About the book
July 2005. In the Pyrenees mountains near Carcassonne, Alice, a volunteer at an archaeological dig, stumbles into a cave and makes a startling discovery-two crumbling skeletons, strange writings on the walls, and the pattern of a labyrinth.
Eight hundred years earlier, on the eve of a brutal crusade that will rip apart southern France, a young woman named Alais is given a ring and a mysterious book for safekeeping by her father. The book, he says, contains the secret of the true Grail, and the ring, inscribed with a labyrinth, will identify a guardian of the Grail. Now, as crusading armies gather outside the city walls of Carcassonne, it will take a tremendous sacrifice to keep the secret of the labyrinth safe.
Reviewed by New Forest/Waterside U3A Reading Group:
An excellent novel needing a fair amount of reading time and serious concentration. With several themes, a fresh look at French history, the brutal behaviour of the Roman Church (Christian?), another consideration of the Grail myth and the idea that personality can be sustained on biological or perhaps spiritual paths, all make it a thrilling mystery. This is story-telling at its best and a source for serious discussion.