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Book Reviews : Sepulchure

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November 2007

Sepulchre by Kate Mosse

Kathryn Moss - Independent Reviewer

A stunning novel about obsession and revenge, this book is extremely hard to put down once you’ve started it. As with her previous book ‘Labyrinth’ the story switches between the past and the present with ease, establishing connections that make the story complete. I often find with books that do this that there is one era I prefer, and whilst reading about the other era I’m itching to get back to my favourite. However, not so with Sepulchre, the story in both eras is equally gripping, and the characters in both eras are fundamental to developing the reader’s understanding of the characters in the tarot cards. The characters are cleverly and beautifully developed, and I grew very fond of some of them so was seen to be shedding a few tears at the events that befell them.

The story starts in Paris in March 1891, where an innocent teenage girl attends a funeral that never was, knowing little about the series of events she was about to become embroiled in. Her only crime is concern for her brother. Little does she know that a truly evil man, charismatic as such men often are, is about to threaten everyone and everything she holds dear. These players and more soon develop into the tarot characters discovered by our heroine in the present day, who embarks on a mission that enables her to discover her ancestry and face her demons (literally!). Knowing how the Victor Constant character had been built up throughout the book I found his reincarnation in the final chapters utterly spine chilling.

The historical and geographical detail in this book is tremendous, so evocative that I could often imagine myself there, exploring the French Pyrenean foothills for example, or walking the streets of the medieval city of Carcassonne. Kate Mosse puts so much effort into researching her books, so that there is a thread of reality running through them that gives the story credibility, even though at times events are truly supernatural. Creepy!! Another fascinating aspect to the story is the musical connection, which pulls in the French composer, Claude Debussy.

Another touch I love is the way pictures of the fictional Vernier Tarot have been painted specifically for this book and illustrated beautifully inside the cover of the hardback. Apart from being very attractive they added an extra dimension in terms of living the main characters. I loved the idea of the lovers being chained by the devil and how that related to ‘real’ events. The wonderfully illustrated map of the area is great too.

If you enjoy tales about the mysticism and the supernatural you’ll love this book. More than that however it’s an extremely rich, entertaining, and well-written novel – enjoy!


: Sepulchure - Kate Mosse

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