to her old friend Brother Malachi to help save her daughter by whatever means necessary. The tension within the feuding family rouses an ancient being that dwells in a spring at the center of the disputed woodland. The watery creature has its own plans, and its eye is on Margaret s infant son.
Favorite characters return, the stakes are high, and the air is thick with intrigue and danger. Written with the historical accuracy, supernatural plot twists, and humor that Riley s readers have grown to love, The Water Devil is a high spirited adventure that brings Margaret s odyssey to a satisfying conclusion.
‘Open the pages, and out comes a whiff of brimstone, as The Oracle Glass transports you to the Paris of kings and witches, on a guided tour of corruption, love, and sorcery.’ Diana GabaldonSeventeenth century Paris. Genevi ve is a skinny, precocious girl with a mind full of philosophy and the remarkable power to read the swirling waters of an oracle glass. Left for dead by her family, she is taken in by the ingenious occultist La Voisin, who rules a secret society of witches that manipulates the rich and the scandalous all the way up to the throne. Tutored by La Voisin, Genevi ve creates a new identity for herself as the mysterious Madame de Morville, rumored to be one hundred fifty years old. Soon, even the reigning mistress of the Sun King himself consults Madame de Morville on what the future holds for her. And as Madame de Morville, Genevi ve can revel in what women are usually denied power, an independent income, and the opportunity to speak her mind. But beneath her intelligence and wit, and in the face of unexpected love, Genevi ve is driven by the obsessed spirit of revenge…
.’INTELLIGENT, WITTY AND ELEGANTLY WRITTEN.’ San Francisco Chronicle’Judith Merkle Riley’s novels are small jewels, smooth and polished, glowing with a light all their own…
. Merkle Riley has her own oracle glass and she uses it to see as vividly into the past as her Genevi ve sees into the future.’ Detroit Free Press’Enlightening, enticing…
The author’s own alchemical skill is fully evident here as dashes of black magic and sorcery are added to spice the lively plot. Liberal sprinklings of wry wit and mordant humor help keep the narrative cauldron bubbling.’ The Cleveland Plain Dealer
In the court of Henry VIII, there are many secrets and some people will kill to keep them hidden.
Susanna Dallet is the daughter of a Flemish painter and wife to a philandering husband, living in the court of Henry VIII. When her husband is murdered, Susanna is suddenly left with a household to provide for and nothing to her name. Her days of anonymity are over when Susanna finds that guild rules preventing women from working do not apply at the king’s court, and she manages to secure a position as a miniature portrait painter. Before long, she has not only made a name for herself, she is close to those who surround Princess Mary.
But even in this lofty company, Susanna is not safe. An old manuscript that she has inherited turns out to hold the keys to an age old mystery, and the forces that claimed her husband are closing in. As danger looms, Susanna joins with Robert Ashton, secretary to Henry s cunning and ruthless adviser Archbishop Wolsey, and together they must fight a fearsome society in league with a demon.
Combining heartpounding action, sly humor, romance, and supernatural twists, The Serpent Garden is the story of a creative and resourceful woman who unwittingly finds herself in a dangerous and deadly game of hide and seek.
Fans of Antonia Fraser and Margaret George will love this witty, intelligent page turner from Judith Merkle Riley. The year is 1556 and the setting is Paris capital city to a country on the brink of civil war. Catherine de Medici is queen, and her astrologer, the prophet Nostradamus, has divined the secret evil of the Undying Head of Menander, The Master of All Desires. The Queen wants to use Menander to get rid of the king’s mistress, and a spirited young poet named Sibille Artaud de la Roque is tempted by Menander to obtain all her desires. But only Nostradamus knows that evil befalls all who wish upon this accursed object. Can he stop these determined women before they unwittingly destroy the entire kingdom of France? Voted one of the Best Books of the Year by Library Journal