The Bones You Have Cast Down: A Novel | signed (gertrude m books)


Glory. Beauty. Greed. War. A powerful holy woman…. The Inquisition. A historical novel set in Renaissance Italy, based on the true story of the Popess tarot card.

“Enchanting and richly historical, dazzling and dark, heart-wrenching and intoxicating.” — Stuart R. Kaplan, author of Pamela Colman Smith: The Untold Story

Amazon US (and world) | B&N | | BUY here signed by author 

“Enchanting & richly historical, heart-wrenching & intoxicating.” —Stuart R. Kaplan, Pamela Colman Smith: The Untold Story 

Inspired by the true story of the Popess tarot card, The Bones You Have Cast Down evokes long ago times not unlike our own, when the keepers of faith conspired against the faithful, and the rich and powerful embraced war and corruption even while fostering works of artistic brilliance revered to this day.

In 1447, Taria is swept from a convent orphanage into the glittering retinue of the duchess of Milan. Lowborn in a highborn circle, she has never felt so alone. Then a mysterious card showing a female pope sends her back in time to join the ecstatic circle of a holy woman­ adored as a saint in her time, mysteriously and ominously obscure in Taria’s time.

The duchess encourages Taria to learn more. Reviving the holy woman’s fame will bolster the noble family’s sagging prestige. But a devastating revelation forces Taria to conceal just what the duchess needs to know: the Inquisition hated the saint and her followers.

As jealousy wrecks her romance and poisons her closest friendship, Taria shuns the present and embraces the holy woman’s circle as the family she has always craved.

And the Inquisition closes in.


“Jean Huets is an expert in fifteenth-century history and tarot. Vivid details of food, dress, court etiquette and stomach-turning trips by wooden cart in freezing weather immerse us in the times. This is the kind of book I love: solid history with a touch of magic.” — Sherryl E. Smith, Tarot Heritage

“A storytelling treasure. Huets transports the reader into the mind of a young fifteenth century Italian with all the assurance and intimacy which one expects of a modern bard. The sights, smells, feel of Renaissance Italy seep from every pore of the story. The Inquisition lurks in the shadows. Speculative elements are deftly melded into the mix.… Thought provoking as well as entertaining.” — Ron Andre, A Matter of Fancy

The Bones You Have Cast Down transported me to Italy at the dawn of the Renaissance, and into the heart of a young woman who’s deceptively quiet, extraordinarily spirited. From the hand-painted tarot cards to lavish festivities set amidst the misery of war, from cathedrals to village churches, Jean Huets brings alive this paradoxical time. The Bones You Have Cast Down is enchanting and richly historical, as well as dazzling and dark, heart-wrenching and intoxicating. — Stuart R. Kaplan, Pamela Colman Smith: The Untold Story

A great read. Jean Huets’ riveting account suggests the amazing charisma that both Guglielma and Maifreda must have had to attract such devotion, and at such a cost. I will certainly recommend it to my friends.” — Barbara Newman, From Virile Woman to WomanChrist




About Jean Huets

Jean Huets is co-author, with Stuart R. Kaplan, of The Encyclopedia of Tarot and author of The Cosmic Tarot book, based on the visionary art of Norbert Loesche. Her book With Walt Whitman, Himself was acclaimed as “a book of marvels” by poet Steve Scafidi and “a true Whitmanian feast” by scholar Ed Folsom. Her writing can be found in The New York Times, The Brooklyn Rail, The Millions, The Rumpus, Ploughshares, Kenyon Review, North American Review, and Civil War Monitor, and she is a member of and volunteer book reviewer for Historical Novel Society. She co-founded Circling Rivers, which publishes literary nonfiction and poetry. Visit