Author: Kate Mosse

+Blog Book Tour+ Citadel [Book 3: of Languedoc Trilogy] by Kate Mosse

Posted Thursday, 20 March, 2014 by jorielov , , , , 5 Comments

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Citadel by Kate Mosse
Published By: William Morrow (@WmMorrowBks)
(an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers (), 18 March 2014
Official Author WebsitesSite | Twitter | Facebook
Converse via: #KateMosse, #LanguedocTrilogy, #Citadel, #FranceBookTours, & #HistFic
Available Formats: Hardcover and E-Book
Page Count: 704

Acquired By: I was selected to be a tour stop on the “Citadel” virtual book tour through France Book Tours. I received a complimentary ARC direct from the publisher William Morrow, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Encouraged to Read:

Mum has a foresight of knowledge of which books would whet my appetite for not only historical intrigue but deft story-telling, where the research slips past the reader’s eye, and allows one to insert one’s heart directly into the core of the narrative! I am always on the forefront of discovering ‘a genuine new voice in literature’ because I am always inspired and captivated by such an eclectically diverse sphere of writers! I like to seek out stories which not only challenge convention but the perceptional eclipse we might unintentionally tether ourselves too! I like to broach outside my comfort zones whenever possible, and sink into a portion of the historical past which is wholly unknown and unvisited previously! My literary adventures draw me one step closer to the world’s front door and a breath closer to empathy for the unsung heroes of a past fraught with drama, suspense, and intuitive souls who choose to lead rather extraordinary lives! In this intuited glimpse into my reader’s heart, Mum purchased Labyrinth for me whilst it was in paperback (as I recollect!?) release. I had oft meant to endow myself to the page, yet I never quite managed to broach into the novel. On the brink of a blog book tour in the bookish blogosphere, I find myself able to redeem my ill-wrought wanderings, bringing me full circle back into the realm of Kate Mosse! How fruitious it is that her name resonated with me whilst offered on tour!

Inspired to Share a Snippet of a Preview:

I originally intended to read the first two novels in the  series Labyrinth & Sepulchre ahead of my book review for Citadel via France Book Tours. However, as life can dictate and quite often predict, the plans we set in motion are occasionally derailed for circumstances which arise altering our reading adventures! Therefore, I am stepping into the world of Kate Mosse’s literary threshold without prior knowledge of her characters nor of the direction in which her style illumines the narrative for the avid reader of her works! I am quite eager to read the forementioned previous titles on the footheels of this installment, but for now, I am overjoyed I have the pleasure of ‘meeting’ a new author of whom has held my intrigue for the years between Labyrinth & Citadel releases!

Kate Mosse discusses “Citadel” & ‘Sisterhood’ via Orion Publishing

Book Synopsis:

From the internationally bestselling author of Labyrinth and Sepulchre comes a thrilling novel, set in the South of France during World War II, that interweaves history and legend, love and conflict, passion and adventure, bringing to life brave women of the French Resistance and a secret they must protect from the Nazis. In Carcassonne, a colorful historic village nestled deep in the Pyrenees, a group of courageous and determined operatives are engaged in a lethal battle. Like their ancestors who fought to protect their land from Northern invaders seven hundred years before, these women—codenamed Citadel —fight to liberate their home from the Germans.

But smuggling refugees over the mountains into neutral territory and sabotaging their Nazi occupiers is only part of their mission. These members of the resistance must also protect an ancient secret that, if discovered by the enemy, could change the course of history.

A superb blend of rugged action and haunting mystery based on real-life figures, Citadel is a vivid and richly atmospheric story of a group of heroic women who dared the odds to survive.

Author Biography:

Kate MosseKate Mosse is the multimillion selling author of four works of nonfiction, three plays, one volume of short stories and six novels, including the New York Times bestselling Labyrinth and Sepulchre. A popular presenter for BBC television and radio in the UK, she is also cofounder and chair of the prestigious Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction (formerly the Orange Prize) and a member of the board of the National Theatre of Great Britain. In 2013, she was named as one of the Top 100 most influential people in British publishing and also awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to literature. She divides her time between England and Carcassonne, France.


