Goodreads Synopsis: Dolssa is a young gentlewoman with uncanny gifts, on the run from an obsessed friar determined to burn her as a heretic for the passion she refuses to tame.
Botille is a wily and charismatic peasant, a matchmaker running a tavern with her two sisters in a tiny seaside town.
The year is 1241; the place, Provensa, what we now call Provence, France—a land still reeling from the bloody crusades waged there by the Catholic Church and its northern French armies.
When the matchmaker finds the mystic near death by a riverside, Botille takes Dolssa in and discovers the girl’s extraordinary healing power. But as the vengeful Friar Lucien hunts down his heretic, the two girls find themselves putting an entire village at the mercy of murderers.
This book was random choice for me, I found it at the library and really liked the cover. I’m also a huge historical fiction fan, so it seemed like a good choice.
Although called The Passion of Dolssa the book is much more about the french peasant girl Botille and her sisters. Which I didn’t mind at all because Dolssa is a little weird. Although both were pretty good characters.
Dolssa is a mystic and healer, she believes she can talk to god and also believes he’s her “beloved”. The book suggests that she can actually heal people, but I wouldn’t say this book is a very religious book as it’s very honest about the sort of men who ran the church.
Botille is a fantastic character, I enjoyed her parts of the story a lot. She lives in a small town and is the matchmaker, her sisters also run an inn. I loved the dynamic between the sisters, they’re all very close but also independent for women of their time. It is possible it wasn’t completely historically accurate to how independent they were allowed to be, but it worked with the story.
The book is well written. For me I consider a good historical fiction when I can really feel the time come alive, and I did. I loved village Botille was from, and all the descriptions of the food that her sister cooked in their inn.
The only reason I decided not to give this book 4 stars, was the love interest Symo. This book, sadly, falls into the stupid YA trope where males can push around women and get away with it because they were just trying to “protect” the woman. Instead of just explaining things like a normal human being. In my opinion Symo was borderline abusive to Botille in the beginning and I am so not okay with that. I mean at least he could have apologized and that would have been something. But no. He “loves” her, therefore he’s allowed to physically push her around to keep her “safe”. Honestly in my opinion there was no need for a love interest anyway. Botille had no want to marry, she loved living with her sisters and living in their inn. We don’t always need a romance subplot in books.
The Passion of Dolssa is a fairly good book. The characters kept me interested, and the story was entertaining. It’s a solid 3 star book.