Labyrinth by Kate Mosse

Labyrinth by Kate Mosse (unabridged audiobook read by Donada Peters): A word of warning: if you’re sick of books about the Holy Grail, it’d be best to skip this one. The sad part is that this really didn’t need to be about the Holy Grail at all. It could have been called anything. Like so many other recent interpretations, this Grail isn’t the cup of Christ, and indeed has nothing to do with Jesus at all. The closest you get is the story of the Crusaders versus the Cathars in 13th century France, whose narrative is intertwined with the modern-day tale of an English woman who stumbles upon a strange cave during an archaeological dig. That part is vivid and gripping. The mystic weirdness surrounding the Holy Grail, not so much. It is hard to follow and just a tad silly. That is not to say that this is not worth reading. The descriptions alone instilled me with a deep desire to tour France; the characters, while not especially deep, were sympathetic and easily distinguishable. The truth is, the amount of research that clearly went into writing this book is enough to convince me to pick up Mosse’s next book, if only to revel in the lush details of whatever historical period she chooses.

If you like historical fiction, have no qualms with loopy magical realism, and aren’t too touchy about frequent jabs at the medieval Christian church, you will enjoy this book. As for me, it was a nice peek into a time and place I’d never given much thought. Hopefully Mosse’s other works will make a little more sense on the miraculous end.

  1. I agree with your review. I read Labyrinth some time ago and found the historical descriptions vivid and interesting, but the overall plot a bit lacking.

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