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Following on from the Sunday Times number one bestseller, The Burning Chambers, Kate Mosse's The City of Tears is the second thrilling historical epic in The Burning Chambers series, for fans of Ken Follett and Dan Brown. August 1572: Minou Joubert and her family are in Paris for a Royal Wedding, an alliance between the Catholic Crown and the Huguenot King of Navarre intend Following on from the Sunday Times number one bestseller, The Burning Chambers, Kate Mosse's The City of Tears is the second thrilling historical epic in The Burning Chambers series, for fans of Ken Follett and Dan Brown. August 1572: Minou Joubert and her family are in Paris for a Royal Wedding, an alliance between the Catholic Crown and the Huguenot King of Navarre intended to bring peace to France after a decade of religious wars. So too is their oldest enemy, Vidal, still in pursuit of a relic that will change the course of history. But within days of the marriage, thousands will lie dead in the streets and Minou’s beloved family will be scattered to the four winds . . . A gripping, breathtaking novel of revenge, persecution and loss, the action sweeps from Paris and Chartres to the city of tears itself, Amsterdam.


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Following on from the Sunday Times number one bestseller, The Burning Chambers, Kate Mosse's The City of Tears is the second thrilling historical epic in The Burning Chambers series, for fans of Ken Follett and Dan Brown. August 1572: Minou Joubert and her family are in Paris for a Royal Wedding, an alliance between the Catholic Crown and the Huguenot King of Navarre intend Following on from the Sunday Times number one bestseller, The Burning Chambers, Kate Mosse's The City of Tears is the second thrilling historical epic in The Burning Chambers series, for fans of Ken Follett and Dan Brown. August 1572: Minou Joubert and her family are in Paris for a Royal Wedding, an alliance between the Catholic Crown and the Huguenot King of Navarre intended to bring peace to France after a decade of religious wars. So too is their oldest enemy, Vidal, still in pursuit of a relic that will change the course of history. But within days of the marriage, thousands will lie dead in the streets and Minou’s beloved family will be scattered to the four winds . . . A gripping, breathtaking novel of revenge, persecution and loss, the action sweeps from Paris and Chartres to the city of tears itself, Amsterdam.

30 review for The City of Tears

  1. 4 out of 5

    Peter

    Upheaval Kate Mosse has a wonderful grasp of European Renaissance history (particularly French) and with such clever unassuming detail, brings The City of Tears alive with a fictional narrative that is interlaced with fascinating real events. This is the second book in the Burning Chambers series and continues the epic adventure of Minuo Reydon-Joubert and Piet Reydon, with a lens on the Catholic and Huguenot conflicts in the sixteenth century. A period of complex religious and political wars whi Upheaval Kate Mosse has a wonderful grasp of European Renaissance history (particularly French) and with such clever unassuming detail, brings The City of Tears alive with a fictional narrative that is interlaced with fascinating real events. This is the second book in the Burning Chambers series and continues the epic adventure of Minuo Reydon-Joubert and Piet Reydon, with a lens on the Catholic and Huguenot conflicts in the sixteenth century. A period of complex religious and political wars which Kate Mosse manages to tread carefully, illustrating that there is honour and corruption on both sides. In 1572, from the base of Languedoc, which Mosse knows well from her first highly popular Languedoc trilogy, Minuo and Piet with their two children, seven-year-old Marta and two-year-old Jean Jacques, travel to Paris to celebrate and witness the royal wedding of Charles IX’s sister, Catholic Marguerite de Valois, and Protestant Henry III of Navarre. Also in Paris is Vidal du Plessis (Cardinal Valentin), an old acquaintance of Piet’s but now an enemy, with a plan to kill leading Huguenots during the festivities. The violence that erupts became known as the St Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, in which thousands of Huguenots were murdered. During the confusion and rampage, young Marta goes missing, and unable to find her, Minuo and Piet escape the city to safety in Amsterdam without her. The strain this puts on their marriage along with the guilt they each feel, is superbly described and targeted. Twelve years later a young woman is reported to have a resemblance to Minuo and thought to be Marta. Minuo and Piet decide to return to France to search for their daughter, but danger is everywhere. Vidal with his collection of relics, many he knows to be fake, has ambitions to use them to gain power and position. Knowing Piet and Minuo have returned has added tension and jeopardy to everyone, and the suspense is very well delivered through many menacing twists where the hunted and hunter have many close encounters. Kate Mosse is a master storyteller who brings historical fictional drama to life like few others, delivered with an enthralling pace that rarely falters, and a depth that is truly impressive. The family dynamics are intelligently crafted to add another dimension in this absorbing novel and the narrative uses emotional forces that are so ranging that my head and heart have been sated for some time. I was loving the audiobook so much that I bought the hardback to continue to read and listen. The narration is perfect with the accent and dialogue beautifully portrayed especially with many French terms and places. I would highly recommend this book and audiobook and I would like to thank St Martin’s Press and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of the audiobook in return for an honest review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Annette

