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Labyrinth Paperback – 11 Jan 2006

813 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 752 pages
  • Publisher: Orion; New Ed edition (11 Jan. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752877321
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752877327
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 4.8 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (813 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 20,131 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kate Mosse is an international bestselling author with sales of more than five million copies in 38 languages. Her fiction includes the novels Labyrinth (2005), Sepulchre (2007), The Winter Ghosts (2009), and Citadel (2012), as well as an acclaimed collection of short stories,The Mistletoe Bride & Other Haunting Tales (2013). Kate's new novel, The Taxidermist's Daughter, will be published in autumn 2014.

Kate is the Co-Founder and Chair of the Board of the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction (previously the Orange Prize) and in June 2013, was awarded an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List for services to literature. She lives in Sussex.

Product Description


The author has combined an ingenious adventure story with a wonderfully detailed account of the historical background of the Languedoc ... the result is entirely compelling and full of incidental pleasures. (Christina Koning THE TIMES)

Pacey and addictive (Kate Saunders THE TIMES)

Saturated with a passionate understanding of the region's past in a way that puts more conventional historical accounts to shame. Mosse wears her learning so lightly, knitting her historical research so neatly into her narrative, that we never get the slightest sense of being preached or lectured to... [conveying] the texture of various patches of the past with such rich complexity (GUARDIAN)

a gripping holy grail quest ... the story line runs on knowledge and fun - Carcassonne never looked so good. (Anthony Sattin SUNDAY TIMES)

This is a novel clearly fuelled by an authorial obsession with a history, region and concept. The settings are evocative and... there are also some powerful dramatic scenes: the climactic moments where the good and evil women meet and battle it out are particularly compelling... [An] intriguing...passionate book. (SUNDAY TIMES)

LABYRINTH is very much a Girl's Own story: a grail quest in which women aren't helpless creatures to be rescued, or decorative bystanders, but central to the action, with the capacity to change history (OBSERVER)

A spellbinding adventure story (REAL)

An action packed adventure of modern conspiracy and medieval passion ... a Grail gripper [and] elegantly written timeslip novel set in France (INDEPENDENT)

A thumping read: Mosse creates a world so complete I began to miss it before the last page. More intriguing than Dan Brown, a conundrum with lasting depth and vigour, LABYRINTH captivates from the first page until the final twist (Denise Mina)

Book Description

Three secrets. Two women. One Grail . . .

The spellbinding No1. bestselling novel of destiny and betrayal.

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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 39 people found the following review helpful By I Walker on 22 April 2006
Format: Paperback
Whilst the subject matter is interesting to me (and also very fashionable at the moment), this book was a big disappointment. I'm baffled that the critics' reviews and comments are so full of praise for Labyrinth, when the book is poorly written. Given the author's profile in British art and literary circles, were some favours called in?

The story takes an awful long time to get going, and it was a bit of a struggle to get to grips with all the characters and their significance, if any. Whilst the medieval sections were interesting and evocative, I could not muster much feeling for the present day characters.

After forcing myself to get past half way, it all seemed worthwhile. The seeds of the plot started to come together, and for a while I was enthralled.

As the story reached its conclusion though, significant flaws in the plot became apparent, and the story just lost any credibility. At the supposedly dramatic climax, I didn't really care what happened because the plot just left me feeling so unconvinced.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Pelagius on 28 July 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This best-selling historical thriller (published in 2005) is strong on narrative drive and twists, with a sufficient cast of goodies and baddies, albeit with little depth or subtlety and too much slack writing. Nevertheless, it is a very addictive page-turner - once one has got past the first, poorly written chapter.

A thriller rather than a historical novel, Labyrinth falters at the end as the two stories race to their conclusion. The McGuffin of the 'Grail' quest, as somewhat laboriously worked out in this novel, seemed to me to be close to pointless (though that was Hitchcock's point).

The twin time narratives - early 13th and early 21st century - work well, though this tends to mean that the characters are somewhat one-dimensional. Also, the reader invests more in one time period than another - inevitably, the Cathars of the early 13th century are more interesting, though Mosse has little understanding of their deep puritanism - and thus interest in the contemporary narrative is limited to what happens next.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Bea on 12 Mar. 2007
Format: Paperback
I read this book about half a year ago, and it most certainly did not live up to my expectations. From the blurb on the book , and from reviews I had read I was led to expect an adventure with links to the past in the tradition of "The da Vinci Code", but written by a writer with a far better mastery of fictional prose. Instead I discovered a muddled and illogical story that did not draw me in - and it is a shame, because I am usually quite happy to suspend my disbelief for a good story, and the description of the plot made me want to read it. I am a booklover of the old-fashioned kind, and usually find redeeming features in most things I read, but I have to say I have thrown this book away, in case a family-member should accidentally pick it up and waste their time reading it!
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145 of 161 people found the following review helpful By _psyche on 11 Jan. 2006
Format: Hardcover
I've long been interested in the many and varied 'grail conspiracies', having stumbled across The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail at the age of 15. The recent outpouring of novels of the subject have been a big disappointment to me, badly written and researched, and this is no exception.
I'm sorry to say Ms Mosse's writing is clumsy to the point where it takes actual effort to read. One of the classic rules of writing is 'Show, don't tell', in other words, instead of telling us that someone is kind, let their actions show us. But Ms Mosse tells us again and again how clever and kind and brave her heros are, while giving us no evidence of those traits. Becuase of this, it feels as though none of her characters have any personality, indeed they often act inexplicably and completely at odds with the despcrition of them we have been given. For example, we are told that Alais' father was entrusted with one of the grail secrets because of his fine qualities, because he could be relied on to protect it against all odds. But as soon as the time comes when he needs to act he buries his head in the sand, procrastinates like a child, and ultimately completely fails in his duty. We are told he is a noble person, but his behaviour in general is short-sighted, bullying, and dense, making it completely implausible that anyone would trust him with a secret and duty of that magnitude.
Her general narrative is no better. She doesn't manage to make anything that happens make sense. I felt throughout that she had planned a string of events that wanted to happen without considering whether they made sense either in their context or in terms of her characters' intentions and personalities.
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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 21 Nov. 2005
Format: Hardcover
As this is my subject (23years of research) I was so looking forward to reading this book. I'm sorry now I wasted my time. This work has been badly researched in some major areas, but also has silly, avoidable mistakes, which I found irksome. Two examples drawn at random are : brass didn't appear as a metal until the 16th century, and it would take two drivers a minimum of twelve hours to drive from Toulouse to Chartres - one driver would require an overnight stop somewhere, especially if starting half-way through the day, as did the modern-day heroine!. I feel the writer would have done well to go to a further draft of this work, and to have got someone capable to edit it for her. The mistakes in continuity, spellings, time sequencing and repetition are legion, were very annoying, (as, too, was the tedious use of Occitan phrases and mediaeval French, followed by laboured translations, and the repetitions of cliched phrases - the number of times someone loses consciousness and "the world went black" could be counted on two hands.)
Maybe Ms Mosse rushed this book out in the hope of attracting the attention of Stephen Spielberg, because at times it is very reminiscent of the exploits of Indiana Jones. The ancient cave possessing sophisticated, mechanical, rock-moving technology and holographic apparitions in the cente of the wall-painted labarynth was, without a doubt, inspired by the denouement of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Perhaps she hoped Dreamworld would turn it into a blockbuster, but I feel it is too far-fetched to make a suitable film vehicle, even for Spielberg.
On the book's cover, Val McDermid is quoted as writing 'Eat your heart out, Dan Brown, this is the real thing.' Oh that it were!
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