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Book Review: Citadel by Kate Mosse

Citadel by Kate Mosse

This is an impressive ‘time-slip’ novel that encompasses two story lines that come to an explosive intersection near the end of the book. Both stories are set in the far south of France in Carcassonne, evoking the eerie beauty of the region. One story concerns a monk and an ancient script, a Codex, that has the ability to summon up a ghost army back in AD 340.

The main story is set in the World War II. Sandrine is a young naive woman, living with her older sister Marianne, until a demonstration in their local village goes wrong and innocent people are injured. At the demonstration, she meets Raoul, a young man who mysteriously saved her life by the river but then disappeared. The connection between them is instant and it doesn’t take long for them to begin a torrid love affair, even though he is a wanted man by the Gestapo. Sandrine learns the truth of what is happening under her nose and joins her sister and her friends in a female-only Resistance group, taking increasingly dangerous jobs in their fight for freedom. But then she meets the elusive Monsieur Baillard, who is looking for the Codex that is centuries old that he believes will help them in their time of need, and Sandrine becomes the crucial person in summoning this ancient power.

This is a remarkable novel. It has intrigue, danger and true emotional clout. The ending will leave you winded, but you will want to read on to the very last page. This is a bittersweet, beautifully written novel. Original, thought-provoking and completely engaging.

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