Sepulchre

Sepulchre

3.7 70
by Kate Mosse
     
 

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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,

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

Entertainment Weekly
Exhilarating. Labyrinth will make for a ripping yarn.
Washington Post
Mosse's contagious enthusiasm for the subject and dexterous handling of her material make for an open-throttle narrative drive across five hundred pages of white-knuckle twists and turns. . . . A thumping good read.
New York Daily News
An esoteric puzzle wrapped in a bloodline mystery and served with a splash of history and histrionics. . . Pure escapism . . . A beguiling brew.
Art Taylor
Mosse achieves an admirable completeness here—not just in the dual stories' tight parallels but in the vividly rendered settings, the careful interweaving of historical detail, even the nuanced depictions of these characters, particularly Leonie…[it's] a giddy read. Throughout, Mosse intertwines her literary influences and the story at hand as playfully, intricately and suspensefully as she melds the material and the supernatural, past and present. Everything intersects in a goose bump-inducing finale at the sepulchre, which bears an inscription warning all who enter: "Fujhi, poudes; Escapa, non." (Flee, you may; escape, you cannot.) But really, with a book this much fun, who would want to do either?
—The Washington Post Book World
Publishers Weekly

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 Léonie 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, Léonie 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.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

Mosse's latest novel about love and obsession smoothly alternates between historical viewpoints. First off is 1891 Paris, where young Léonie Vernier idolizes her older brother Anatole. Unbeknownst to her, Anatole hides many secrets, including his connection to the dangerously insane Victor Constant. Perhaps a sojourn to their widowed aunt's estate in the Pyrenees of southwest France will keep the Verniers safe. Meanwhile, in the present day, Meredith Martin visits France ostensibly to work on her biography of Debussy; her true agenda is to investigate her own ancestors. She quickly gets caught up in a mystery concerning the death of a local hotel owner. Toss in a mystical set of tarot cards, a haunted mausoleum, an old photograph, and the return of a key character from Mosse's best-selling Labyrinth , and you have a charming, if slow-paced, tale. 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 for public libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 12/07.]-Laurel Bliss, San Diego State Univ. Lib.

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
History and mystery are engagingly blended in British author Mosse's bulky successor to Labyrinth (2006). Like its predecessor, this book is set in provincial southwestern France's Pyrenees Mountains-this time, near the village of Renne-les-Bains (a nod to The Da Vinci Code)-and it tells two stories, which occur more than 100 years apart and occupy parallel narratives. In 1891, teenaged Parisienne Leonie Vernier accompanies her older brother Anatole to the lavish estate (Domain de la Cade) located in the aforementioned area, for the funeral of their aunt Isolde's husband. Anatole's motives are mixed (no surprise, as their aunt is young and beautiful). There local rumors surface that the deceased had unwisely "raised" Satan by means of a notorious spell. (Tarot cards become involved, and Mosse treats us to an entertaining crash course in their provenance and subtleties.) In a second, contemporary narrative, Meredith Martin, a graduate student in music, arrives at the same village, to research her biography of Claude Debussy (who had resided in the very Parisian apartment building that housed the Verniers)-and she too is drawn into the Domain's lurid history, and specifically to the forest habitation denoted by Mosse's title, once inhabited by invading Visigoths. Complications multiply exponentially and agreeably, and both heroines' misadventures climax, smashingly, on All Souls' Night. Mosse again proves herself a demon researcher (so to speak), and her novel's rich brew of supernaturalism and intrigue is tasty indeed-betted by such vividly drawn stock figures as a minor character (borrowed from Labyrinth) who knows all the region's darkest secrets, and a moribund gardener who mutters darkprophecies as alarmingly as did the late, great, weird film actress Maria Ouspenskaya. Superior hugger-mugger from an impressive new mistress of the genre. Agent: Mark Lucas/Lucas Alexander Whitley
From the Publisher
"Undeniably gripping."
-The London Paper

"History and mystery are engagingly blended."
-Kirkus Reviews

"Ghosts, duels, murders, ill-fated love and conspiracy...addictively readable."
-Daily Mail

"This adventure will keep you engrossed."
-Eve Magazine (Britain)

"A sure, deft momentum...the secrets begin to slip out thick and fast."
-Daily Express

"Try this if you enjoyed The Da Vinci Code but fancy something a bit more meaty."
-News of the World

"A page-turning saga of fin-de-siFcle spiritualism and Visigothic treasure."
-Art & Book Review

"Mosse does what good popular historical novelists do best-make the past enticingly otherworldly, while also claiming it as our own."
-The Independent