A Prelude to Citadel:

An absolute blessing of mine in receiving an ARC (advanced reading copy) to read of a novel, is the inclusion of both the Editor’s Note (generally found on the inside first page!) and/or a letter from the publisher which gives a bit of a history of how the novel was created or a bit about the author herself! For Citadel, I was twice-fold blessed! Not only was the Editor’s Note included but so was the publisher’s! I am fascinated truly by the marketing and promotional campaigns by publishers to alert the readership of an author’s work! Even for new readers of Mosse’s stories like me for instance, cannot help but become caught up in the excitement and the reverence of honour she is bestowed by her dedicated readership! IF a sequel to her last tome took four years, can you imagine how long we shall all be willing to wait for her next treasure of literature?!

The best of stories have to soak into their creators, they have to wholly absorb the characters, the setting, the era, and the entirety of the story’s essence in order to fully bring everything to illuminating light. I celebrate writers like Mosse who cherish the ‘process of writing’ and allow themselves the full measure of grace to produce heart-stopping narrative time and time again! At least this is my presumption prior to broaching the pages!

I’m entering this particular review a bit blind to the knowledge of Ms. Mosse, as when I read her championing spirit for bookish culture, writers, and wordsmiths I must confess my heart did a bit of skip and a jump! Especially on noting I had already planned to make an appearance on a Blog Talk Radio podcast the night prior to this review posting in which I would be drawing to light a topical bookish interest: volunteer public libraries set on trains running through New York City and London! A kindred spirit, most indeed!

Dear hearts, do you know what William Morrow included as a ‘extra special’ surprise for this particular book blogger!? OR, should I clarify, it wasn’t placed inside for ‘me’ in particular mind you, but rather those who received the ARC! A full-on brilliant interview by Ann Patchett & Kate Mosse! A most delectable treat I held off reading until ‘after I had read Citadel’!

A proper Introduction to the novel by the author:

There is an amazing breadth of history pulled out of World War II, where brave souls stood up in our conjoined living history of a time in our world where nothing made sense and everything was turnt upside down by the cruelty and evil of a world war. Mosse examines the inter-dimensional connections of the trilogy against the intricacies of research of the historical past. Her passion for the South of France and for this particular window she’s served as a portal for her audience to endear themselves to the women who stand strong allowing their courage to bolster us a bit in the present. These are stories on behalf of women who perhaps never saw themselves as heroes but to every life they positively affected they were! Mosse has such an effervescent passion for writing, and giving her readers such a full embodied story which can wash over you and give you a living experience.

Kate Mosse Over Citadel via bol.com {she speaks in English; Dutch subtitles}


An archaeological bent of historical intrigue:

From the time I was quite young, I was always caught up in the annuls of history, seeking out remnants of the past which could be brought into the present through the art of story-telling! My passion for history led me to consider bunkering into a life pursuit of archaeological digs, hidden ancestral passageways into the living past, and a life’s sole intent of preserving the artifacts I’d uncover. Ever since my eyes lit up with the pure joy of ‘digging in the dirt’ by theory not practice, I have had a keen attention placed on historical details in novels. Including ancient symbolism,  dead languages, and the turnt of phrase fashioned centuries within the past where Old English was the everyday vernacular! Part of my interests in seeing the sociological perspectives in stories and the dynamics of a character’s action verse personality is rooted in my appreciation for archaeology’s introverted sister: anthropology which focuses on the study of societies and how people lived.

To find an author who has transmorphed an intricate range of research into a dense tome of historical fiction whilst remaining true to each era she’s brimming to life inside her narrative is nothing short of literary brilliance! I oft wondered if I could find an author who could fully immerse the reader’s senses into what I felt I had shared within my spirit whilst previously considering an entirely different lifepath! In Mosse, I do believe I have at long last found the writer, the wordsmith, and the story-teller I have sought so hard to find! And, I have my Mum to thank for this lovely discovery as my gratitude is hers forevermore!

My previous readings of Illuminations and A Study in Murder allowed me to understand the monk’s (Arinius) traditions of matins, sext, and nones! There is an entire pace to living whilst your sliding into a moment in history where tradition and ritual intersect and spirituality endeavours to give a calming balm to one’s day.

