February 26, 2020

Book Review| The Burning Chambers

*Hello friends! I have another book review for you. This time it's the first book in a new trilogy from my favorite historical fiction author, Kate Mosse. While this book wasn't phenomenal by any means I did enjoy it and I think it's a great intro to a new trilogy. 


Book Review: The Burning Chambers by Kate Mosse


Title: The Burning Chambers
Author: Kate Mosse
Published: 2018
Pages: 576
Recommended: Yes


Initial Thoughts:

- I loved the backdrop of this story.
- The mystery was a bit guessable but still satisfying.
- I love the setting of medieval Carcassone and France.
- It could have had a more original storyline but I think it was just setting the stage for the next book in the series.

Quotes:

“The suffering of those we love is harder to bear than anything we feel on our own behalf.”― Kate Mosse, The Burning Chambers

“You well know that if a lie is repeated often enough, in the face of the clearest evidence to the contrary, even the most level-headed of men start to believe in it. Falsehood easily becomes accepted truth.”― Kate Mosse, The Burning Chambers

Character:

My favorite character in this book is Piet, the love interest of the main character Minou. Minou's character arc was very well done in this book. I found that she was a very resilient woman and was quite capable of taking care of herself. Piet was witty and very well rounded. I found that he was a man full of compassion and always helped others. Even if they turned out to be his enemies. My least favorite character was Blanche closely followed by Vidal. They both worked for their own advancement. At the cost of other people's lives. Another thing I rather liked about the book was the sibling relationship between Minou and her younger siblings, Americ and Alis. It was very heartfelt and touching.

World:

I love to read anything set in ancient times. The setting for The Burning Chambers is 1560s France, specifically Carcassone, Toulouse, and Puivert. Because of Kate's books I will always want to visit France and see these beautiful medieval cities.
One thing that I struggled with while reading this book was that it was hard to visualize most of the locations in the book. I know that real locations and buildings were mentioned, but because of my unfamiliarity with them, I found that it made the story seem less real. But that's just my experience. The locations are not central to the plot really, but it would have added so much to have city maps in the book rather than a simple map of France.

Plot:

The plot held my interest fairly well. I wanted to pick it up all the time. It was a rather slow-paced story until the last part. Then the action picked up and it was quite anxiety-inducing. (Not in the real sense. I would stop reading a book that was giving me actual anxiety.) It was normal, oh-my-goodness-I-need-to-find-out-what-happens anxiety. 😉The main plot of this book was set against the persecution of Protestants by the Catholic church and the French monarchy so it made for a suspenseful and romantic backdrop.

Writing Style:

I quite like Kate's writing style. At first, it felt pretty discordant. Like she was trying to combine so many different styles into one book. But after I got used to it, it seemed to add to the story rather than take away from it. While I was reading it felt as though it had originally been written in French or Occitan and then was translated into English. However Kate did it, I really enjoyed it.

Enjoyment:

I did really enjoy this book. While it wasn't mind-blowing or terribly gripping, I do think it is a great start and lead into a new trilogy. I can't wait to see how this story develops in The City of Tears.

Rating: I gave The Burning Chambers 3.9/5 stars based on my personal rating system.

Happy reading,

Alicen