In Labyrinth, Kate Mosse links the lives of two women. Alais lives in the 1200s in Carcasonne in South West France and Alice is visiting the area in modern times. While I tend to avoid books involving concepts like reincarnation and wandering spirits, Kate Mosse has done very well in this book. I much preferred this to ‘Sepulchre’.
In the 1200s in Europe, particularly in France and Spain, the Cathars were a large enough group to rival the Catholics. They were believed to be the keepers of the Holy Grail and its life giving secrets. They were persecuted by other groups for a variety of reasons – The Catholics believed them to be heretics, some wanted the Grail for themselves and some wanted the Grail destroyed.
17 year old Alais finds herself caught up with the Cathars at the time of the Catholic Crusades that virtually wiped them out. She ends up charged with the safety of three books and is only partially successful in keeping them out of the hands of those intent on having them for themselves.
When Alice Turner, working as a volunteer on an archaeological dig, discovers two skeletons in a cave, she finds herself, once again, trying to keep the secrets of the Cathars safe from those who would misuse them or destroy them.
Although some parts of the book were a bit tedious to get through, in general I really enjoyed it. I found myself completely drawn into the lives of Alais and Alice for a few days. I loved the historical component and I always enjoy reading about groups that found themselves up against the might of the Catholic Church. The Cathars sound great – imagine a religious group that respects people regardless of their religious beliefs.
I’m looking forward to reading the other Kate Mosse novels.
Book Published 2005