Labyrinth by Kate Mosse
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Labyrinth by Kate Mosse is book one of the Languedoc trilogy. There is a dual time setting— present day (2005) and eight hundred years earlier.
It begins with an accident at an archaeological dig in the Pyrenean mountains. A hidden tomb is discovered by Alice, which sets off a dangerous chain of events.
The second storyline is set in 1209 and begins in the city of Carcassona. There is an impending religious war between Catholics and Cathars. Alais is the daughter of a noble, a secret guardian of The Grail. In the battle that follows, Alais smuggles various artefacts to safety. However, adversaries seek The Grail’s powers for themselves, and Alais is forced into hiding.
Eight hundred years later Alice also finds herself in danger from those who continue to seek the power of The Grail.
This is a long book at over five hundred pages, and I found myself skipping slower parts. I preferred the earlier setting and story rather than the modern-day one as I found it difficult to find any empathy for Alice. It was only towards the very end as the two stories began to converge that I became really eager to carry on reading.
Overall, I liked the idea of the book, but I thought it was too long which diluted the action and important elements.
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In the Pyrenees mountains near Carcassonne, Alice, a volunteer at an archaeological dig, stumbles into a cave and makes a startling discovery-two crumbling skeletons, strange writings on the walls, and the pattern of a labyrinth. Eight hundred years earlier, on the eve of a brutal crusade that will rip apart southern France, a young woman named Alais is given a ring and a mysterious book for safekeeping by her father. The book, he says, contains the secret of the true Grail, and the ring, inscribed with a labyrinth, will identify a guardian of the Grail. Now, as crusading armies gather outside the city walls of Carcassonne, it will take a tremendous sacrifice to keep the secret of the labyrinth safe.