The Burning Chambers
Booklist Reviews 2019 April #1
France's late-sixteenth-century Wars of Religion provide the searing backdrop for this meaty historical by the bestselling author of the Languedoc trilogy. In the first installment in a new series, Mosse returns to her beloved Languedoc to lay the foundation of a generational saga that will eventually wind its way through centuries and across continents. In addition to the brutal religious conflict between Catholics and Huguenots plaguing the countryside and turning friends into enemies, a long-buried family secret provides another element of intrigue amidst the ensuing chaos. When a bookseller's daughter, Minou Joubert, receives a cryptic letter containing only five words, "she knows that you live," a chain of events is set in motion that includes adventure, betrayal, and a Romeo-and-Juliet-like romance between Catholic Minou and Huguenot Piet Reydon. As usual, Mosse infuses the narrative with plenty of authentic historical detail while creating a highly charged atmosphere of intrigue. The mystery, the love story, and the incendiary nature of both setting and plot will keep readers turning the pages and eagerly awaiting the next volume. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.
LJ Reviews 2019 January #1
PW Reviews 2019 April #4
Against a backdrop of conflict between Catholics and Protestants in 1562 France, 19-year-old Minou Joubert, the intelligent and spirited Catholic daughter of a bookseller, and Piet Reydon, a warmhearted Huguenot soldier, fall in love in this tense, atmospheric thriller, the first of a trilogy from bestseller Mosse (the Languedoc trilogy). The plot centers on a disputed inheritance and a stolen religious relic that ruthless men will stop at nothing to possess. The author displays her usual flair for descriptive detail, whether it's a dusty Renaissance bookstore or a storm-drenched countryside. Unfortunately, a psychotic villain and one-dimensional fanatics stand in awkward contrast to such nuanced characters as Minou and Piet. When all parties converge on a castle in the Pyrenees, the various story lines are resolved in a fashion that feels a trifle pat. Nonetheless, Mosse brings vividly to life the mounting strains in a community filled with fear and mutual mistrust. Readers will eagerly await the sequels, which will chart how the feuding plays out over the next few centuries. Agent: Mark Lucas, LAW (U.K.). (June)Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly.