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(Languedoc #1)

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  50,079 ratings  ·  3,207 reviews
In the Pyrenees mountains near Carcassonne, Alice, a volunteer at an archaeological dig, stumbles into a cave and makes a startling discovery-two crumbling skeletons, strange writings on the walls, and the pattern of a labyrinth. Eight hundred years earlier, on the eve of a brutal crusade that will rip apart southern France, a young woman named Alais is given a ring and a ...more
Paperback, 515 pages
Published February 6th 2007 by Berkley Books (first published 2005)
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Average rating 3.59  · 
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Oct 13, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: bookgroup
As I was reading this I greatly disliked it at some times and was really into it at other times. It was hard to get into, but overall I liked it more than not.

Mosse's writing made me cringe at times. So much unnecessary description. (Who did her editing? They should be ashamed.) And the passiveness of characters telling each other the story while the reader "listens in" bugged me.

I would have preferred just to have the historical storyline. But I understand why the author needed to have the pr
Book Review
3.5 of 5 stars to Labyrinth, the first book in a three part series entitled "Languedoc," written in 2005 by Kate Mosse. I enjoyed this book. Many people felt it was a bit boring and inconsistent. It was one of the earlier books I read in the adventure genre, around the time I got hooked on the Da Vinci code book and series. Ultimately, I love this genre... when you go back and forth in time periods, cover adventures, try to connect ancient peoples to someone current, find
Apr 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Dan Brown's victims
For a long time, The Da Vinci Code put me right off books about the Cathars or the Holy Grail, so I was hesitant to pick up Kate Mosse's book. Still, I gave this book a chance, as I'd been impressed with Kate Mosse's work as an interviewer on the BBC's Radio 4. I'm glad that I read it.

This book focuses on the Cathars, a gnostic sect centered in the Pays d'Oc, (modern southwestern France). Several legends have been told about the Cathars, including that they practiced ancient mystical rituals an
Jan 23, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ladies who have large handbags
Recommended to Shovelmonkey1 by: general ubiquitousness in charity shops
Oh the inner turmoil. Did I enjoy Labyrinth by Kate Mosse or not?
Hold on... what Kate Moss the supermodel lady has written a book?
No, Kate Mosse the author, not THE Kate Moss ... come on, keep up people.

My two inner voices have clashed over this story and so I've given this book a middling 3 out of 5. Here is what my chatty inner voices are bickering over:

Brilliant. Archaeology ladies get into all sorts of European adventure hi-jinx
Rachel Burton
Oct 24, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: general-fiction, 2007
I've read a lot of books on the Holy Grail in my time (some may say an obsessive amount, I prefer to think of myself as thorough) from Le Morte D'Arthur to The Da Vinci Code and sadly this falls into the latter category.

The main difference between Kate Mosse and Dan Brown is that Kate appears to have done her research. Her story's relationship to legend and even actual historical events is a little less tenuous that Brown's, her grasp of English is infinitely better (not hard), as is her grasp
Apr 08, 2008 rated it it was ok
This pulled at me and repulsed me simultaneously. As a medievalist and amateur historian, I was addicted to learning how Mosse laid out this Grail fantasy. She treats the Cathar subjects well, clearly having spent at least a few hours on Wikipedia researching the matter. My repulsion was, however, centered on the regrettably mediocre writing. Mosse relies on heavy exposition and tosses adjectives and adverbs in like my grandmother does salt. Her characters are poorly developed, largely one-dimen ...more
Sep 13, 2013 rated it liked it
This was a bed time read; the time when I will read things I otherwise may not. In this case historical fiction in the guise of yet another (yawn) grail quest. All these medieval storytellers (Chretien de Troyes; yes I do mean you!) have a lot to answer for. This is split between early 13th century France at the time of the Cathars and France in 2005; the main protagonists being Alais in 1205 and Alice in 2005 (Of course there isn't a link of any sort; familial, psychic or anything!!!!) . The ba ...more
Hannah Elizabeth
I read this book some time ago, and have recently been reminded of its sorry existence by the fact that a dramatisation is due to be screened in the not so distant future. Personally, I am proud of having made to the end where so many others fallen in the effort. The writing was diabolical, the plot completely over-blown and all over the place, and the characters were pitifully one-dimensional. Although, I do think it takes a special kind of genius to come up with something this bad, I really do ...more
Nicole Chinnici
3.5, rounding up.

