by Kate Mosse
History attributes those chilling words of the title to Arnaud Amaury, the papal legate who led the massacre at Beziers in 1209 CE.
Whilst the records tell that the French Crusader army spared no one, the real targets of Catholic hatred were the Cathars, a pacifist and gnostic Christian sect. After occupying Beziers, the French moved on to Carcassonne, headquarters of Viscount Trencavel, prince of Languedoc, who was forced to surrender in August of the same year. The last stronghold of the Cathars, Montségur, was besieged in 1244, when the Crusaders burned 200 of the inhabitants who refused to renounce their beliefs.
Labyrinth tells the story of the so-called Albigensian Crusade, mostly through the eyes of Alais, a young woman, daughter of one of Trencavel’s aides, Bertrand Pelletier. Kate Mosse’s research is meticulous. Her detailed descriptions of the land, its people and…
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