    “The Wars of Religion in France was a sequence of civil wars which began” in 1562 and ended in 1598. “The Eighty Years War in the Low Countries” (Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg) “was no less complicated. Beginning in 1568, it was a revolt (…) against the violent occupation of Hapsburg Spain.” “The Story of French Protestantism and the beginning of the Dutch Republic are both part of the larger European story of the Reformation.” The story is set against the background of those religious wars, whi “The Wars of Religion in France was a sequence of civil wars which began” in 1562 and ended in 1598. “The Eighty Years War in the Low Countries” (Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg) “was no less complicated. Beginning in 1568, it was a revolt (…) against the violent occupation of Hapsburg Spain.” “The Story of French Protestantism and the beginning of the Dutch Republic are both part of the larger European story of the Reformation.” The story is set against the background of those religious wars, which also led to lucrative trade in religious relics and its falsification. Amsterdam, 1572. A French cardinal, a powerful man, requests information about certain boy and his mother from Mariken Hassels. But she fears it would warrant boy’s death. Therefore, she tries to warn him. The boy, now would be a grown man. Languedoc, southern France. Minou and Piet Reydon live happily at the “green valley set in the foothills of the mighty Pyrenees.” They “brought their children up in the light of the Reformed Church.” They believe in respecting other religions and hope for the same from the others. Piet likes the thrill of the battlefield, but his injured hand keeps him away from it. Now, he tries to find a purpose. And he finds it in supporting Calvinist rebels in the Dutch Provinces, making him a target for a Catholic cardinal. Quercy, southwest France. A nine year old boy, named Volusien and known as Louis is taken by a powerful cardinal into his service. The boy is sharp witted. He never received any formal schooling, but he is smart at observing and listening. Vidal du Plessis, now Cardinal Valentin, “was a personal Confessor to the Duke of Guise himself and, for ten years, had profited from the misery of civil war. He was now wealthy, he was powerful.” And hungry for religious relics. Nothing and no one will stop him from getting them. One person searches for another. One goes into hiding. A third person begins a hunt for the one in hiding. Engrossingly written, keeping a reader on toes, making it hard to put the book down. The story begins with a few characters at different places and it seems as a lot of names are being introduced and it might be hard to follow. But that’s not the case. Most of the story is concentrated on Minou and Piet. And the other involved characters are skillfully woven into their story, beautifully coming together. The characters are interesting. Minou is a wife and a mother, and at the same time a very strong woman, standing up for what she believes in. Piet despite being deprived of what he loves the most; he still finds purpose in his life. The cardinal, religious person of questionable character, is hungry for religious relics and unstoppable in getting them. The time period is presented through the religious conflict, bringing also the St. Bartholomew’s massacre. Soldiers breaking into houses not painted with a cross’ “the white crosses marked the Catholic houses from Huguenot.” The scene is brutal giving a true sense of how it was. There was no mercy, no exception for women, children, or pastors. This scene is short and the story overall is not brutal in its descriptions. This book II you can read as stand alone, but I highly recommend reading book I, Burning Chambers. Source: ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Marialyce