My Review of Citadel:

Oh, my oh dear my, such a delightful author who includes not only a full-on brilliant map to orientate the reader into the realm of the historical past she’s about to embark on visiting, but she is given an acute alacrity of the principal cast and characters in a proper pronouncement ahead of the beginning of Chapter I! Oh, my dear hearts, this reader was over the moon entranced by these short few pages,… wretched and jolted out of my reverie of an unsuspecting opening which would bring the level of brutality witnessed by survivors and members of resistance forces during World War II came startling into view as soon as I broached the Prologue. The recollections of my joyous heart can wait, the narrative cannot! I not merely ‘sense’ the urgency, I sense it! I am breathing it in with each drip of words formulating the paragraphs. A dire race is afoot and I am on the brink of understanding the fullness of its scope! The novel births unto the page with each delicate turnt page, words extending themselves into the edge-most sections of its published space; a murmuring echo of its story eager for the eyes of the reader to grasp its heart!

Mosse has a clever eye for evoking peripheral psychological hauntings of a world set askew by war. She invites you into the mind of her characters whilst they brace and bolt to live through a day of hell. Fraught with human anxiety and fears of what happens to those who are captured, the imagery is not a brutal one in totality but rather, a stark remembrance of the reality of being on the ground, running and scavenging for safety. I was quite startled to be pulled out of Southern France during World War II to arrive at the doorstop of AD 342, and yet, that is precisely where my timeclock registered me on the first page of Part I! I murmured to myself this might be a time slip, generational in-depth and millennia in scope!

Meeting Arinius as he made his journey to free the Codex text he believed to be absolute truth ahead of dipping into Sandrine’s world in 1942; the year she was eighteen, two years past her mother’s death was quite the unique place to enter both of their lives. Each were on the footfalls of reaching a new pathway in their lives which would transform their futures. Sandrine was not unlike her age of peers, where she was standing on the tipping stone of adulthood, eager to greet the morrow and make her way in life. She was thirsty for experience and for the sweetness of freedom outside the stagnant pattern of her days. Sandrine comes from an ethereal section of France, where murmurings of spirits and of divine knowledge echo out across the land and encroach on the open hearts and minds of those willing to listen.

I appreciated the symbolism of Sandrine’s thoughts being interwoven and threaded as a knitter’s skein of fiber! The observation is at the closing end of Chapter 7, but it simply warmed this knitty girl’s heart to see one of the clever turnt phrases to be a reflection of an interest held most dear! I can oft relate to how she felt; muddle yet unclear of the placement of the events and memories. Uncertain if memory is the fault or if memory is the key to understanding what happened. We can become caught up in ourselves to where we second guess our instincts and the intuition that is a constant guide.

Sandrine was still an innocent as her hometown of Carcassonne was evolving into a deadly sufferage of wills between those who first would commit harm to gain secrets within the arms of the war and those who would rally to bolster the shield around the innocents who died. Her older sister Marianne sheltered her younger sister too well, in not giving her the ability to see past the illusion of memory. Her spirit stirred and soared standing in the warming sea of voices raised high for the liberation of France. She was starting to put the pieces of the picture together, forming her own opinion where her life was leading her and how where she was living was all but directing its course. She was thrust into the throes of war without the foreknowledge to understand its intricacies. Yet. I mused if perhaps this was almost a better approach? To not be as self-aware at first in order to have the courage in the long-term to act without a thought for yourself but to act to protect and free people you might never know?

History has a unique way of imparting important acknowledgements out of the past, by finding the ways in which the words can travel through vessels of time. Words handed and passed down through generations, from family to stranger seeking a confidence of protection is one of the most reliable methods of keeping knowledge secret from eyes who would take the same words and twist them into harmful deeds. It’s how we as a society react and root out resilience in the face of our foremost dire fears and shake away the rootings of evil. Resistance from oppression and the strife of a regime bent against the welfare of the people is true courage lit aflame.

Sandrine, Marianne, their close friends, and French Resistant fighter Raoul are being shadowed by a thrilling chase against time. By the time my mind realised the full perimeter of the story, I was all but rushing to find my voice to shout-out a decree of bravery I was slowly losing sight of as I watched how their individual plights grew more dim. The hardest time in life to latch onto Hope is when every effort you make to walk out of the adversity you have lived through starts to unfold and uncoil around you. You fight as hard as you dare, you believe as willingly as you dream, but in the end, without the additional help of others acting on your behalf; you can find yourself truly alone betwixt a choice for flight, freedom, or the valor of saving lives.

