In this adventure-cum-mystery story, the author deftly handles what
could have been difficult transitions between two time zones,the 13th
century and the present day.The former is provided with well-
researched historical detail which gives added depth and a real sense
of place to the tale.
'Labyrinth' (Illustrated Edition) By Kate Mosse , London:
Orion, 2006. ISBN 0 75287 618 X 544pp. (hardback) £20.00
Beginnings are always important and, even before the narrative takes
off with an intriguing discovery, we are provided with a fascinating
author's introduction which explains the genesis of the novel and the
spell cast over her by the area around Carcassonne in South West
France. This affection for the landscape is allied to a real passion
for, in particular, the two resourceful and independent-minded heroines
and a poignant evocation of the crushing of the Cathar 'heresy'.
The illustrations in the luxury edition largely help the sense of place
mentioned earlier while the Occitan proverbs, used as chapter endings
for both 'time zones' help to bind past and present together and
reinforce one of the book's central themes, namely the enduring power
Two minor quibbles: the decision to group the translations of the
proverbs at the end of the book creates rather too much page turning,
when a footnote translation would have avoided this.Also, the proverbs
are used randomly-some could surely have been placed at more
appropriate points (for example, the proverb on page 202 neatly fits
the end of chapter 72).
I thoroughly recommend Labyrinth,which has more heart and soul
than Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code and I look forward, as
will many, to doing the Labyrinth Walk in Carcassonne, using the guide
helpfully provided by the author!
'Labyrinth' is published by Orion Books.