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A fter the huge success of the first two instalments of her Languedoc trilogy, Kate Mosse's Citadel was always going to sell well. Mosse, who co-founded the Orange prize for fiction in , received an OBE in the recent Queen's birthday honours, which has cemented her reputation as a champion of popular literature. Set in southern France during the second world war, Citadel centres on Sandrine Vidal, a headstrong year-old, and her friends, who belong to a group of female resistance fighters called Citadel.
The wartime narrative of the group's dramatic deeds and relationships is interwoven with the story of Arinius, a fourth-century monk, and his journey to hide the Codex, a sacred document with the power to summon an invincible army of the dead. This mixture of Nazis, ancient Christian artefacts and the supernatural is more than a little reminiscent of the Indiana Jones franchise, and Otto Rahn, the real-life medievalist turned SS officer who is said to have been the inspiration for George Lucas's films, is even referred to in the novel.
The Indiana Jones films are pastiches of s adventure serials, and Citadel is similarly, if perhaps less knowingly, packed with melodramatic cliche — as characters are repeatedly jolted awake, feel their blood run cold, feel their hearts thudding in their chests and so on.
The combination of harrowing wartime setting and the supernatural romance of the Codex can sometimes feel jarring — tales of Nazi brutality do not usually need mystic additions to make them convincing — and at pages, Citadel is very long, but the story progresses rapidly and for the many fans of Mosse's Languedoc novels, it will be a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy. Topics Kate Mosse The Observer. Fiction Paperbacks reviews. Reuse this content. Order by newest oldest recommendations.
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Citadel by Kate Mosse – review
T he complex history of the Languedoc has proved fertile territory for Kate Mosse in her recent trilogy of adventure novels, beginning with the phenomenally successful Labyrinth in , shortly to be a mini-series, and now reaching its conclusion in Citadel. His writings attracted the attention of Himmler, whose own fascination with the occult, and with the possible ancient pedigree of an Aryan race, led to the founding of the Ahnenerbe , a society dedicated to research into proving the historical origins of a master race. This Nazi connection provides a richly dramatic setting for Citadel. The novel takes place largely between and , between the occupation and liberation of southern France. Mosse has marshalled a large cast of characters, although as in Labyrinth and its successor, Sepulchre the story centres around a determined young heroine, in this case year-old Sandrine Vidal, an orphan living with her older sister in Carcassonne.
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March 26, by Anna. The uniforms were different in each age, the battle colors under which they marched changing as the centuries marched on. Boots and guns had replaced banners and horses, but the story was the same. However, there is one character that makes an appearance in all three novels, and the supernatural aspect of the story might best be understood by reading them in order.
It was a Grail gripper, but not as we'd known it. Set in a remote corner of the Languedoc, this thrilling adventure featured hokum, heartache and strong female leads. Citadel, the concluding volume of Mosse's French Trilogy, is also her best. At the heart of the series lies a long-running quest for an ancient Christian Codex — an esoteric manuscript said to contain the power to raise a sleeping army. In Labyrinth it was the 13th-century Cathars who were in need of its help, but in this final instalment Mosse pursues a more ambitious time-line, switching between the story of Arinius, a fourth-century monk, and the tragic history of Sandrine Vidal, an unsung heroine of the French Resistance.
Search: Title Author Article. History Publication Information. Rate this book. Combining the rugged action of Labyrinth with the haunting mystery of Sepulchre , 1 bestselling author Kate Mosse's eagerly awaited Citadel is a mesmerizing World War II story of daring and courage, in which a group of determined women fighting for the French Resistance risk their lives to save their homeland France, In Carcassonne, a colorful historic village nestled deep in the Pyrenees, a group of courageous women are engaged in a lethal battle. Like their ancestors who fought to protect their land from Northern invaders seven hundred years before, these members of the resistance - codenamed Citadel - fight to liberate their home from the Nazis.