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Sepulchreby Kate Mosse
Synopses & Reviews
From the author of the New York Times bestselling novel Labyrinth comes another haunting tale of secrets, murder, and the occult set in both nineteenth-century and twenty-first-century France.
In 1891, young Léonie Vernier and her brother Anatole arrive in the beautiful town of Rennes-les-Bains, in southwest France. They've come at the invitation of their widowed aunt, whose mountain estate, Domain de la Cade, is famous in the region. But it soon becomes clear that their aunt Isolde — and the Domain — are not what Léonie had imagined. The villagers claim that Isolde's late husband died after summoning a demon from the old Visigoth sepulchre high on the mountainside. A book from the Domain's cavernous library describes the strange tarot pack that mysteriously disappeared following the uncle's death. But while Léonie delves deeper into the ancient mysteries of the Domain, a different evil stalks her family — one which may explain why Léonie and Anatole were invited to the sinister Domain in the first place.
More than a century later, Meredith Martin, an American graduate student, arrives in France to study the life of Claude Debussy, the nineteenth century French composer. In Rennesles-Bains, Meredith checks into a grand old hotel — the Domain de la Cade. Something about the hotel feels eerily familiar, and strange dreams and visions begin to haunt Meredith's waking hours. A chance encounter leads her to a pack of tarot cards painted by Léonie Vernier, which may hold the key to this twenty-first century American's fate...just as they did to the fate of Léonie Vernier more than a century earlier.
"Contrivance, cliché and expository overkill overwhelm bestseller Mosse's tale concerning a rare tarot deck that helps link the lives of two women living eras apart. In 1891, Parisian teenager Lonie Vernier and her brother visit their young aunt at an estate in southern France. After finding a startling account of her late uncle's pursuit of the occult, Lonie scours the property for the tarot cards and Visigoth tomb he describes, unaware that more tangible peril in the form of a murderous stalker is seeking to destroy her loved ones. Present-day biographer Meredith Martin is in France finishing a book and tracing her ancestry when she sees a reproduction of the same tarot, which bears her likeness. She investigates the connection when she, too, arrives at the estate, now a hotel in which a new battle between good and evil rages. Mosse (Labyrinth) conveys so much unnecessary information through so many static scenes of talk, reading and interior monologue that the book's momentum stalls for good soon after its striking opening. Mosse's fans will hope for a return to form next time. (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"History and mystery are engagingly blended....Mosse again proves herself a demon researcher (so to speak), and her novel's rich brew of supernaturalism and intrigue is tasty indeed....Superior hugger-mugger from an impressive new mistress of the genre." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
"[C]harming....Mosse's careful descriptions of the French countryside, local cuisine, and her smatterings of French and Occitan phrases make this novel both an engaging travelog and a romantic mystery. Recommended." Library Journal
"There is much here to please fans of the author's last book and Sepulchre is a compulsive, fantastical, historical yarn. Mosse's skill lies in precise storytelling..." The Observer (U.K.)
"Sepulchre...is rich in regional folklore and telling domestic detail....Mosse does what good popular historical novelists do best — make the past enticingly otherwordly, while also claiming it as our own." The Independent (U.K.)
From the author of the New York Times bestselling novel Labyrinth comes another haunting tale of secrets, murder, and the occult set in both 19th-century and 21st-century France.
From the New York Times bestselling author of Labyrinth-"a rich brew of supernaturalism and intrigue."(Kirkus Reviews)
In 1891, young Léonie Vernier and her brother arrive at the home of their widowed aunt in Rennes-le-Bains, in southwest France. But nothing is as Léonie had imagined. Their aunt is young, willowy, and beautiful, and the estate is a subject of local superstition. Villagers claim that Léonie's late uncle died after summoning a demon from the old Visigoth sepulchre on its grounds...
More than a century later, Meredith Martin, an American graduate student, arrives in Rennes-le- Bains while researching the life of Claude Debussy. Haunted by a Tarot reading she had in Paris-and possessing the mysterious deck of cards-she checks into a grand old hotel built on the site of a famous mountain estate destroyed by fire in 1896. There, the pack of Tarot cards and a piece of 19th-century music known as Sepulchre 1891 hold the key to her fate-just as they did to the fate of Léonie Vernier.
About the Author
Kate Mosse is the cofounder and honorary director of the prestigious Orange Prize for Fiction. A fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, she is also a highly regarded television and radio host.
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