Kate Mosse’s Sepulchre

In Uncategorized on August 5, 2010 at 5:42 am

Image via Kate Mosse’s official Web site

Kate Mosse’s Sepulchre is dark, haunting and tragic, swimming alternately from one time line to another. In 1891, Leonie Vernier and her brother Anatole leave Paris for the Domaine de la Cade, a country house located near Rennes-les-Baines. Little does Leonie know, there is far more to their vacation than just a change of scenery.

The Domaine de la Cade has long been rumored to house a malicious demon which, apparently, has been terrorizing the people for centuries. While there has been little evidence to this story, their late uncle Jules Lascombe’s interest in the occult and eccentricity did not help improve matters. As Leonie discovers a set of tarot cards in her uncle’s library and an ancient sepulchre in the woods, Anatole faces a ruthless enemy– one who is intent on more than just drawing blood.

Fast forward to 2007 and Meredith Martin journeys to the same place to follow a lead for her biography on Claude Debussy as well as to find out more about her past. As if her life isn’t complicated enough, she soon finds herself helping someone dig out the truth about a murder. As she faces all three head on, danger lurks on in the Domaine de la Cade. Meredith’s only clues lie in a set of tarot cards brimming with secrets and ghosts of the past. To make things more interesting, she is the spitting image of one of cards in the major arcana– La Justice.

It’s an easy plot to fall in love with but reading through 732 pages of it is a little challenging. Sepulchre is heavier than other novels of the same genre that I’ve come across. The story is less forgiving and more despairing, painting a harsh yet beautiful picture of love and its consequences.

That aside, there are also a lot of intricate details about the fictional Bousquet cards towards the beginning. There are musical notes and a recurrence of the number eight which don’t really appear to have strong ties to the actual story. I almost wish there were illustrations in between pages. Then again, I don’t want to be haunted by the same said images at night either. The novel may be entitled Sepulchre but the story is really about the cards.

Personally, I was able to relate more to Leonie than to Meredith. Where Leonie is full of life, Meredith is more reserved. She jumps at every opportunity to explore. Young as she is, she possesses a strong will worthy of the card La Force. From the moment she comes in contact with her late uncle’s work, Leonie finds herself in a struggle to protect herself as well as her loved ones from the unknown.

Sepulchre is an interesting read, a little complex and confusing in some chapters, yes, but it eventually unravels nicely in the end.

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