    Reading this book made me once again realize that organized religion can and did often bring its share of grief, loss of life, and hardship to the people. It certainly should never be the intention of any religion to place itself above another's beliefs, but that has unfortunately happened down through the ages. Certainly, in this book, the second in The Burning Chambers series, those concepts have been once again been brought to light. Minou and Piet Joubert and their family are Huguenots in Fra Reading this book made me once again realize that organized religion can and did often bring its share of grief, loss of life, and hardship to the people. It certainly should never be the intention of any religion to place itself above another's beliefs, but that has unfortunately happened down through the ages. Certainly, in this book, the second in The Burning Chambers series, those concepts have been once again been brought to light. Minou and Piet Joubert and their family are Huguenots in France, a place that has always considered themselves a Catholic domain. Minou and her family are invited to Paris to witness, in an attempt to calm the aggression between the Catholics and Huguenots, the marriage of the crown princess of the Catholic rulers and the Huguenot King of Navarre. It is hoped that this union will bring a lasting peace to the country that has been plagued by warring religious factions. In Paris, the Joubert's young daughter takes it upon herself to go exploring never thinking that she would be caught up in the St. Bartholomew’s massacre, where white crosses painted on door bring safety to those hidden inside, while other homes are broken into and their occupants seized, murdered, and wantonly thrown aside. This killing spared no one, children women, the elderly were slaughtered because they were considered not to be the right religion. The Joubert's have always supported people's right to believe even though Piet has definite sympathies for the Calvinist cause. His feelings and his hidden mysterious background come to the attention of a French cardinal and the peaceful life once loved by the Joubert's is about to turn to violence, death, and destruction. Vidal du Plessis, a cardinal, is obsessed with the collection of relics. He has profited from them even knowing that many of them are false. He will let no one stop him from his mission and he is in some way connected to Piet. He is dangerous, he is ruthless, and he is a father to Volusien, of course never acknowledging his paternity in public. For these characters, it is a race to stay alive and their journey carries them from France to Holland to Chartres, never really acquiring that sense of peace they thought they had previously. Add to their sense of constant fear, their daughter is missing and as they are forced to leave Paris, they leave with only the hope that she is alive in the midst of a massacre. Told with the background of religious strife, indifference, greed, and the overwhelming need to find peace in one's life, this is a story of struggles that are cruel, barbarous, and merciless. I recommend this book, which can be a standalone story, to all who love a well written and developed book that opens one's eyes to the cruelty and heartless barbarity that was said to be done in the name of God. Thank you to Kate Mosse, Minotaur Books, and Edelweiss for an advanced copy of this book due out in May of this year.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lou

    The City of Tears is the second instalment in the sprawling five-book (The) Burning Chambers series and continues this stunning and enthralling historical fiction epic exploring the history of Huguenot refugees in Europe. It's a decade after the events in the first book and many things have changed. It's August, 1572, and Minou Joubert (aka Marguerite Reydon-Joubert, Châtelaine of Puiver) is now married to Piet Reydon, a Huguenot soldier and has birthed two children - seven year old Marta and to The City of Tears is the second instalment in the sprawling five-book (The) Burning Chambers series and continues this stunning and enthralling historical fiction epic exploring the history of Huguenot refugees in Europe. It's a decade after the events in the first book and many things have changed. It's August, 1572, and Minou Joubert (aka Marguerite Reydon-Joubert, Châtelaine of Puiver) is now married to Piet Reydon, a Huguenot soldier and has birthed two children - seven year old Marta and toddler Jean-Jacques. The pair leave behind the serenity of Puivert in Languedoc and travel to Paris to celebrate the royal wedding of Charles IX’s sister, Catholic Marguerite de Valois, and Protestant Henry III of Navarre, the first Bourbon King of France, intended to bring peace to France after a decade of brutal and bloody religious war and unite the divided country. However, once there they become aware that Piet's friend turned enemy Vidal, who is now a Catholic cardinal is also in the city. Alongside the Duke of Guise and other renegade Catholics, Vidal is planning to strike when important Huguenot's are in town to witness the wedding. But predictably the violence spreads into what is now known as the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre in which thousands of Protestant Huguenots were slaughtered in the streets on the orders of the French king. In the chaos and desperation to escape Paris, young Marta disappears. In exile from France, they establish a new life in Amsterdam, but not knowing their daughters fate begins to impact their marriage considerably. This is a compulsive, thrilling and richly described piece of escapism which explores France's darkest moments and moves at a fast pace with plenty of action and adventure alongside the more disturbing happenings. Not only does it tell us about the state of the country and secularism but it probes the topics of love and how families survive against the backdrop of war, displacement and tragedy but is ultimately a story about the most notorious engagement of the religious wars in France - the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre - when on the 24th August thousands of people were murdered, executed and tried to flee to safety. It all makes for a harrowing and heart thumping read and one you can tell has been extensively researched by a writer so passionate about this subject. It's exquisitely written and the backstories of the characters we've grown to either know and love or despise are given more depth throughout the narrative. Mosse brings to life the terrors and perils of the times and the nature of life within a country still fighting for its values with trauma and tragedy present around every corner. It's a thrilling tour de force from an inimitable author who can be relied to provide everything her readers desire and a narrative packed full of: thrills, danger, drama, emotion, action, tragedy and so much more. Undoubtedly, one of the finest writers of historical fiction today. This is a book I cannot recommend highly enough to those who've been loving this series as there is more of the same riveting plot lines here throughout. Simply superb.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Teresa

