Orca Book Publishers

Browse by Category

Fiction Ages 12+
Pages: 112
Themes: Witch hunts, loyalty, faith
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: 01/Sep/2007
Bookmark and Share
Rose's idyllic existence in sixteenth century france is destroyed when her father dies, and her mother—a midwife and healer to half the families in the town—is arrested and accused of being a witch. When her mother begs Rose to save herself, Rose must weigh the terror of death against the pain of life on her own. First published in 1993, The Burning Time is an unrelenting examination of cruelty and injustice.

Set in France in the sixteenth century, The Burning Time tells the story of a young girl whose mother is accused of being a witch. In her village, everyone is suspect. An accusation is enough to bring arrest, shame, even torture. Rose Rives cannot understand how the authorities—from the magistrate to the village priest—can encourage the villagers to denounce their neighbours as witches. Rose's simple life is shattered when her mother, who has been a midwife and a healer to half of the families in town, is turned over to the authorities. Struggling to free her mother, Rose finds herself pitted against some of the people she trusted the most.
   The Burning Time is an unrelenting examination of the cruelty and injustice committed against women through all ages and the courage some women have found to speak out.

CM Magazine
"The plot grips readers' attention...Highly Recommended."
Resource Links
"This book gives an insight into how women suspected of witchcraft were mistreated and to a large extent misunderstood in medieval times."
"A quick read with a powerful punch."
"It's the history that's compelling here, the facts that are left out of the traditional textbooks, the role played by those strong women outsiders who threatened the male hierarchy."
School Library Journal
"Matas's ability to write gripping stories that bring the past alive is well displayed in this enlightening and involving novel."


Resource Links "The Year's Best"  | 2007 | Commended
Governor General's Literary Award nominee  | 1994 | Short-listed
ALA Quick Pick  | 1994 | Commended
CCBC Our Choice selection  | 1993 | Commended