📚Book One of The Languedoc Trilogy. Rosie’s #BookReview Of Dual Timeline Saga Labyrinth by Kate Mosse. #BookTwitter

Labyrinth (Languedoc, #1)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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Orange rose book description
Book description

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.

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🐉 Set in the Welsh Marches during the late 13th century. Rosie’s #Bookreview of #Histfic The Welsh Lord’s Convenient Bride by @LissaMorganAuth #TuesdayBookBlog

The Welsh Lord's Convenient BrideThe Welsh Lord’s Convenient Bride by Lissa Morgan

4 stars

The Welsh Lord’s Convenient Bride is historical romance set in the Welsh Marches during the late 13th century.

The Welsh Marches was a frontier land that straddled what we know today as the borders between England and Wales. In the middle ages it was a place of constant war and rebellion. As this story opens, Eleanor de Vraille travels to Castelle y Lleuad where she is to marry Rhun ab Owain as part of peace treaty deal. The treaty was agreed years ago between their respective fathers and now that Rhun is the Lord, he is ready to get married.

Both Rhun and the castle are, at first, hostile to Eleanor. She doesn’t speak Welsh and she is at a loss to know why Rhun dislikes her so much; she even considers returning to her English home, but there she would face a father who despises her. When a new uprising against the English king begins, Rhun will support his Welsh comrades, which forces Eleanor to choose sides.

I enjoyed Eleanor’s determination to break Rhun’s dislike of her. I haven’t read any other books in this setting and the author’s historical notes at the back were most interesting. A good debut novel.

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Orange rose book description
Book description

Enjoy the drama that unfolds in this medieval marriage of convenience…A wedding between enemiesA marriage to heal their scars

Hiding a disfigurement, Eleanor de Vraille is already lacking confidence when she arrives at her future husband’s cheerless Welsh castle. And Rhun ab Owain’s open disapproval of her does nothing to make her feel at ease. Their union is to seal peace between their families, nothing more. But Eleanor’s heart rebels—is she a fool to hope for any affection from this strong-willed nobleman with the dark glittering eyes?

From Harlequin Historical: Your romantic escape to the past.

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Rosie’s #BookReview Of #HistoricalFiction THE FRENCH CARPENTER by Stephen Phillips

The French Carpenter (The Pitt Family Saga Book 1)The French Carpenter by Stephen J. Phillips

3.5 stars

The French Carpenter is historical fiction and is set on the coast of Sussex. Gervase, a young French carpenter, was shipwrecked in a storm. He was discovered half-drowned on the beach and was offered shelter and work by a local family. His skills as a carpenter got him specialist work for the Templar monks and a local Baron, but Gervase got caught up in a dangerous plot to cause trouble for the Templar order.

I liked this story particularly because it was based around several real characters. I also have a fascination with the Templar Knights and I thought that the author made a good attempt at mixing fact with fiction. I would describe the story as slow paced, but I felt that it reflected the era in which the book was set.

Overall, a good start to a series.

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Book description

In AD1200, a young man – Gervase Pitt – is found half drowned on a Sussex beach by the teenaged Joan. Their meeting will lead to an adventure involving lords, clergy, the (so-called heretic) Cathars and infamous Knights Templar.

Together with Nick, the autistic child they adopt, they must discover how the nearby Priory is trying to discredit the Baron for whom Gervase works and, more importantly, prove it is false.

Their investigations cover much of Sussex and Surrey, before Nick’s photographic memory comes to their aid.

The French Carpenter is the first in a series of books covering the Pitt family’s adventures during the first decades of the thirteenth century. It includes many real-life characters, who become embroiled in the machinations of evil-minded and ambitious people.

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My #Bookreview of #Histfic Brethren by @RobynYoung36 A Knights Templar tale

Brethren (Brethren Trilogy, #1)Brethren by Robyn Young

4 stars

Brethren is an historical novel and is set in the thirteenth century. It features the Knights Templar and some of their crusades in The Holy Land.

The book opens in the Kingdom of Jerusalem, as an army of Mamluk warriors successfully win back land from both the Mongol nation and the western invaders. Rising through the Mamluk ranks, commander Baybars is on a personal mission to gain freedom from invaders for his people.

In Paris, a book is stolen. The Book Of The Grail is believed to contain confirmation that a secret sect exists within the Knights Templar. While in London, thirteen year old Will Campbell, a Templar sergeant, struggles with the harsh demands of discipline that being a knight-in-training requires.

The mystery which surrounds the stolen book, and the latest threats to western strongholds in The Holy Land, all lead Will on a treacherous journey to a place he’s dreamed of travelling to for years.

I enjoyed this story, as the tales which surround The Knights Templar have always fascinated me. The author explains that she tried to keep the events and characters as close to reality as possible, without the historical detail overriding the plot. I thought she did a good job, because at no time did I feel that I was in the middle of a history lesson. The book, however, took me a while to read; it is quite long. This was the only drawback, as I felt, at times, that it dragged the story out, causing me to break from reading, rather than keeping me completely engrossed. However, I do not hesitate to recommend this to those who enjoy this historical genre.

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Book description

From the burning plains of Syria to the filthy backstreets of Paris and London, Brethren is the story of Will Campbell, coming of age in a time of conspiracy, passion, politics and war.

Will longs to become a Knight Templar, but first he must serve as an apprentice to the foul-tempered scholar Everard, a man of dangerous secrets.

Meanwhile, a new star is rising in the east. Amir Baybars has fought his way from slavery to become a fearsome commander, driven by an unquenchable desire to free the Holy Land from the European invaders.

A stunning, epic novel of war, savagery and heroism.

About the author

Robyn Young lives in Hove, and is the author of BRETHREN, the first novel in a trilogy set in the world of the Crusades. The author of numerous poems and short stories published in magazines and anthologies, Robyn has a Masters in Creative Writing with distinction from the University of Sussex. She teaches creative writing part-time in Brighton.

Robyn Young

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