We have gathered all the fantastic reviews our Book Club Members have sent us this month.

Click on each name to read the review. If you would like to become part of the Viking Book Club, sign up sign up here >>


Elaine Shepherd

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this historical novel set in France and Holland in the mid-16th century. I was hooked after the first couple of chapters. Kate Mosse brings to life the religious persecution, greed and hatred experienced at that time. It was a part of European history that was previously unknown to me so I found it educational too. The book centres around family love, hatred and puts a lost child in the mix. It’s especially interesting to live the events from a female perspective. A book I would recommend.

Pam Trott

Having never read a book by Kate Mosse before, I did not know what to expect. But I really enjoyed it. The story followed a family during the French wars from 1572 - 1594. It saw them fleeing from Paris to Amsterdam, while still in Paris their daughter aged 6 years went missing, it was about them trying to find her even though they thought she was dead. I will not tell you anymore about the story but please read it, all the problems they had even with other members of the family made very interesting reading.Did they get reunited with their daughter? Read it to find out. A very enjoyable book. Will certainly read more by this author.

Richard Bramwell

I approached The City of Tears with some trepidation as years ago I had found Kate Mosse’s earlier work Labyrinth somewhat tedious. However this book, the second in a proposed trilogy, is much better. The story of the continuing fortunes of the Reydon family switches between various locations in France and the Netherlands in the second half of the VI Century and the fiction dovetails neatly with the well researched historical facts of the period. The pivotal event in the book, the infamous St Bartholomew’s day massacre changes the lives of the Reydons irrecoverably and the rest of the story focuses with clarity and sympathy on the aftermath of the massacre. The pace of the book is tremendous, the language sumptuous and the reader is carried along with the vivid characterisations. With an exciting build up to a classic finale the book is well worth a read and I shall look forward to the final instalment of the trilogy.

Kevin Power

Kate has a grasp of history particularly from the French perspective. She has built this epic on the religious wars, Hugenot/Catholic, both in France and the Netherlands. There are the family details that she excels at and a lot of the coincidences that help her plots along. Sometimes they are unlikely, even fantastical ! Her fight scenes need more realism, maybe she should pick up some clues from Bernard Cornwell. The whole story is full of real historical facts meticulously used to underpin a fast moving pace; with many twists and turns. Here we have 540 pages of a good ripping yarn and as a stand alone book it works. I would however, recommend anyone to read volume 1 first. It does look though, that a third book is in the offing.

Val Burgess

This was an interesting, gripping read. It is the second in a series about France in 16th century. The Catholics and Huguenots are at war but there is a royal wedding which should unite the two sides. The book is following Minou Joubert and her family - husband, children, brother and sister- as they prepare to attend the wedding, but she is being targeted by an old enemy. It is a book which keeps you reading, intrigued to see what happens. Thoroughly recommended.

Christine Turley

I was very excited to receive this book as I’m interested in historical novels. This book takes us to 1572 after ten years of Wars of Religion. Minou Joubert is invited to attend an historic wedding in Paris that may reunite France. I was expecting a thrilling page turner, and one of those books that once started I wouldn’t be able to put down, especially as the front cover was full of accolades. Oh dear, what a disappointment! I’ve struggled for weeks to get into this book, and decided it’s just not for me. I found it utterly boring and have given up on it completely. The characters didn’t seem real. The only good thing about it was it sent me to sleep very easily.

Margaret Gaunt

The City of Tears by Kate Mosse a historical novel set in C16 France and The Netherlands. In the Middle Ages there were years of religious wars throughout Europe. In 1572 a royal marriage was arranged to bring together Protestant and Catholic factions and bring peace. Minou Joubert and her family were invited to Paris to attend the wedding but disaster followed and the family were split up and the novel continues to show how political change affects ordinary people and gives insight into areas of European history which are unfamiliar to most of us. It would have been beneficial to have read the previous novel The Burning Chambers to become acquainted with the main characters in both books.

Gillian Clark

I thoroughly enjoyed this book even more than Labyrinth that I read some years ago. Kate Mosse’s historical knowledge is impressive and this drives the story and makes me feel intelligent. The descriptions of the scenery in the south of France, Paris and Amsterdam are vivid and moving. The main character, Minou is quietly driving the story without dominating it. The loss of her daughter causes a fracture in her marriage. Her husband, Piet is an important character but I wasn’t sure quite how he made a living although he was always out all day. They arrive in Amsterdam as refugees but very quickly Piet becomes a leading person in the area. The women in this story are generally stronger and more interesting than the men. There are a number of time jumps in this book but it doesn’t negatively affect the flow. I knew very little about the religious wars in Europe which lasted a lot longer than in England although much of this book happens during the reign of Elizabeth 1 who was more tolerant of religious differences. The seven year old daughter, Marta, is the most developed character despite her youth. Her role is pivotal throughout the book. Vidal, the ex cardinal is all bad and probably a bit mad. His relationship with his son, Louis, is disappointing in the end. It would otherwise have been his redeeming feature. I am a sucker for a happy ending and this is what we have here. (Spoiler alert). Not only does the missing daughter return but even Vidal’s son Louis appears to survive in the end.

Lesley Brunink

A novel with all the ingredients for a great read and it doesn’t disappoint. Set in the 16th century in France and The Netherlands it follows the trials and tribulations of a young wife and mother as the countries suffer religious discontent. An invitation to a wedding arranged to bring peace in Paris turns into a nightmare when her seven year old daughter, seeking an adventure, goes missing as a brutal and violent time and the family have to flee to Amsterdam without her. Linked into the story is the desire of a cardinal to acquire holy relics for his own and he would go to any lengths to so. Intrigue develops as the young woman’s husband tries to track his true heritage by finding missing documents regarding his birth. As all the characters individual story weave together it becomes a compelling and enjoyable read and Ms Mosse manages to draw you in with am emotional need to find out what happens next. A brilliant read.