Citadel: A Novelby Kate Mosse
France, 1942. While war blazes at the front lines of Europe, in the walled southern city of Carcassonne, nestled deep in the Pyrenees, a group of courageous women is engaged in an equally lethal battle. Like their ancestors who fought northern invaders seven hundred years before, these members of the French Resistance—code-named Citadel—fight to
France, 1942. While war blazes at the front lines of Europe, in the walled southern city of Carcassonne, nestled deep in the Pyrenees, a group of courageous women is engaged in an equally lethal battle. Like their ancestors who fought northern invaders seven hundred years before, these members of the French Resistance—code-named Citadel—fight to liberate their home from the Nazis.
Led by a daring eighteen-year-old, Sandrine Vidal, and her elder sister, Marianne, the women of Citadel work quickly to sabotage their German occupiers, safeguard their neighbors, and smuggle refugees over the mountains into neutral territory. But that is only part of their mission. Their struggle will reveal an older, darker combat being fought in the shadows, one meant to protect an ancient secret that in the wrong hands could change the course of history.
As the women of Citadel dare the impossible to save their homeland . . . the astonishing secrets buried in time are at long last revealed.
- HarperCollins Publishers
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- 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.12(d)
Meet the Author
Kate Mosse is the author of the international mega-bestsellers Labyrinth, Citadel, and Sepulchre, with sales of more than five million copies in forty-two languages. A publisher for many years, she is also cofounder and chair of the board of the prestigious Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction (formerly the Orange Prize). She lives in Sussex, England.
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Unforgettable portrayal of strong young French women during the Resistance. This is actually the third volume of the Languedoc Trilogy, but I never had the sense I was missing on something because I had not read the first two volumes -which of course now I want to read! The German occupation is still very much ingrained in the French national consciousness, and the Resistance is certainly one of the most heroic pages of French history. I have heard many stories about it, from my family and friends, and read many books. This one is unique in the sense that it focuses on an all female Resistance network! As you will read in the interview part of the France Book Tour, when Kate bought a house in Carcassonne, she realized many streets were named after Resistance fighters, and many had died the same day. Also, a memorial mentions two unknown women. She wrote this historical novel trying to imagine what happened in that day and who these women could have been. All the aspects of the Resistance are present, including all the activities organized by the underground networks, the camps, the informers, betrayals, and yes a few tough pages on torture. I enjoyed a lot that this historical novel is at the same time a thriller centered on a very old secret Codex, with even some elements of fantasy and romance. There is a strong connection with Arsinius, living in the 4th century, at the key period for Christianity, when some texts were considered heretical. I won’t give away any detail about what the connection is between these two periods, but it certainly enriched considerably the story. It also highlighted the pseudo-scientific aspect of German’s search of the Aryan race, through its Ahnenerbe, which I really didn’t know anything about. The characters are so very alive. The character development of Sandrine especially, is really remarkable. From a teen just preoccupied in trying to keep life as bearable as possible during this war time, she discovers the real world is far more complicated. She evolves into a very powerful woman, determined to do all she can and sacrifice everything to allow her country to regain its freedom. Even though the outcome is really tough, I think what Kate did with her characters only makes sense and is very realistic. I also liked what the author did with a couple of characters collaborating with the Gestapo, having really in mind only their own interests, sometimes hidden behind some almost decent motives. I also appreciated the wisdom figure of Baillard. The setting of Carcassonne, with its powerful ramparts still visible today, is very well rendered. The episode of the Resistance is one among the many invasions the region had to face, and this is also very well conveyed. One can see how much the author is knowledgeable about the area. I could smell the wonderful scents of the countryside there, with the thyme and rosemary. I would love now to join her and visit the place and the surrounding mountains and caves with her as guide! Before that, we can do the tour on her website! VERDICT: Citadel is the unforgettable portrayal of strong young French women during the Resistance, fighting for freedom. It is a must for all lovers of historical fiction, mystery, and WWII novels. Sandrine and her companions will remain with you, and may even inspire you.
A riveting read! I really enjoyed this. A good insight into wartime resistance in occupied France. The depiction of the brave women of the Citadel network really makes them, and the dangers they face, come alive. The descriptions of Carcassonne made me want to visit. Superb! I received a free copy in return for an honest review
Initially I was very excited to see another novel by Kate Mosse set in the Lanquedoc region of France. The book started out on a high note and, unfortunately, steamrolled downhill fast. The book went on a little too long about 200 pages too long. The end was a great disappointment.
I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this latest Kate Mosse novel. While a bit lengthy, it is well worth the effort to read. The strong character development paired with an outstanding writing style keep the reader interested throughout the novel. I love how you can learn so much of the rich history of the French Resistance Movement without becoming bogged down in preachy, dry details. It really doesn't come across as the "textbook" version. I was a bit put off at first because of the large number of pages because I tend to like switching stories after about 300 or so pages so I don't get bored. In the end, I actually hated for the story to end. I was, however, incredibly inspired by the climax and the end. I am sure you will see what I mean when you read it. Stepanek Clanahan
Disappointing ending. Better without the 2nd storyline of 5th C cathars and mysterious codex.
I wanted to love this book, but I didn't. It was good, but just fell a little short of the mark to keep me enthralled.