Labyrinth had sat on my shelf for a long time, but for some reason it never stood out, so I kept reading other things. I then spotted that Kate Mosse was talking at the Cheltenham Book Festival, and so decided this was the incentive I needed to finally get round to reading it.
Labyrinth begins with a girl discovering a hidden cave while helping on on archeological dig in the French Pyrenees. The story then flips back to the 13th Century and follows a young girl who is living in the beautiful walled city of Carcassonne, France.
Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy reading it. The characters failed to engage me and the writing seemed be be of poor quality. I kept thinking of Timeline by Michael Crichton, which managed to make time travel back to feudal France, thrilling, thought-provoking and exciting. This book felt inferior in comparison.
It took a lot of effort for me to get to page 160, when I decided that I couldn’t take it any more. The thought of wading through another 500+ pages of below average writing was just too much for me.
I then went to hear Kate Mosse interviewed by Sandi Toksvig at the Cheltenham Book Festival. It was the best author interview I have ever seen. The two are good friends in real life and their warm friendship came across. Both were enthusiastic, intelligent and witty – I could have listened to them all day! Kate talked about her love for literary fiction and her passion for research – she likes to write really slowly, taking 5 years to complete Labyrinth.
Kate Mosse came across as an amazing woman. She co-founded the Orange prize and was named European Woman of Achievement in 2000 for her contribution to the arts. I have great admiration for her and the passionate discussion inspired me to give Labyrinth another try.
With renewed excitement I picked up Labyrinth again. I managed another 10 pages, before coming to the conclusion that Kate Mosse is a fantastic woman, but not an author I’ll be reading again.
If you’re after an amazing story set in Carcassone, try Timeline!
Did you enjoy Labyrinth?
Do you love Timeline as much as I do?