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Is it a book? No its a third of the holy grail of course.
Labyrinth - Kate Mosse
Member Name: moo2moo
Labyrinth - Kate Mosse
Date: 03/11/09, updated on 03/11/09 (46 review reads)
Advantages: Historically its very well researched
Disadvantages: At times the detail is overly dull and tedious to read
The book starts somwhat bizarely when Alice Tanner, holiday maker extrordinaire, ventures away from the archaeolgical dig she is volunteering at and wanders up a hillside where she immediately spots something glittering beneath a boulder. The boulder in question is large enough that it blocks the entrance to a cave but Alice still manages to roll it out of the wall by herself. Perhpaps she'd had three Shreaded Wheat that day. The shiny object turns out to be a medieval belt buckle (still shiny after 800 years - blimey). Still it sets the tone for the remainder of the novel. The concepts within are so far fetched that what could have been a superb book is full of the ridiculous. I know authors are allowed to use artistic licence, it is fiction after all, but theres only so far you can stretch a concept before it ruins a perfectly good plot.
The book is actually two stories running simultaneously 800 years apart. The first follows Alice Tanner as she inherits a house and with it a whole can of worms which turn her into a woman on the run.
The second story is that of Alais du Mas, daughter of a very high ranking castle servant in France. Alais father hides a secret. He is one of the three guardians of a trilogy of books which must be preserved at all cost and must not fall into the wrong hands. This all proves rather difficult when the countrys priest want to burn you and most of your country men for being heretics (anything other than Catholics). As the heretic hunters draw closer Alais father confides in her in case he doesn't fulfil his role as guardian so that his book is not lost forever.
The women, Alice and Alais, share some common telepathic bond spanning 8 centuries as Alais visits Alice in her dreams. Alice becomes intuitive to Alais thoughts and it all becomes a little confusing. Still theres lots to think about. The author includes graphic details of the religious crusades, vague glimpses of life as a chevalier and lots of secret rooms, secret meetings and rich, powerful people who want to get their hands on the trilogy for all the wrong reasons.
So would I read it again. No. Once was plenty for me. I found the use of modern day French and its medieval form langue d'Oc annoying, especially when the author used both at the same time when one or other would have sufficed. Theres plenty of historical detail to appeal to people who like history but for none historians its all a bit too detailed at times and doesn't add anything to the story.
Summary: The first hundred pages are like wading through mud but it does improve a little