This was not my first time reading Labyrinth. I remember having read it about ten years ago but couldn’t recall any specifics about the story. I do recall finishing it in the middle of the night and immediately turning to google to find out more about the book and its author, so it clearly made quite an impression on me. After sitting on my shelf for some time, I decided it was time for a reread. And I’m happy to report that I enjoyed it just as much this time around!

“What will
Rusty's Ghost Engine (also known as.......... Jinky Spring)
2.5 stars

From the start I had a love-hate relationship with this book. One minute I was excited the next I was bored out of my mind.

Review at

Judith E
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, france
Two converging timelines (13th and 21st centuries) portray the never ending quest for the Holy chalice and its contents. There is some interesting historical information, such as the ancient Egyptian origination of the chalice myth and the persecution of the Cathars in southern France by the Catholic Church. The plot and characters were flat and static in this overlong audible listen.
Michelle F
A reread, because I had forgotten absolutely everything about it. At some point I acquired the second book in the series and have yet to read it, so...

A Grail story, at heart, set in two time periods – modern(ish) day and the early 1200's during the Albigensian Crusade. (This was interesting to me, having recently read A Booke of Days, which is set during the First Crusade. It's handy to be adding to the same framework. The author notes that the Albigensian Crusade is the first where Christians
Dec 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
A surprising mix of historical fiction, fantasy and ghost story all very well rolled into one intriguing novel.

I got this book in an airport and I've to say it was not the best idea. Not because it was a bad choice, but because after I started reading I couldn't stop, so I didn't sleep in the eleven hours that took to land. Needless to say, I got down the plane tired but utterly fascinated by the world created by Mosse.

The book is written as two stories that run in parallel time-lines. One in
Sharon Metcalf
Apr 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, logan-bookclub
Having books chosen for you by others - think book club books - can be a hit and miss affair but in this case Labyrinth by Kate Mosse (no, not that Kate Moss) was definitely a hit. The title, the cover, the blurb, the size, even the genre (historical fiction) did not excite me so I delayed, procastinated, snuck other books in ahead of it. When eventually I started reading I was fascinated from the first page and found it a riveting story.

There were two stories running concurrently though 800 ye
Apr 18, 2012 rated it it was ok
Rating Clarification: 2.5 Stars

Had potential to be a thrilling, page-turning read, but the story never seemed to take off. Instead, both the present and past plotlines meandered on with short moments of good suspense, then with abrupt stops containing filler that did nothing to advance the mystery. The ending, when it finally arrived, was anticlimatic.

2.5 stars because Mosse can write a lovely sense of place. Made even me want to visit southern France, especially the medieval walled castle city
Dec 31, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crap
This book isn't very good. It's poorly written and badly edited. The story is okay, but you have to fight through moments of nausea, sadness and fury to reach the final 300 pages where it almost becomes interesting but then becomes embarrassing again. By the time I reached the end of the book, I was so bored that I speed-read until I could finally call it a day.

There are grammatical errors and anachronisms that I found really irritating (for example, references in 1209 to 'Saint Francis' when h
Mar 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
The book, for me, really developted in the last 300 pages. It took me a long time to get past the first part of the book (mainly because of all the not so important descriptions of everything), but after that an amazing and mysterious story was created, which was what I expected when I started to read the book. I would love to give it five stars, but because of the first part I must give it four.
Nov 22, 2008 rated it did not like it
This book is too long, too slow and takes itself way too seriously! I got about halfway through the book and i was still waiting for something to happen! The author was still developing the characters 200 pages into the book.

This book had the potential to be historical fiction, suspense or romance and the wuthor's wrtiing style leaned a little too close to the romance genre for my tastes. Her characters were too typical and too perfect. They were either perfect good people or perfect villians an
Bill Khaemba
"We carry the past within us, in our bones, in our blood,"

I went into this book thinking about how long and historical it looks, But on the contrary I was captured from Page 1.
Kate Mosse really challenged me as a reader, to expand my horizon from my normal books to Historical Fiction and by God I'm glad, because this book

