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Fiction Book Reviews

Historical Fiction | The Burning Chambers | Kate Mosse

I’ve always been an avid reader and before I started to blog about books, Kate Mosse was an author I read.  The Winter Ghosts was a Christmas stocking gift one year and it gave me goosebumps!   After a four year gap, I was excited that a new series was coming with The Burning Chambers being the first story.   I’m sharing my thoughts with you today.

The Burning Chambers Kate Mosse

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4829 KB
  • Print Length: 603 pages
  • Publisher: Mantle; Main Market edition (3 May 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B07771VG4M

Bringing sixteenth-century Languedoc vividly to life, Kate Mosse’s The Burning Chambers is a gripping story of love and betrayal, mysteries and secrets; of war and adventure, conspiracies and divided loyalties . . .

Carcassonne 1562: Nineteen-year-old Minou Joubert receives an anonymous letter at her father’s bookshop. Sealed with a distinctive family crest, it contains just five words: SHE KNOWS THAT YOU LIVE.

But before Minou can decipher the mysterious message, a chance encounter with a young Huguenot convert, Piet Reydon, changes her destiny forever. For Piet has a dangerous mission of his own, and he will need Minou’s help if he is to get out of La Cité alive.

Toulouse: As the religious divide deepens in the Midi, and old friends become enemies, Minou and Piet both find themselves trapped in Toulouse, facing new dangers as sectarian tensions ignite across the city, the battle-lines are drawn in blood and the conspiracy darkens further.

Meanwhile, as a long-hidden document threatens to resurface, the mistress of Puivert is obsessed with uncovering its secret and strengthening her power . . .

Available to purchase in digital, hardcover and audiobook formats.


Star-crossed lovers from different faiths (in this instance during the time where Huguenot’s were prosecuted at every turn) sound familiar?  Despite how familiar the majority of us are with this trope, Kate Mosse’s style of writing, historical accuracy, characters and pace brings a fresh feel.  Throw into the equation an obsessed, ambitious and narcissistic priest, a psychotic soon-to-be displaced Lady of the manor and the scene is set for secrets, betrayals, abuse of power, kidnapping and murder.

I found it easy to become emotionally attached to Minou and Piet.  Minou has such strength and to be honest is a kick-ass heroine.  She grows from a naive young woman, her only concern opening her father’s bookshop and her sister Alis’s ill health, to a woman who considers the facts and stays firm in her decisions (regardless of whether that involves Catholics or Protestants).  Of course she has fears and anxieties but overcomes them.  She just gets on and acts on what needs to be done for the good of her family and those she loves.  I thought Piet was much more vulnerable than Minou.

Scenes feel so authentic and drew me in totally whether that was in town, village or in the woods surrounding Puivert.  I lived this story!

The Burning Chambers deals with some sensitive issues.  Mental health, domestic violence, ‘masks’ that hide depravity – all things that are still current today. So many different emotions provoked by this story.  There are some positives to the fighting in Toulouse …

Once you reach the end the link to the prologue becomes clear.  I am intrigued though as to how the story moves from 1562 in Carcassonne to 300 years later in Cape Town so now knowing the link, I want to know the reasons.  How did the hatred continue?  Why did it continue?  Who carried it on?  Do they know the truth? I’m eager to continue the series!

The Burning Chambers is an absorbing historical read with a fabulous pace.  Highly recommended.

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Read all posts in the historical fiction genre on Jera’s Jamboree.

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Qualified as a Sleep Consultant, Dyslexia Therapist, Reiki Master, Mental Health First Aider and Mindfulness Practitioner, my passion is for sharing anything that will make life easier. My love of reading, crocheting, being out in nature and positive psychology are all things that help me unwind.

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