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, andSee more details below

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.

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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

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781440634956
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/01/2008
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
592
Sales rank:
125,443
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
18 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

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