the swords of december Author:Robert York "When you forced me to become archpriest of your kingdom, you would have done well to ask me whether I wished to die for you."--Thomas Becket to Henry II, June 1163 — According to William of Colchester, whose chronicle this novel is, both men were heretics! Becket a "Perfect" in the Cathar faith, Henry a believer in older and darker gods. And "... more »those with eyes to see" were well aware that the murder in the cathedral was a carefully prepared ritual in which victim, king, knights, and the people of England each played a part.
This strange and disturbing story sweeps away the confusing lies and legends with which Christianity (in order to make Becket a saint) has obliterated the truth; it shows us Thomas and Henry locked in a struggle which must end in the ritual death of one of them.
Henry's queen, the beautiful Eleanor of Aquitaine, her sons, the Wise Woman in whom both priest and king believed, the inner meaning of the Kiss of Peace, the power of the ancient pagan beliefs--William of Colchester knew them all firsthand. He also knew that when the swords of December finally came to Canterbury they were expected and accepted, because Becket had become "the god who must die."« less