The third book in the swashbuckling Fortunes of France series - devious courtly intrigues build to a horrific and bloody climax in the most powerful instalment yet1572: Returning from his studies in Montpellier, Pierre de Siorac is ambushed by a jealous PZrigord 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.Robert Merle (1908-2004) was born in French Algeria, before moving to mainland France in 1918. Originally an English teacher, Merle served as an interpreter with British Expeditionary Force during the Second World War, and was captured by the German army at Dunkirk, the experience of which served as the basis for his Goncourt-prize-winning Weekend at Zuydcoote. He published the 13 volumes of his hugely popular Fortunes of France series over four decades, from 1977 to 2003, the final volume appearing just a year before his death in 2004.