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780399154676
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
04/01/2008
Pages:
592
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.90(d)
Age Range:
18 - 14 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Undeniably gripping."
-The London Paper

"History and mystery are engagingly blended."
-Kirkus Reviews

"Ghosts, duels, murders, ill-fated love and conspiracy...addictively readable."
-Daily Mail

"This adventure will keep you engrossed."
-Eve Magazine (Britain)

"A sure, deft momentum...the secrets begin to slip out thick and fast."
-Daily Express

"Try this if you enjoyed The Da Vinci Code but fancy something a bit more meaty."
-News of the World

"A page-turning saga of fin-de-siFcle spiritualism and Visigothic treasure."
-Art & Book Review

"Mosse does what good popular historical novelists do best-make the past enticingly otherworldly, while also claiming it as our own."
-The Independent

Meet the Author

Kate Mosse is the author of the New York Times bestselling Labyrinth and Sepulchre and the Co-founder and Honorary Director of the prestigious Orange Prize for Fiction. She lives in England and France.

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Sepulchre 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 70 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1891 siblings Leonie and Anatole Vernier leave Paris to visit their Tante Isolde at her Domain de la Cade estate in the mountainous south France. At her widow aunt¿s place, Leonie overhears the villagers¿ whispers of the devil¿s abode and finds an interesting journal in which her late uncle studied the occult and mentions a special tarot card deck and a Visigoth tomb. Fascinated the teen searches for both while unknown to her someone wants to kill her and her loved ones while she begins to worriedly wonder why her Tante invited them.----------- In 2008 biographer Meredith Martin seeks to complete her latest book on renowned French composer Debussy when she finds a replica of the tarot cards that Leonie sought. What is frightening is that some of the cards contain pictures that eerily look like her. She makes inquiries which lead her to Domain de la Cade converted to a hotel yet like over a century ago hosts a battle between the forces of good and evil.---------- Although too many passive sidebar discussions slow down the overall plot, fans will enjoy this interesting horror thriller as the good vs. evil war occurs twice due to the linking tarot cards. Readers will feel the changes in outlook of the lead females of each era as they start off with youthful enthusiastic curiosity that changes to outright fear their identical reactions make for a fine but cluttered thriller.----------- Harriet Klausner
ladyhawke28 More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book as much as Labyrinth. I think her character development is strong, although she does a better job getting you involved in her characters from the past then she does the present. There were a few details that were not really clear to me, such as what had really gone on in the Sepulchre and how the tarot cards are actually changing events in the characters' lives. If you know about tarot cards this definitely makes it easier, but Mosse probably could've explained this in the story a bit better. Still, it is a good book and I would recommend it.
bukwormHB More than 1 year ago
In Sepulchre, Kate Mosse uses a similar formula as Labyrinth. She blends past and present seamlessly, running parallel story lines that intersect. Detailed imagery and strong characters draw the reader in late 19th century rural and modern day France. Sepulchre combines multiple genres and will appeal to any who enjoy thrillers, mysteries, and historical novels. I encourage anyone to give this author a read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kate Mosse's "Labyrinth" was excellent. "Sepulchre" follows the same formula with less vibrant characters. I still recommend it for its authentic images of France. It's good light reading - anything that takes us away from current affairs and into the south of France is good escapism!
emmi331 More than 1 year ago
Author Kate Mosse hit on a winning formula in her previous novel, Labyrinth. Two women in different centuries are involved in a "secret" with supernatural overtones. Regrettably, repeating that formula in this book makes it predictable and lacking in real originality. I actually put the book down shortly after starting the story line involving the 21st century; this also happened with Labyrinth, sad to say. Ms. Mosse is a compelling writer and tells a good tale (if repetitive by the second book), but her characters just don't grab me. Her women, while independent and educated, somehow lack depth. And why does she, along with so many other authors, feel that the female leading character has validation only if she is drop-dead beautiful? To be honest, I've never met anyone with "emerald-green eyes", unless the individual was wearing colorful contact lenses....which to my knowledge, did not exist in 1891!
Oneira More than 1 year ago
My favorite aspects were the mystical nature of the tarot and the spiritual reverberations associated with certain places. The characters were great too. I especially like Leonie, quite rightly named since her tarot card Strength has a lion on it (Leo). The historical aspect was fascinating too, though I think that it was more for the spiritual associations with ancient places than anything else (in this case: Visigoth). Amazing book with many different elements (mystery, archaeology, supernatural, love, friendship, good vs. evil, etc.).