Sandrine is an intuitive woman who was set apart from others; she could see past the veils of our reality and into the next life just beyond our focus. She was tuned into mystical truths which gave her a bolster of strength in the nanoseconds where her own inner resolve faltered. Her life was writ to be in service of others, and in of giving all of her mind, body, and soul to fighting for the sanctity of life, liberty, and freedom. Citadel is epic in scale, emotionally convicting, and powerfully written to leave you quite still at its conclusion retrospectively museful, and enlightened. Your heart shatters and aches in an indescribable way when you read the four sentences on page 673. With eyes too blurry and a heart too gutted to carry-on into the Epilogue.

Fly in the Ointment:

In this instance, it is more of a forewarning for a sensitive heart reading the book, as although I was quite thrilled to see Mosse tempering the harsh realities of war and giving us a proper sense of the danger, the blight, and the misery without fuller details which would make even a strong man gag; there are passages where naturally the narrative has to take a sharper intact of detail. Where the horrors of the war during World War II under the Nazi regime are represented for what they were and how they were elicited out through the ranks. Before I reached Chapter 14, I languished in the beauty of the words which felt like soft pebbles rather than hardened spikes of a war drama. I am not sure why, but Chapter 14 re-presented the reality for me, where Antoine is being tortured into submission. Except to say, Mosse holds back, she gives you the ease to breathe and to realise although your being led into one of the darkest corners of the past, inside history’s dark hours, you are going with a guide who respects what you can handle and the elements of which you cannot. And, how she maintains this balance between the evil darkness and the light is a credit to her as a story-teller.

The most sickening part though lies in the truth inside the torture for information: that there are certain people who feel that inflicting unimaginable pain is justified in the end if it yields a response they are searching to hear. Mosse gives you a lot to muddle over and ruminate about as this is a novel whose layers are half-hidden and seen throughout the action of where the story evolves into being. There is a greater message than a recollection of war-time horror, survival, and courage. We are never quite as alone as we fear we have been cast out from our protective spheres of love’s embrace. Always guided over and protected by the Ones we cannot see but sometimes can hear as our heart listens for the cues our eyes have forgotten to see.



Virtual Road Map for “Citadel” Blog Tour:

Citadel by Kate Mosse

Be sure to scope out upcoming tours I will be hosting with:

France Book Tours

on my

Bookish Events badge created by Jorie in Canva


A parting glimpse behind the esoteric elements of the Languedoc Trilogy: 

Kate Mosse discusses Citadel, myths and fantasy via Orion Publishing


I must confess, I am always quite curious about how each of us selects which book we want to engage in. With Mosse, I feel as though I was always meant to be a reader of hers, but the timing hadn’t quite aligned for me to broach her writings until ‘this moment’ whilst I am participating on a blog book tour with France Book Tours! Do you ever find there is a particular time for you to soak into a narrative or an author? What do you think prompts the discovery to be a bit delayed from our initial moment of curiosity!? Also, have you read each of the Languedoc trilogy books as they released, or did you discover them out-of-order!? I’d be keen to hear your recollections and ruminations on behalf of either Citadel, Kate Mosse, or the trilogy! I do know, it will not be long from now before I am reading the first ‘two’ installments to have the richness of the tapestry expanded inside my mind!

{SOURCES: Cover art of “Citadel”, book synopsis, author photograph of Ms. Mosse, author biography, and the tour host badge were all provided by France Book Tours and used with permission. The book trailer by Orion Publishing had either URL share links or coding which made it possible to embed this media portal to this post, and I thank them for the opportunity to share more about this novel and the author who penned it. Blog Tour badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Tweets were able to be embedded by the codes provided by Twitter. Bookish Events badge created by Jorie in Canva.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Thursday, 20 March, 2014 by jorielov in 20th Century, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Films, Clever Turns of Phrase, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Fantasy Fiction, Feminine Heroism, Fly in the Ointment, France, France Book Tours, French Literature, French Resistance, Geographically Specific, Haunting & Ethereal, Historical Fiction, Historical Thriller Suspense, Interviews Related to Content of Novel, The World Wars, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage