Review: The Peddler of Wisdom by Laura Matthias Bendoly

The Peddler of Wisdom by Laura Matthias Bendoly

Publication Date: December 18, 2018
eBook & Paperback; 425 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

In the borderlands of the village Les Échelles, giants sleep and werewolves howl. Travelers must cross deep gorges to pay visit. The only strangers are treasure-hunters seeking the riches of Zahara, a drowned Crusader bride. She planted the nearby woods with rich botanicals, now the healing herbs of Irène Guéri, apothecary in these parts. When a cruel invader storms the village he brings along his shy, though brilliant alchemist, Joaquíno Durande. Will Irene join forces with this scholar, risking her profession and her neighbors’ trust, or flee to the valley? Enormous decisions await, and great danger as friends, neighbors, and even the tools of Irene’s workshop rise, enchanted, into the fray of war.

"Put together a hidden Medieval village, a widowed healer who tries to overthrow a murderous invader, and a possible-- if dangerous-- romance, and you have The Peddler of Wisdom, add to this Laura Matthias Bendoly's spritely style and a complex world where no one can be trusted, and you will be sucked into this tale as swiftly and completely as I was. Read it." - Sonia Gernes, ProfessorEmerita, University of Notre Dame, author of What You Hear in the Dark, New and Selected Poems

"An exciting plot, vivid characters and a clearly imagined 17th-century France. A rich tapestry of folklore, tarot, and alchemy." - Maureen Boulton, Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies, Toronto and Professor Emeritus of French, Dept. of Romance Languages University of Notre Dame

Available on Amazon



Massive book hangover alert! I stayed up way past my bedtime last night so that I could finish this amazing book! I thought 2018 was a great year of reading but 2019 is like...hold my beer!

The Peddler of Wisdom is an incredible work of historical fiction/fantasy. While I was intrigued with the synopsis I hadn't read Laura Bendoly before and whenever you read a book from a new author there's always a little anxiety there. Well, I needn't have worried. Bendoly is a master storyteller and I was blown away by The Peddler of Wisdom.

Irene Gueri, called the Lady of Wisdom, lives in the small Provencal hamlet of Les Eschelles. She is the town's apothecary and healer, and occasionally reads Tarot cards, but most people in the village shun her because they blame her for the plague that recently visited their town and killed their family members. She lives quietly until one day a stranger shows up on her land. Not long after invaders come to the village, blows up their bridge, and murders their leader. Soon townspeople are being kidnapped or tortured, and the invaders ravage the town. Irene becomes close with the new Duke's alchemist - the stranger that was lost on her land - and partners with him to help the people of the village.

As the story progresses the danger and action increase and Irene has to decide if she will run from them or stay and join the resistance. I must say, this was an engrossing read. I was immediately drawn to the novel within the first few pages and stayed engaged for the entire read. The pacing is great and makes it easy to fly through the pages.

Bendoly also provides a Historic Note at the end of the book and provides the sources she used while researching and writing the novel. It's clear that Bendoly did her research!

I highly recommend The Peddler of Wisdom and I look forward to move from Laura Matthias Bendoly. I have an interview with her that will be live tomorrow and I hope you will stop by to check it out!

About the Author

Though I grew up in northern Indiana, most of my work takes place elsewhere. My characters are slightly offbeat eccentrics. They wear Goth clothes and invent secret passwords. They make friends with outsiders and from those fringes my heroines gain their strength. Though these protagonists don't have supernatural powers, they absorb a kind of magic from those they help and gather as friends. This is so with hero Stella Delaney, whose mission to save a trafficked foreign girl gains strength from the powers of a mysterious Gullah woman. So is it the case with Eileen Morgan, whose trip to Scotland wraps her in a world of ghosts and a deadly struggle for entitlement between a wealthy land-owning family and their one-time vassals, now barely hanging on.

I write about the places I have seen as an outsider but in which I could see myself in another life...a boat guide along one of the Georgia marshes, a shepherd in the Scottish lowlands, a craftswoman in Cornwall, in Western Great Britain, or a healer in rural Southern France. Will I ever be that woman? Only if I write myself there, and I love to bring new readers along.

I live in Columbus Ohio with my family.

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Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, February 4
Excerpt at The Lit Bitch

Tuesday, February 5
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Wednesday, February 6
Excerpt at Suzy Approved Book Reviews

Thursday, February 7
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Friday, February 8
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Sunday, February 10
Excerpt at Old Timey Books

Tuesday, February 12
Review at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, February 13
Interview at Passages to the Past

Thursday, February 14
Review at Coffee and Ink

Friday, February 15
Feature at CelticLady's Reviews


During the Blog Tour we will be giving away two eBooks of The Peddler of Wisdom! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on February 15th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

The Peddler of Wisdom


  1. Ooh this sounds like an interesting read, I'll have to check it out!

    1. It was fabulous, I hope you get a chance to read it soon! Thanks for stopping by!


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