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great example of how a good writer can blend the timeline so that the reader has a very clear picture of how it was and how it is now. Kate Mosse leaves little to the reader's imagination, which has some drawbacks, but her writing is excellent, imaginative and very engaging.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A great read!!! Historical,romantic with a touch of mystery...Ms Mosse has done a wonderful job to make the reader feel as though you were in Paris and the South of France in the 1800's and present...my heart ached for the main characters...I did not want the novel to end!! Loved the intrigue of the Tarot!!Exquise!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I picked this book up on a visit to the UK in January 08, and am so glad I did. Mosse is an outstanding writer who is able to draw you into the world she created - shifting between then & now. Superb plot, well fleshed out characters, a must buy. I am now working backwards and have just bought Labyrinth which I wait to start with anticipation. Enfin.... at last!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I happened upon this book at a yard sale for 50¿. I enjoyed it so much, I'll end up getting it for my Nook so I can read it on the go. I found it was very well written and, yes, the skipping back and forth in time is a little confusing, but it is definitely worth finishing.
illshowyou More than 1 year ago
This book wasn't bad; I just expected more. It could be that the person who recommended it made me think that it was going to be more interesting than it was. I did not really like the skipping back and forth between present day and the late 1800's. It didn't really work for the novel, in my opinion. The dependency on tarot cards to complete the story didn't make much sense or a very interesting plot either. Typically, I love historical fiction. This one just did not float my boat.
Teach1831 More than 1 year ago
loved the plot of this story, however i felt it could have been a little shorter. i started to get a bit bored. i will say that i loved the story line of the past story more so than the present day story.
ghntgrl More than 1 year ago
I truly enjoyed reading this book. I'd previously read Labyrinth, and I liked this one just as much as the first. The tales of the two women are woven together quite well and creates a great deal of suspense. I couldn't wait to get to the end and when I did I was sad to let it go!
J3nnif3r8 More than 1 year ago
I literally just finished the book and I am sad to leave the Domaine de la Cade and Leonie Vernier. The characters is this thrilling novel easily pull at your heart. At first I thought the novel would be hard to follow because of the two separate timelines, but then I loved reading Leonie's story and Meredith's story and their relationship with each other. My only complaint is the final section, I feel it could have been left out and the book could have ended with Leonie and Hal leaving the Domaine de la Cade. I loved this book so much I bought Mosse's first book yesterday. Her writing style is very easy to read. I found myself reading seventy plus pages in a single sitting before even glancing at the clock. Beautifully done!
lyra_hp More than 1 year ago
This book is definitely a very interesting read. The characters are wonderful and get your attention from the beginning. I love how it is written in two time periods; the moment you get really into one period, it switches back to the other and leaves you extremely curious. I loved this book; my only complaint is that I feel the end is a little rushed. Other than that, great read. I love the historical elements.
KatyScarlettDT More than 1 year ago
Kate Mosse's second book Sepulchre is almost, as good as her first book Labyrinth. It is definitely a good read but I prefer her earlier book. This novel takes place in two time periods which, if you read Labyrinth, you will notice that it is her typical style. The first time period that we encounter is 1891 where we meet Leonie Vernier and her brother. Leonie is soon sent to live with her aunt but she has many foreboding feelings when she meets some of the villagers who claim that long her late uncle died after summoning a demon from the sepulchre on her aunts grounds. Parallel to this story we meet Meredith who gets a terrifying tarot card reading in which she is given a key to her fate, the music known as Sepulchre 1891. As we watch these two girls lives intertwine we get caught up in the story and are never able to put it down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Kate Mosse is a superb writer. I loved 'Labyrinth'. I must admit, however, that it was the endpapers in 'Sepulchre' that pulled me in. Readers will be thrilled with the intertwined stories of fin de siecle lovers and mysterious twenty-first century family ties. Still, it is the tantalizing Bousquet-Vernier Tarot that will intrique cartomancers of all levels.
Katweis More than 1 year ago
Kate Mosse has a wonderful way of pulling you into the most delicious stories. I have read most of her books and would encourage anyone to read them . I find them very hard to put down
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I admit I bought it with some reservations. I found Labyrinth to be rather cumbersome to finish. I felt like I was forcing myself forward just to finish. With this book however, I wanted to keep reading and did not want to stop until the last page. If you are on the fence because of disappoint with the first, I say dive right in. The plot moves quicker and is wholly more interesting. The actual history of the geographic area is interesting enough on its own, but the addition of the tarot and the suspense of the story make Sepulchre an enjoyable read.
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