"A single line of blood trickles down the pale underside of her arm, a red seam on a white sleeve."
"July 1209: in Carcassonne a seventeen-year-old girl is given a mysterious book by her father which he claims contains the secret of the true Grail. Although Alais cannot understand the strange words and symbols hidden within, she knows that her destiny lies in keeping the secret of the labyrinth safe. . .
July 2005: Alice Tanner discovers two skeletons in a forgotten cave in the French Pyrenees. Puzzled by the labyrinth symbol carved into the rock, she realises she's disturbed something that was meant to remain hidden. Somehow a link to a horrific past - her past - has been disturbed." -- from the back cover
This was a good fictional account of the 13th century Albigensian Crusade (also known as the Cathar Crusade) in which the French Catholics in the northern part of France attacked the Cathars, a Christian sect, in the Languedoc in the south. I liked how these events were portrayed in the lives of Alais, her sister Orianne, her husband Guilhelm, and her father, Bertrand.
The 21st century scenes were not as good as the 13th century ones. I wanted to know more about how various characters were counterparts to the 13th century ones and many characters had similar names which added to the confusion. Still, I liked how Alice discovers the truth about her ancestor, Alais.
Date read: 10/13/2009
Book #: 51
Challenges: Celebrate the Author Challenge 2009, Chunkster Challenge 2009
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Publisher: Orion Books
# of pages: 694
Binding: Mass Market Paperback