    The City of Tears is historical fiction but is based on France's holy wars in the sixteenth century. I must confess to knowing next to nothing about this era of time, but the author made both the history and the storyline enjoyable. This book is the second in a series, but you do not need to read the first, The Burning Chambers, to understand what is happening. Set in 1572, it spans twelve years, beginning with Minou Joubert and her husband Piet, who travel to Paris for a royal wedding between C The City of Tears is historical fiction but is based on France's holy wars in the sixteenth century. I must confess to knowing next to nothing about this era of time, but the author made both the history and the storyline enjoyable. This book is the second in a series, but you do not need to read the first, The Burning Chambers, to understand what is happening. Set in 1572, it spans twelve years, beginning with Minou Joubert and her husband Piet, who travel to Paris for a royal wedding between Catholics and Huguenots. While in Paris for the wedding, the unthinkable happens, and marauders begin a murderous rampage of the city. Minou and Piet’s young daughter Marta is missing from their home, but they must quickly leave Paris without her and, with the help of friends, land in Amsterdam to start over again. They are successful in starting over, but their marriage suffers from the guilt of leaving their daughter behind. Twelve years later, a young woman has been spotted resembling Minou with her blue and green eyes, and they are sure it is Marta. They decide to return to France to search for their daughter. This book was an excellent story about the human condition of forging on despite the despair of grief. Minou’s grief was palpable, and I could almost feel it. She knew her daughter was still alive even when her husband accepted her death. I enjoyed this book thoroughly and look forward to reading the first and last in the series. I thank Net Galley and the publisher, St. Martin’s Press, for the opportunity to read this book for my honest opinion. I gave it four stars.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Abbie | nerdyabbie

    An exciting family saga filled with rich history. Perfect for fans of Outlander. August 1572: Minou Joubert and her husband Piet travel to Paris to attend a royal wedding which, after a decade of religious wars, is intended to finally bring peace between the Catholics and the Huguenots. Also in Paris is their oldest enemy, Vidal, in pursuit of an ancient relic that will change the course of history. Within days of the marriage, thousands will lie dead in the street, and Minou’s family will be sca An exciting family saga filled with rich history. Perfect for fans of Outlander. August 1572: Minou Joubert and her husband Piet travel to Paris to attend a royal wedding which, after a decade of religious wars, is intended to finally bring peace between the Catholics and the Huguenots. Also in Paris is their oldest enemy, Vidal, in pursuit of an ancient relic that will change the course of history. Within days of the marriage, thousands will lie dead in the street, and Minou’s family will be scattered to the four winds . . . As big as the books in these series are, they pack a lot of punch - both with historical facts, and heart-breaking moments. This intergenerational strife between two rivaling families that exists between the pages of this narrative is something that I live for. Because the plot was quite heavy and intricate, I did find myself getting tangled up in the threads, and having a hard time connecting with the characters. However, the people that Kate crafts are exceedingly honest, complex, and well-written. This is an intriguing sequel to the first novel, the Burning Chambers, with a cliffhanger you won't see coming! I look forward to learning more about Minou's family in upcoming books! As always, a BIG thank you to the publishers and Netgalley for sending me an ARC of this book!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Pheadra

    This is the sequel to The Burning Chambers. Main characters Minou Joubert and her husband Piet travel to Paris for the Royal Wedding, that was to become a public display of allegiance between the Catholic Crown and the Huguenot King of Navarre, in an effort to end the religious wars that plagued France. Chaos ensues that sees the Joubert's daughter, Marta, a precocious 7-year old disappear after she witnesses the killing of her uncle. In tandem, Piet's oldest enemy Vidal, confessor to the Duke of This is the sequel to The Burning Chambers. Main characters Minou Joubert and her husband Piet travel to Paris for the Royal Wedding, that was to become a public display of allegiance between the Catholic Crown and the Huguenot King of Navarre, in an effort to end the religious wars that plagued France. Chaos ensues that sees the Joubert's daughter, Marta, a precocious 7-year old disappear after she witnesses the killing of her uncle. In tandem, Piet's oldest enemy Vidal, confessor to the Duke of Guise leaves Paris, assumes a new identity and begins hunting for and replicating relics. The Joubert's leave Paris for Amsterdam heartbroken after losing Marta and begin to rebuild their lives until news reaches them of a possible sighting of Marta years later and an inheritance to which Pief is entitled. A well researched, interesting rollicking story that spreads from Paris to Amsterdam to Chartres and sets the reader up for a sequel. 5 Stars.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Susan Johnson

