I just finished reading this book, The Treasure of Montsegur: A Novel of the Cathars, by Sophy Burnham, while still engrossed in "Kingsblood Royal," but I want to write my review while it's still fresh.
I've read several books on the Cathar heretics and their supposed treasure smuggled out of Montsegur before the mass martyrdom of the Cathars, and I have to say that far and away this is the best! Not only does Burnham capture the blended Catholic-Cathar culture of the South of France and its parage (way of life), which almost no one else really 'gets,' but her writing is beautiful, sensitive, intelligent and nuanced.
Her protagonist Jeanne of Beziers goes from noble lady (by birth, adoption and marriage) to a poor beggar suffering from severe post-traumatic stress after the siege of Montsegur and the decimation of her whole world, including the loss of all her loved ones to violence, which she witnesses. Burnham writes very insightfully about all of this in her portrayal of 'crazy Jeanne.'
The tale spans the gamut of lovely life among the nobility to the penury of being a poor refugee, and also paints a picture of life among the peasantry working the land and raising animals and food. To me, this book is a minor tour-de-force, and definitely worth reading if you are interested in this period in history.
(I have this book listed under 'spiritual genealogy' because we have Huguenots in our family history, and they were another group persecuted by the mainstream church, but late enough in time to have been able to escape to the 'New World.')