It was so thrilling jumping back in time and the beautiful scenery that is Paris... I loved this book
Alex Telander
Nov 02, 2007 rated it liked it
LABYRINTH BY KATE MOSSE: If only Kate Mosse had published her novel not in 2006, but shortly after the astonishing success of the Da Vinci Code, it perhaps would’ve received the literary respect it deserves, instead of coming last in a slew of novels involving the subjects of the Holy Grail, the Knights Templar, and what they mean in the present day. The quote on the back of the paperback edition from the Kirkus Review really says it all: “A quickly paced adventure that wears its considerable le ...more
Mar 30, 2008 rated it did not like it
ugh... this one promised to be slow.I couldn't get past ch.4.The premise has been over used lately. ...more
Nov 03, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Labyrinth kept me reading in bed under a nice comfortable duvet for many nights. I love the transition between the two time periods. It was done with finesse.
Nov 04, 2009 rated it it was ok
I had hopes for this: massive bestseller in the UK, feminist retelling of the Grail legend, shuttling between the 13th and 21st centuries, lots of sex and swords -- promising! Unfortunately, Mosse only seemed able to display her legit historical chops and obvious devotion to France's little-known historical nooks through a poorly-edited vomitorium of words -- the writing isn't bad, but there's too much of it, and turning a page knowing nothing is going to happen on the next one is a pretty defea ...more
This was very disappointing, it's at least 250 pages too long and the writing leaves much to be desired. The chapters in the past are much better than the ones in the present because things actually do happen and the history of the Cathars & daily castle life in the 1200s is interesting. It starts off intriguing and the landscape descriptions towards the end are quite lovely, but I wasted way too much time on this one. I also thought it was strange to see Mosse's next book looks & sounds identic ...more
Laurel Bradshaw
Book Description from
In this extraordinary thriller, rich in the atmospheres of medieval and contemporary France, the lives of two women born centuries apart are linked by a common destiny.

July 2005. In the Pyrenees mountains near Carcassonne, Alice, a volunteer at an archaeological dig stumbles into a cave and makes a startling discovery-two crumbling skeletons, strange writings on the walls, and the pattern of a labyrinth; between the skeletons, a stone ring, and a small leather ba
Whilst I’ve enjoyed one or two of Mosse’s later works – perhaps not literary masterpieces but entertaining nonetheless – I’m endlessly confused by the existence of this dry and turgid tract.

In stark contrast to the novel itself, I will keep this review short.

The prose is far too on the nose and lacks economy: the editing is, quite frankly, appalling. This one could easily have been at least half the size and far more engaging and compelling for that. The historical detail is overwrought and inef
Feb 26, 2012 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Lovers of the Da Vinci code type books
Recommended to Maribel by: co-worker
Although I was a little dissapointed by some stinted writing and bad editing, Labyrinth still had me sitting on the edge of my seat trying to figure out what is going on. The characters tend to be two dimensional but they draw you in nonetheless. Ms. Mosse sometimes went too far with certain details (Noubel's profusive sweating - what is that about? too much info fer sure, and the sex scenes seemed to have been copied & pasted from a harlequin novel) and then did not give enough detail where war ...more
Renee P
Jul 22, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: summer-reading
I thought this was a really crap book. I feel like she only set it in France because she is enamored with the language, which she uses way too often. To justify this, Mosse stuck in a lot of explanation for "Why France?" that didn't make all that much sense. All the surprises the author had in store were painfully obvious, and she used cliches to describe everything. All the women had beautiful legs (shapely, tan, thin, milky, whatever- they were gorgeous). Almost all of the characters were stat ...more
Jan 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
The inside cover stuff instantly intrigued me. I'm all about mysterious/secret, lesser-known histories. And the story of the Grail is one of the most well-known of the lesser-known histories. Or even myths. While this one doesn't go into my favorite theory, it's such a page turner.

You learn of both Alice and Alais in alternating chapters, and I really have to give the author credit, for both the creativity and the amount of research that went into this book. The language, the history. Truly amaz
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as i read 26 231 Jan 19, 2015 07:04AM  
Is this a time-slip with A Wheel of Stars? 3 61 Apr 06, 2013 08:22AM  
Time Travel: Anyone else read "Labyrinthe" by Kate Mos. 2 61 Mar 17, 2013 06:51PM  

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Kate Mosse is an international bestselling author with sales of more than five million copies in 42 languages. Her fiction includes the novels Labyrinth (2005), Sepulchre (2007), The Winter Ghosts (2009), and Citadel (2012), as well as an acclaimed collection of short stories, The Mistletoe Bride & Other Haunting Tales (2013). Kate’s new novel, The Taxidermist’s Daughter is out now.
Kate is the Co-

Other books in the series

Languedoc (3 books)
  • Sepulchre (Languedoc, #2)
  • Citadel (Languedoc, #3)

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“What we leave behind in this life is the memory of who we were and what we did. An imprint, no more.” 97 likes
“Do you believe you can change your destiny?' he (Sajhë) said, seeking an answer.
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