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Angélique in Revolt

Taken under guard to her chateau, Angélique is devastated to lose Colin Pautrel's baby during the hair-raising coach journey, and feigns weakness when informed of the King's demands.

She is ordered to return to Versailles in disgrace, offer her apologies and fealty to the King, and serve him in any capacity he desires, including as his mistress. She has until autumn to decide, the alternative being incarceration in the Bastille.

A coarse musketeer, Captain Montadour, is charged with guarding her, while at the same time attempting to convert the Protestants of Poitou to Catholicism.

As Angélique regains her strength she is joined by her children, Florimond and Philippe's son, Charles-Henry. She learns of the beatings, murders, torture and rape her Protestant vassals are undergoing at the hands of Montadour's men and is able to slip into the forest to warn the aristocratic leader of the Protestant rebel forces of a trap. Gradually she becomes embroiled in the rising tide of rebellion engulfing the province.

As the unrest increases, Montadour and his men are forced from the chateau and Louis XIV's autumn deadline approaches.

At first determined to hold out, Angélique finally gives in to the pleas of her steward to sends word to the King, telling him of the over-zealous work of his men and asking for help. But too late... That evening, fresh from battle and harried by the local populace, Montadour and his men break through the ranks of the defenders and sack the chateau. A night of rapine and violence leaves Charles-Henri with his throat slit, most of Angélique's friends slaughtered, and Angélique brutally violated. Consumed again by revenge and revulsed by what has happened to her, she rallies the protestant troops and throws herself into battle. Poitou erupts into flames.

Fleeing from their orgy of violence, Montadour' troops are massacred as they sleep, and his head is delivered to Angélique, to whom it provides a disturbing pleasure.

Angélique is horrified to realise she is pregnant as a result of the rape and she tramps through the forest to the witch Melusine, forcing her to give her herbs to make her abort.

However, after a terrible night writhing on a 'fairy stone' she realises the drugs did not work and she is forced to bear the unwanted child, aided only by Melusine.

Angélique leaves the newborn girl at the gate of a local orphanage before returning to her men, but is reproached in a dream by St Honore, and when she encounters her daughter again, on death's door from neglect, she reluctantly reclaims her.

For the next two years Honorine grows up on her mother's saddle as Angélique leads her troops in an ever-desperate rearguard action against the King's men. Finally, her peasant troops defeated, Angélique plans to rendezvous with her few remaining friends, only to find them betrayed and hanged. Trapped, she seeks sanctuary with the monks of the Abbey of Nieul, who take her in but rebuke her for her sins. Angélique comes to realise that her life has become obsessed by hatred, and, after confessing and being absolved, begins to feel healed.

Leaving the abbey she is caught up in the ambush of a convoy of merchants by starving brigands. Knocked unconscious in the melee, she recovers to find herself mistaken for a Protestant and allows herself to be branded with the Fleur de Lys - a fate reserved for common criminals and Protestants - rather than be discovered.

Desperate to find Honorine, who she had left in the snow-covered forest, she is overjoyed when one of the merchants comes to 'claim' her from prison to do penance as his serving maid, and reveals he has rescued Honorine from the snow and wolves.

Vowing to repay Maitre Berne, a prosperous La Rochelle merchant, Angélique soon becomes an indispensable part of his devout Protestant family trying to cope with the rising tide of religious intolerance in a Catholic country.

While helping the leaders of the Protestant community in La Rochelle to flee from persecution, Angélique simultaneously learns that they have been betrayed.