Review: Dr. Alice Tanner is volunteering on a dig in southern France and finds herself digging off away from the main group when she dislodged a huge rock revealing a cave beyond. She enters without notifying anyone, setting the whole story in motion. We switch back and forth between Alice, in the present, and Alais, in the past, to whom Alice seems to have some feeling or connection. Alais, is a seventeen year old girl who works with her father to protect three books that provide the secret to the Grail as there region of France becomes the target of the Inquisition. Having opened the tomb with the Layrinth, Alice is pursued by both the good and bad guys in order to protect and exploit the secrets of the Labyrinth and the Grail, respectively. Back in the past, Alais manages to save one book before her enemies do her in…protecting the secrets that Alice eventually uncovers.
Bottom Line: I couldn’t get into this book. I read someone’s review that said it jumped back and forth too often too early. That could definitely be part of the problem. The early changes in point of view, and in time, really prevents developing any sort of emotional attachment to the protagonists, which I found to be not much more than one dimensional. Another failure is not developing the antagonist. Mosse has a number of them in this book and fails to develop any of them into likable or detestable villains. Mosse does a passable job of describing the early thirteenth century south of France, but that’s about it. The book plods along very slowly and when fight/action scenes do pop up, they aren’t engaging, partly because I don’t really care what happened to the characters. I think another part of the problem with the characters is that too many of them had names that were too similar to the others…too many names beginning with A, G, and J. Maybe there was a discount on those letters at the publisher. I won’t recommend this book to anyone.