Finally!!! Finally I finished ‘Labyrinth’, not the actual labyrinth but a novel ‘Labyrinth’ by Kate Mosse; again not model Kate Moss but author ‘Kate Mosse’.
Why it was a big deal? Well, to finish a really long novel, which is actually 500+ pages, and almost feel like 5000+ pages; it indeed is a big deal.
‘Labyrinth’ is the famous mystery novel which ‘Kate Mosse’ has written. This novel has received many awards like Best Read of the Year by British Book Awards. This novel seems heavily influenced by the popularity gained by Dan Brown‘s Holy Grail chase in his novel ‘The Da Vinci Code‘.
This book also quest for the pursuit of Holy Grail and use two different time periods set in France, to figure out answer to this centuries long question of, ‘What is Holy Grail?”
‘Labyrinth’ revolves around two of it’s female protagonist, Alice and Alais. Now, what intrigued me more is not only the main character, or shall I say Hero of the story, are two females, but, the villains too are two female characters belonging to two different periods.
Let me simplify it a bit for you. Alice, our present day protagonist, is working as a volunteer at an archeological site, when she accidentally discover a hidden cave and two skeletons. She unearth a century long secret, which she soon start to unravel with every death threatening obstacle on her way.
Alais, the girl from 13th century time period, is daughter of a prominent man of Carcassonne. In times of turmoil, she came to understand that her father is protector of a secret, and nor it’s her turn to help her father in keeping the secret safe. Her sister Oriane, who hated her free spirit, is sleeping with Alais husband, Guilhem.
Everyone n this story is after the Holy Grail, which can be deciphered with the help of three books. One out of these three books is with Alais, which his father has given her. Alais sacrifice her whole life to protect this book from her very own sister, Oriane. While our present day savior, Alice, has no knowledge of books until she met Audric, but she does got an accidental chance to see the ring of Labyrinth symbol, which can be used to summon Holy Grail. Marie-Cecile is present day vamp, who is after Alice and secrets of Grail.
It is later revealed that Alais is actually ancestor of Alice, and in this story people can live for more than 800 years, without being recognized. Story keeps on fluctuating between past and present, making you more and more confuse. One of the major problem with this novel is, that it is too long, with so many characters that you loose track of them and has to read back to identify their purpose. Characters are not well defined, and still they took so much of time to come across. It’s only near the end that is some fog gets cleared, and you actually can relate them to each other.
This is the major drawback of the novel. Also, there is no great mystery. I am not going to ruin it for you. But, seriously there is no actual mystery and you feel like cheated at the end of read. Language is also a major complication, as sometimes french is used, without any translation. As author is convinced that all her readers know French well enough to understand her book.
I should not compare it to Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, but still I can not resist; with Robert Langdon, you were solving puzzles and moving ahead in the story, this was making you connect with each page of book; while with Alice/Alais, you are confused, you have only one puzzle and you have to read 500 pages to reach there. You don’t even know what you are looking for. Are you looking for a connection between two Alices? Or, are you looking for Holy Grail? Or, this is just a period drama and story about heretics?
I am disappointed. 😦