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Publisher's Summary

July 1209: In Carcassonne, a sixteen-year-old girl is given a mysterious book by her father which he claims contains the secret of the true Grail. Although she cannot understand the strange words and symbols hidden within, she knows that her destiny lies in protecting it.July 2005: Alice Tanner stumbles upon two skeletons during an archaeological dig in the mountains outside Carcassonne. Inside the hidden tomb where the bones lie crumbling, she experiences an overwhelming sense of malevolence, as well as a creeping realisation that, however impossible it seems, she can somehow understand the mysterious ancient words carved into the rock. Too late, Alice realises she's set in motion a terrifying sequence of events that she cannot control.
©2005 Mosse Associates Ltd; (P)2006 W. F. Howes Ltd.
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Critic Reviews

"A lovely, intelligent novel of discovery and loss." (Nicci Gerrard)
"A gripping holy grail quest." (Sunday Times)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Amazon Customer on 10-11-06

Dan Brown eat you heart out

I learned a lot of history from this book, and it's not difficult to confirm or refute the author's historical claims. I'm glad I was not born in the 12th century - she paints a vivid picture of day-to-day life in the early 1200's with clarity and occasionally disturbing detail. The story develops cleverly with the interplay between then and now done skillfully and in a way that keeps your interest. The characters are engaging, but sometimes a little too type-cast as goodies and baddies.

Beware - there are some stomach-churningly violent passages here, but not in a gratuitous way - I suspect they really did behave like that back then. (for example the destruction of Bezier is historically accurate as far as I can tell). The conclusion is satisfying, and ties together a carefully woven story quite neatly, although some of it you will have guessed as you listened.

To grasp all the intricacies of this book I listened to it twice and profited by doing so - it's fairly complex and keeping track of who's doing what in the middle third is not always easy - there are some early passages that are crucial to grasp but seem irrelevant on first listen.

Dan Brown should learn lessons from Kate Mosse. This story is everything the Da Vinci Code could have been - complex, engaging, intricate and clever, with easily discernible fact from fiction. Thoroughly enjoyable.

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9 of 9 people found this review helpful


By Leanne on 06-16-08

What makes an audio book work, or not?

I am forcing myself to finish listening to this book as I always try to finish what I start (reading-wise anyway). However, it is just plain atrocious. I can't make my mind up whether it is the choice of narrator, who no matter what each character is saying seems to be able to inflict a whining tone (you know, "poor little me"), or whether the writing simply lends itself to this type of narrative.

It would appear that, except for the main character, everyone spends their time being unreasonably angry or agitated and shouting. Also, the plot is taking too long to develop.

I'm very surprised to find it so hard to stomach listening to a book that is supposed to be an award winner. It's also just the kind of storyline that I usually love, but Labyrinth is proving immensely unsatisfying and I can only listen to it in very small sittings.

Sorry, Kate Mosse, but it is highly unlikely that I will be listening to any other books of yours, and I don't think, Maggie Mash that I'll be listening to anything you've narrated either.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By A Genealogist on 01-10-07

Long and Laborious

I wish I'd bought the abridged version! The story is so long. I find myself saying 'just get on with it' much to the consternation of others standing nearby.

Actually the story is pretty good. The narrator lets the side down by giving the French what appears to be a Lancashire accent which really grates. Aaagh. The French accent in some places is fine so I presume it was a deliberate (and bad) decision of the narrator to give some characters a more regional accent. It doesn't work!

There are lots and lots of cliches at the start, but it does settle down if you persevere. Not a bad book really but a combination of the narration and length lets it down.

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31 of 32 people found this review helpful


By Geoff on 12-24-07

Go and watch Indiana Jones instead

This is a mediocre novel, made worse by terrible narration.

The characters frequently display illogical and poorly explained behaviour, and the entire thing is written in a way that suggests the author was hoping it would be made into a movie. Add to this the fact that the narrator makes every line of dialogue sound like the character is gasping for breath, plus the fact that her accent is entirely non-French, and you end up with an audio book that had me cringing every few pages.

Basically, if you want a good, gripping Holy Grail story, go and watch Indiana Jones, or if you're really desperate go for the Da-Vinci code, but don't buy this.

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Bronte on 11-13-14

A Story of two times

I chose this book because I like medieval mystery and the archaeological angle too. The narration kept me listening and I was enthralled by the ending. There was a point were I was confused by the different threads and characters but this was momentary. I have the next two books to listen to now!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful


By Looraine on 02-25-15

Great story

Loved this book well written and wonderful to listen to would recommend can't wait to watch the TV series on it

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