Author: Kate Mosse
Genre: Thriller, Suspense, Historical
The inside cover stuff instantly intrigued me. I'm all about mysterious/secret, lesser-known histories. And the story of the Grail is one of the most well-known of the lesser-known histories. Or even myths. While this one doesn't go into my favorite theory, it's such a page turner.July 2005. In the Pyrenees mountains near Carcassonne, Alice, a volunteer at an archaeological dig, stumbles into a cave and makes a startling discovery-two crumbling skeletons, strange writings on the walls, and the pattern of a labyrinth. Eight hundred years earlier, on the eve of a brutal crusade that will rip apart southern France, a young woman named Alais is given a ring and a mysterious book for safekeeping by her father. The book, he says, contains the secret of the true Grail, and the ring, inscribed with a labyrinth, will identify a guardian of the Grail. Now, as crusading armies gather outside the city walls of Carcassonne, it will take a tremendous sacrifice to keep the secret of the labyrinth safe.
You learn of both Alice and Alais in alternating chapters, and I really have to give the author credit, for both the creativity and the amount of research that went into this book. The language, the history. Truly amazing. I'd like to own this. Even though it won't have that same suspense in a second reading, I think I'll pick up on smaller nuances. And ya know what? There's real history in there, too. The Crusades, obviously. Some history of the Cathars, history of France, real people that existed.
Seriously. Read this.