THE BURNING CHAMBERS is set in Carcassonne at the time of the French religious wars. The Catholic church, long dominant in France, is intent on driving the Protestant Huguenots out of the country. This has echoes of the attacks against the Cathars that were featured in Kate Mosse’s earlier novels – LABYRINTH, SEPULCHRE and CITADEL.
Minou Joubert is 19 years old and lives in Carcassonne with her father and younger brother and sister. She is happy and confident but she has overheard her father talking with his good friend Cecile Noubel about secrets concerning her. They want to send her to Toulouse with her brother to keep her safe. She is opposed to leaving until she meets Piet Reydon.
Piet Reydon studied with the aim of entering the priesthood but the more he learned, the less he believed. He became a Huguenot and has dedicated his life to helping the Huguenots in Toulouse. He is being hunted by a former friend who is a priest rising through the ranks of the church.
Finally the secrets of Minou’s life start to catch up with her but she and Piet have fallen in love and are intent on facing their challenges together. They are lured to the town of Puivert where they must face their enemies in order to save their families and their own lives.
But Minou’s secrets are enough to affect others in future generations.
Like the novels of the Languedoc trilogy, this novel was filled with the beauty of the region and the love that the people of the region have for their home. The story was filled with mystery, religious conflict, violence, romance, conspiracy and lies.
There are indications that there will be a sequel to this novel and I’m looking forward to reading it.