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Labyrinth Paperback – 11 Jan 2006


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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: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (773 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,541 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

Review

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

3.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A. Sidhu on 25 Aug. 2006
Format: Paperback
The book centers around the mystery of the Holy Grail (or at least this author's take on it) and the people that have fought to protect it or exploit it for the past 800 years. I thought this was a good device, along with linking the main characters from the 1200s to the present day; sort of like people's spirits remaining the same, no matter how different their surroundings are.

However, the author took FOREVER to get to the crux of the story. Based on the hints dropped maddeningly throughout the first 450 pages of a 600 page book, the reader is led to believe that this secret is something that people have been pursuing and protecting and dying and killing for for thousands of years. The secret is then divulged in the last 150 pages of the book, barely giving the reader time to digest it and understand its implications, or to just contemplate the scope of it. Why I should I bother about the protagonist risking her life to protect something if I don't know what it is? How is the reader to sympathise and relate to the characters if they barely have an idea as to what motivates them? More attention should have been paid to this bit of the story.

So basically, its a good idea but more could have been done to develop it and truly draw the reader in, or at least shave off a couple of 100 pages. And yeah, the language was kind of schoolgirlish.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By "artemoula" on 9 Jan. 2006
Format: Paperback
Although the basic story and characters are good, I finished reading the book still very confused about parts of it..There was an endless array of terms, eg.Bons Homes, Bons de los Sores, that to someone unfamiliar with the history of the Cathars and the Crusades like I, was very difficult to follow. The story of Alais was definetely the more developed here, but the stories changed so abruptly between the past and present that I found myself having to go back a number of times to remember what had happened.
Overall, a lot of holes left in the book, a lot of confusing facts and ultimately, compared to a Dan Brown book since everyone seems to be comparing this to, the story and explanations never quite reached the believability that the da Vinci code did. Dan Brown--although far-stretched-- delivered a quick pacing thriller with lots of 'science' and 'historical' facts dropped in to make his readers totally fascinated. Kate Mosse only quickly decided to add something of that from page 500 onwards.
Shame, it could really have been a great page-turner.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Carole Eva on 26 Dec. 2006
Format: Paperback
This is another Grail tale with a predictable ending, but what made it special for me was the recounting of religious and historic events in France during the early 13th Century - Kate Mosse researched well and brings them alive. I have to admit that the word Cathar meant nothing to me before reading this, but their story should be known by all who value religious freedom and loath opression; I have since been doing more research into the subject, so I must thank Kate Mosse for making me aware of the dreadful deeds carried out, once again, in the name of religion. It's a timeslip story, moving between the first half of the 13th Century and present day, and because the two parts run in such close parallels, I did sometimes confuse the era in which some of the characters I was reading about lived! Some reviewers have expressed frustration regarding the Occitan language used in parts by the author; I have to say that the passages written in this way were extremely short and in no way detracted from the story. (The author does make reference to this at the start of the book).
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51 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Rosalind on 30 Jan. 2006
Format: Paperback
There isn't an option for a no-star review, but this would be one if there were.
A tedious flimflam of historical romantic fiction and Dan-Brownish histrionics. The plot is leaden - on page 303, I noted in the margin; "When will something substantive happen?" The answer is; nothing of interest or value will happen at all in this rather silly tome. The protagonist in both her guises only proceeds by reaction, panic & a kind of unreflecting sentiment - surely nobody would dream of entrusting anything of import to such an airhead? One is always perplexed when one encounters a female writer creating female characters who seem unable or unwilling to think. That the "Alice" character holds a doctorate whilst apparently lacking any analytic capabilities is a matter for further perplexity.
Mosse moves the plot forward through the teen-horror device of having her protagonist do exactly the opposite of the sensible or practical thing. Considerations of narrative style seem to have been sacrificed to a breathlessness which does not substitute for suspense.
We know next to nothing of the Cathars & this book adds less than nothing to our understanding of their lives and beliefs. As a mystery novel, the mystery is contained in the words, "How did this get published?" The only redeeming feature of this doorstep is the brief bibliography - in particular, I urge anyone interested in the period to read René Weiss' "Yellow Cross; The Story of the Last Cathars 1290-1329 and Emmanuel le Roy's "Montaillou; Cathars & Catholics in a French Village".
One final point - a glossary that does not cover all the Occitan vocabulary used is either lazy or pretentious - you, gentle reader must decide...
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