Ghosts in the Midi

Bookheathen Scribblings

Sepulchre

by Kate Mosse

The first time I read this novel, I learned it was the second book of the author’s Languedoc Trilogy. Two of its minor characters, I was informed, had appeared in the first novel, Labyrinth. As I hadn’t read the latter, I put the information into storage. It didn’t seem especially relevant.

Now that I have read Labyrinth(more than once) and gone back to Sepulchre after a lapse of a few years, I haven’t changed my opinion. The connection is easily ignored and Sepulchre is an excellent standlone in its own right. It is a book that can be read two or three times: as historical fiction, ghost story and riveting thriller.

sepulchre

The fates of two women, their lives separated by a century of history, are connected to a mysterious ruined tomb in the Languedoc.

The novel begins in Paris where, on 16th September 1891…

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'Kill them all; God will know his own.'

Bookheathen Scribblings

Labyrinth

by Kate Mosse

A Review

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.

labyrinthLabyrinth 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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