    I am ashamed to admit this but I realize most of what I know about French history I have learned from Kate Mosse. I, of course, knew about Marie Antoinette and Lafayette, but that was about it. She has nailed yet another piece of history for me, the battle between the Huguenots and Catholics in 1572 for the throne of France. This starts with the wedding between principals of the two religions to join the crown of France as told by the Huguenot family of Minou Joubert. The family comes from the I am ashamed to admit this but I realize most of what I know about French history I have learned from Kate Mosse. I, of course, knew about Marie Antoinette and Lafayette, but that was about it. She has nailed yet another piece of history for me, the battle between the Huguenots and Catholics in 1572 for the throne of France. This starts with the wedding between principals of the two religions to join the crown of France as told by the Huguenot family of Minou Joubert. The family comes from the provinces to witness the wedding. There is a 7 year old girl, a two year old boy, an aunt and the couple, Minou and Piet. The little girl is quite willful and takes off on her own to explore Paris. She gets caught up in a bloody battle that takes her uncle's life. She is taken in by a young boy and then taken by a Catholic and kept and raised. The family searches the streets but because of the battle cannot find her and must flee for their lives. Thanks to friends they make their way to Amsterdam and safety. Their relationship cools because of their missing daughter. They have another daughter but things are never the same. Years later a friend tells them he thinks he has spotted the missing daughter now grown up. The couple make their way back to France and run into an old enemy. Their daughter is in danger and they must rescue her. The story tells a great deal about the conflict between the Huguenots and the Catholics. It talks of the bloody conflicts over the religious issue. It was really quite interesting. Thanks to NetGalley for a copy of this book in exchange for a fair review.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Alison Alice-May

    This book follows The Burning Chambers, and in my opinion, it is better. The story follows the Joubert family and the saga of their lives. The family have settled in the South of France in their own beautiful estate. They make plans to attend the wedding of Henri, Huguenot King of Navarre and the Catholic Marguerite de Valois. It is hoped that this wedding will establish a peaceful alliance between Huguenot and Catholic supporters. However, before they leave, Minou’s beloved father dies, peacefu This book follows The Burning Chambers, and in my opinion, it is better. The story follows the Joubert family and the saga of their lives. The family have settled in the South of France in their own beautiful estate. They make plans to attend the wedding of Henri, Huguenot King of Navarre and the Catholic Marguerite de Valois. It is hoped that this wedding will establish a peaceful alliance between Huguenot and Catholic supporters. However, before they leave, Minou’s beloved father dies, peacefully at home. The wedding takes place as planned, although it seems like everyone is aware of a strange unsettled atmosphere. While in Paris, a mysterious woman reaches out to Piet and the family becomes aware that they are once again in the sights of Piet’s violent nemesis, Vidal. Before they leave, Marta (Piet and Minou’s daughter) goes missing at the same time as what becomes known as the St Bartholomew’s Day massacre takes place. They hunt everywhere for her but eventually have no option but to leave her behind. Unsure whether Marta is alive or dead, the family flee to Amsterdam, abandoning everything they knew and loved, as that is the only way to save their lives. Unbeknownst to them, Minou’s beloved brother dies in the massacre. Their family is much changed as they set up home in Amsterdam. This is a tumultuous period in history and Kate Moss does a wonderful job of making the story incredibly readable. The family once again get caught up in the wars of religion and Piet is central to a transition of power from Catholic to Protestant in Amsterdam. This time, there is little violence as the Catholics flee Amsterdam. I love the way Kate uses the Joubert family to bring the religious wars to life in a way that is understandable to the average reader. The research she must have done to produce such a book must have been vast. This is historical fiction writing at its very best. There are more books to come in this series as hinted at in the prologue which is set in South Africa three hundred years later. Fact and fiction blends together perfectly in this wonderful family saga. The characters are so well drawn you will either love or hate them, but you trust them explicitly to deliver a fabulous story.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ali Kennedy

