The year is 1626. The place: Franconia, a territory in South Germany dominated by the imperial city of Nuremberg. Animosity between Catholics and Protestants has caused men in power to take up arms. Their mercenary armies and their followers are kept alive by anything the soldiers can take from the villages they pass through. Villages that are already suffering from crop failure and overpopulation.
The mercenary armies bring terror but they also bring disease. More soldiers are dying from dysentry, consumption and typhus than from the battles they are fighting.
And so begins The Soldier’s Return, the second book in the Heaven’s Pond Trilogy.
Katarina and Herr Tucher have worked the farm called Sichardtshof, a hamlet nestled in a Franconian hollow, for the last ten years. During this last decade, the farm has been in the path of the marching armies. Katarina, along with her adopted daughter, Isabeau, and the other souls at the farm, have weathered visits from mercenaries in the past. But the summer of 1626 brings a more brutal and desperate type. Katarina and Isabeau are forced to flee. But other dangers lurk outside their protective hamlet.
The church offers no comfort. Church fathers are rounding up scapegoats, so called heretics and witches, to blame for the ills inflicted on Franconia. At alarming rates, men, women and children must undergo brutal tortures and executions.
Where can Katarina turn for help and refuge?
The Soldier’s Return. A story of sacrifice and survival in Germany during the Thirty Years War.