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The Bones You Have Cast Down cover

A novel based on the true story of the Popess card of the tarot.

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“Enchanting & richly historical, heart-wrenching & intoxicating.” —Stuart R. Kaplan, author Pamela Colman Smith. 

“A storytelling treasure. The sights, smells, feel of Renaissance Italy seep from every pore of the story.” —Ron Andre, A Matter of Fancy

In 1447, Taria is swept from a convent orphanage into the glittering retinue of the duchess of Milan. Lowborn in a highborn circle, she has never felt so alone. Then a small, mysterious painting of a female pope carries her back 150 years to the joyous circle of a holy woman, worshipped in her time, mysteriously obscure in Taria’s time.

The duchess believes the journey is only a vision, yet she orders Taria to learn more. Reviving the holy woman’s fame could bring badly needed prestige to the noble family. But Taria conceals a devastating revelation: the Inquisition is on the hunt for the saint and her followers.

As jealousy wrecks her romance and poisons her closest friendship, Taria shuns the present and embraces the holy woman’s circle as the family she has always craved.

And the Inquisition closes in.

The Bones You Have Cast Down will transport you to a medieval village and a lush Renaissance court, to long ago times not unlike our own, when the keepers of faith conspired against the faithful, and the rich and powerful embraced war and corruption even while fostering works of artistic brilliance revered to this day.

The story of the real Popess Renaissance tarot card…


The Bones You Have Cast Down transported me to Italy at the dawn of the Renaissance, and into the heart of a young woman who’s deceptively quiet, extraordinarily spirited. From the hand-painted tarot cards to lavish festivities set amidst the misery of war, from cathedrals to village churches, Jean Huets brings alive this paradoxical time. The Bones You Have Cast Down is enchanting and richly historical, as well as dazzling and dark, heart-wrenching and intoxicating. — Stuart R. Kaplan, author of Pamela Colman Smith: The Untold Story

A storytelling treasure. Huets transports the reader into the mind of a young fifteenth century Italian with all the assurance and intimacy which one expects of a modern bard. — Ron Andre, A Matter of Fancy

As the editor of Stuart Kaplan’s Encyclopedia of Tarot, Jean Huets is an expert in 15th century history and tarot. Vivid details of food, dress, court etiquette and stomach-turning trips by wooden cart in freezing weather immerse us in the times. This is the kind of book I love: solid history with a touch of magic. After reading this book you will never see the Visconti-Sforza deck the same way. — Sherryl E. Smith, Tarot Heritage

[The Bones You Have Cast Down] is a great read. I still remember how excited I was, when staying at Bellagio in the fall of 2004, to discover the painting of St. Guglielma at Brunate. Having just finished an article on the Guglielmites, I set myself to solve the historical mystery of how the cult came to be revived 150 years later—and of course the tarot card was one key to that mystery.… Jean Huets’ riveting account suggests the amazing charisma that both Guglielma and Maifreda must have had to attract such devotion, and at such a cost. I will certainly recommend it to my friends. —Barbara Newman, Professor of English, Religious Studies, and Classics at Northwestern University and author of From Virile Woman to WomanChrist

An intriguing story with an element of magic. Adults and teens alike will be drawn to this historical novel. — Cary Meltzer Frostick, reviewer for School Library Journal and Youth Services librarian

BOOKSELLERS: Available from Ingram or directly from Circling Rivers | info

978-1-939530-92-9 (paper) | 978-1-939530-95-0 (ebook) | 978-1-939530-18-9 (hardcover) | gertrude m books is an imprint of Circling Rivers