Tuesday 6 November 2012

Labyrinth by Kate Mosse

review by Maryom

Alice Tanner is volunteering at an archaeological dig in the Sabarthes mountains in southern France when she accidentally discovers an underground chamber - with an altar and two corpses. Something tells her that she has stumbled on something of far-reaching importance - something that she very quickly realises others have an interest in too - something that links the present day with events many centuries earlier.

In 13th century Carcassone, Alais along with the other inhabitants is dreading the arrival of the French crusading army intent on ridding the land of Cathar heresy. Her father has charged Alais with protecting a valuable religious artefact - a task which could put her in serious danger.
The story plays out over the two time settings, both threads drawing to a conclusion in the mysterious chamber in the mountains.

Labyrinth is a mix of historical fiction and present day action adventure. The historical scenes are played out against the backdrop of the Albigensian Crusade, when the Pope encouraged the annihilation of alleged heretics and anyone who dared to help them - and I found this the more fascinating part of the story. What makes it stand out from other religious conspiracy novels is that in both time frames the 'heroes' are women - not as heroines, supporting a plot driven by men, but as the main characters.

At nearly 700 pages Labyrinth is a long read and at times I felt sections could have been shorter without detracting from the story. An enjoyable read but not one I'm likely to re-read in a hurry.

Maryom's review - 3.5 stars
Publisher - Orion

Genre - adult, historical, adventure,

Buy Labyrinth from Amazon


  1. I really wanted to get into this one but found it impossible. Must try again.

    1. If it's the historical plot that appeals, then Mary Hoffman's Troubadour is a quicker and more atmospheric read.