"Labyrinth"

Labyrinth, by Kate Mosse, was a book I was really looking forward to reading. I was hooked by The Davinci Code (even if it annoyed me by being utter drival from a factual point of view), and was under the impression Labyrinth was going to be even better. In this regard I have to confess I was a little disappointed.
Now don’t get me wrong – I enoyed reading it, and the missus will testify that I had my nose stuck deep into it. But somehow the language wasn’t as engaging, I found it quite confusing and hard to follow in places, and there was a certain degree of deus ex machina, I thought anyway.

The basic premise is of two girls calls Alice (or equivalent), seperated in time by some 800 years, who are both caught up in the mystery of the grail, somehow. I don’t think it’s spoiling anything to say that there is a strong suggestion that one is the re-incarnation of the other, and the book proceeds with their lives sort of following a parallel track, albeit 8 centuries apart.

I got a very strong impression that all the C12 characters had C21 equivalents (Alice and Alais being the two most obvious), but it wasn’t at all clear to me who mapped onto who. And while it was very obvious who the “bad guys” are, their motivation and “side” was never very clear. I suppose I felt like I was being left to do a little bit too much work trying to piece the puzzle together – and indeed I think I failed.

Still, it was a good old yarn, and very absorbing – once you stopped worrying about the metaphysical and spiritual aspects, it was actually quite enjoyable. Not a classic by any means, but certainly a page-turner, and I suspect if you were more familar with that region of France the book would feel like a cross between an old friend and a tour guide!

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