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Labyrinth [Paperback]

Kate Mosse
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (730 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 7.03 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

11 Jan 2006

July 1209: in Carcassonne a seventeen-year-old girl is given a mysterious book by her father which he claims contains the secret of the true Grail. Although Alais cannot understand the strange words and symbols hidden within, she knows that her destiny lies in keeping the secret of the labyrinth safe...

July 2005: Alice Tanner discovers two skeletons in a forgotten cave in the French Pyrenees. Puzzled by the labyrinth symbol carved into the rock, she realises she's disturbed something that was meant to remain hidden. Somehow, a link to a horrific past - her past - has been revealed.


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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: 4.4 x 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (730 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,608 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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Some good ideas, but a frustrating pace 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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Compelling but ultimately disappointing 27 Feb 2013
By Tina
Format:Paperback
I'd wanted to read Kate Mosse for ages, but never got around to it. I finally settled down with Labyrinth, though, and was really looking forward to it: on the surface, it's exactly the kind of story I love, with past and present day elements, intrigue, mystery, and perhaps even a supernatural element. The one very good thing I'd say about it is that, having started, I definitely wanted to keep reading, so she certainly captured and then maintained my interest. Unfortunately, that's the only really positive comment I have. Apart from that, I found it confusing, and hard to keep track of the different characters across two timeframes. Both historical and contemporary strands of the story (but especially the latter) became increasingly far-fetched and almost cartoonish in places. And, ultimately, I was disappointed: I finished the book with no real sense of satisfaction or revelation - and no desire to read any of her other novels, nor recommend this one to friends. In fact, I'm slightly bemused as to how it became a bestseller. It's a shame, because I really thought I'd love it - but perhaps my hopes were too high and I expected too much.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Rather disappointing 9 April 2006
By alianaw
Format:Paperback
I had hig hopes for this novel, but unfortunately found it very dull. It's much too long, and although the parallel structure of modern and medival stories was one of the things that attracted me to the novel in the first place, I ended up finding the jumps in time rather irritating. There's far too much description too, as when a character walks through a market and everything, absolutely everything, is described, over several pages. On a positive note, it's good to see a novel with female protagonists.
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49 of 54 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hugely anticipated but.... 11 Sep 2005
Format:Hardcover
Yes, I bought this with birthday vouchers and settled down for a good read. I wanted so much to enjoy it, the blurb really caught my imagination. Repetition was the first criticism, and I know there were recurring themes but I would have expected new language used: "velvet darkness" and "velvet black" etc.
But the most glaring disappointments were the errors in time - at one point Alice tells the solicitor that her parents were killed in 1993, but the genealogy chart in Grace's house showed 1982. When Alice is giving her details to the police at the beginning of the book she gives her name as Alice Grace Tanner. Then her aunt, Grace Alice Tanner turns up and you think "okay, she's called after her aunt," but then she finds out that her father didn't know about his sister. Later Alice sees her name as Alice Helena on the genealogy chart.
Didn't anybody READ this book before it was published? What happened to the editing for continuity? Come on, Orion, I know it was a good story but did you have to race to get it out before the Da Vinci Code film so much that good editing was thrown out of the window? Readers deserve better for their hard-earned than a cynical money-making rush for the publishers.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cathar Enlightenment 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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