The Blurb (from Goodreads):
1942, Nazi-occupied France. Sandrine, a spirited and courageous nineteen-year-old, finds herself drawn into a Resistance group in Carcassonne – codenamed ‘Citadel’ – made up of ordinary women who are prepared to risk everything for what is right. And when she meets Raoul, they discover a shared passion for the cause, for their homeland, and for each other. But in a world where the enemy now lies in every shadow – where neighbour informs on neighbour; where friends disappear without warning and often without trace – love can demand the highest price of all.
I really loved both ‘Labyrinth’ and ‘Sepulchre’, which brought together elements of my favourite genres – history, suspense, romance, with a twist of the supernatural. So I was very excited to get Kate Mosse’s new book, ‘Citadel’, which is a lovely, big, thick thwack of a book. You wouldn’t want to drop it on your toe, or have to carry it around in your handbag.
Even though it is very heavy and hard to hold while reading in bed, ‘Citadel’ was a swift and pleasurable read. Most nights I stayed up later than I should have, unable to put it down. I love books set in France (I’m such a Francophile!), I love books set during the Second World War, and I love books that have a parallel narrative, set in two different time periods – and so ‘Citadel’ ticks a lot of boxes for me. Unlike ‘Labyrinth’ and ‘Sepulchre’, there is no contemporary narrative in this book. Instead the story set during the Second World War is interwoven with a tale of a Dark Ages monk who is seeking to protect a mysterious scroll called the Codex. This secondary thread is only a minor part of the book, which concentrates on the primary story of the struggles of a group of women Resistance fighters trying to help people escape Nazi-occupied France. Really, the book could have done without the Codex – the story of the brave women Resistance fighters is strong enough to stand on its own. However, with this second narrative thread, Kate Mosse is able to have the same twist of the supernatural that worked so well in her earlier two books, plus tie all three books together at the climax.
I’m actually rather sad to know that this is the end of Kate Mosse’s Carcassone books – I hope she writes some more!