The Fortress of Punishment

Original title: La fortezza del castigo

Publication Date:

March 2018



Original language and publisher


Crime & Thrillers, Historical Fiction

The Fortress of Punishment

Original title: La fortezza del castigo

  • 2 Seas Represents: Dutch rights.
  • Rights sold: Germany (C. Bertelsmann), Spain (Ediciones B)
  • 20,000 copies in print.


A gripping adventure novel peopled with historical figures: a mysterious journey through medieval Europe on the quest for a unique relic that could prevent the apocalypse

1214. Italy, Altopascio, home to the Knights of the Tau.

The Franciscan Bonaventura da Iseo, an expert in the arts of alchemy, learns with dismay of the news of the disappearance of his mentor, Francis of Assisi, and receives, from the blood-soaked hands of a brother, a mysterious manuscript that he must guard with his life.

Banished from the fortress and accused of practising magic and alchemy, Bonaventura sets off in search of his mentor, accompanied by a knight in a gold mask and a young girl accused of being a witch. Determined to find and free Francis, Bonaventura decides to set off on a journey: in dark convents and treacherous manor houses, he will find out that his master had with him the only relic capable of defeating the forces of evil and preventing the coming of the Antichrist, prophesied by Joachim of Fiore. Saint Francis is, in fact, in possession of the Holy Shroud.

The group are on the trail of the friar from Assisi, guided by the parchment written by Francis, whose puzzles, once solved, will lead them towards their destination. The monk and his companions embark on an adventurous journey across 13th-century Italy that will take them to the cursed castle of Montségur, the impregnable fortress of the Cathar heretics, where they find Francis and the shroud. The precious shroud must now be safeguarded and taken back to Jerusalem to prevent the fulfilment of Joachim of Fiore’s mysterious and ill-fated prophecy.

A historical thriller with the lively and compelling pace of the great adventure stories.

Pierpaolo Brunoldi has written screenplays for TV and cinema. The Fortress of Punishment is his first book.
Antonio Santoro is graduate at Dams (Disciplines of the Arts, Music and Entertainment) in Bologna, and is an actor and director. The Fortress of Punishment is his first book.

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