    It may only be January but I am predicting that this will be one of my favourite books of 2021. I am not normally a fan of pre-20th century historical fiction but this, and The Burning Chambers before it, have truly converted me to this genre. The way that Kate Mosse writes about this period is so good that I feel truly immersed in it. The detail and descriptions are testament to the incredible amount of research that she must have had to do. I knew little about the 1500s in France and Holland, a It may only be January but I am predicting that this will be one of my favourite books of 2021. I am not normally a fan of pre-20th century historical fiction but this, and The Burning Chambers before it, have truly converted me to this genre. The way that Kate Mosse writes about this period is so good that I feel truly immersed in it. The detail and descriptions are testament to the incredible amount of research that she must have had to do. I knew little about the 1500s in France and Holland, and the religious tensions/wars that took place in that era, but I feel infinitely more informed after reading these books. This is a solid sequel to The Burning Chambers and I was delighted to revisit the lives of Piet, Minou and their family, friends and foes! There are secrets, misunderstandings, adventure and authentic human relationships throughout. The fact that it is all against a tumultuous historic backdrop gives it context and added tension. The setting is vividly described, the characters feel so real and by the end of the book I felt sad to be leaving them once more. I cannot wait for the next installment of this wonderful series! Thank you to The Pigeonhole and Kate Mosse for access to this wonderful writing, in installments over ten days.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Penny (Literary Hoarders)

    CAN'T WAIT. May 2020 is a looooong time away! CAN'T WAIT. May 2020 is a looooong time away!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Bridget

    I made the decision to read The City of Tears rather hesitantly as I sometimes find that novels steeped in history aren't my cup of tea. I chose to read its prequel The Burning Chambers first and found both extremely absorbing, exciting and compelling. The City of Tears is based on France's holy wars in the sixteenth century. I must confess to knowing virtually nothing about this era but the author made both the history and the storyline enjoyable. Set in 1572, it spans a period of twelve years, I made the decision to read The City of Tears rather hesitantly as I sometimes find that novels steeped in history aren't my cup of tea. I chose to read its prequel The Burning Chambers first and found both extremely absorbing, exciting and compelling. The City of Tears is based on France's holy wars in the sixteenth century. I must confess to knowing virtually nothing about this era but the author made both the history and the storyline enjoyable. Set in 1572, it spans a period of twelve years, beginning with Minou Joubert and her husband Piet who travel to Paris for a royal wedding, an alliance between the Catholic Crown and the Huguenot King of Navarre. I loved the character portrayal by the author especially of Minou, Piet, and Cardinal Valentin. Minou is a wife and a mother, a strong woman who stands up for her beliefs. Piet is central to a transition of power from Catholic to Protestant in Amsterdam. The cardinal, a religious person of dubious character, is hungry for religious relics and relentless in his pursuit for them. It's exquisitely written and the backstories of the characters are given more depth throughout the narrative. Kate Mosse brings to life the terrors and perils of the times with trauma and tragedy present at every turn. Brimming with drama, danger, thrills, emotion, action and much more, I cannot recommend The City of Tears highly enough. I read The City of Tears in staves with other Pigeonholers as part of a group. A special thank you to Pan Macmillan/Mantle, Kate Mosse, NetGalley and The Pigeonhole for a complimentary copy of this novel at my request. This review is my unbiased opinion.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sofie (BooksbySofie)

    "The suffering of those we love is harder to bear than anything we feel on our own behalf." This is a historical fiction novel that follows Minou and her husband Piet from 1572 until 1594. Because of the war, they flee from Paris to Amsterdam, but their enemies follow wherever they go. This is the sequel to 'the burning chambers'. In highschool I learned about the war for independence (tachtig jarige oorlog) in the Netherlands . I was never a big fan of history class (which had a lot to do with m "The suffering of those we love is harder to bear than anything we feel on our own behalf." This is a historical fiction novel that follows Minou and her husband Piet from 1572 until 1594. Because of the war, they flee from Paris to Amsterdam, but their enemies follow wherever they go. This is the sequel to 'the burning chambers'. In highschool I learned about the war for independence (tachtig jarige oorlog) in the Netherlands . I was never a big fan of history class (which had a lot to do with my inability to remember dates and anything else that had to do with numbers), but this important piece of history always interested me. I guess my witchy ass liked the fact that after this war, more than one religion was accepted. Also, the Netherlands won their independence. This book is definitely a reminder of all the terrible things people (used to) do in the name of religion. The writing style is gorgeous. I love how descriptive and detailed everything is. It really makes for a wonderful reading experience. I especially loved the parts in Amsterdam, it was fun to read about the places I know and love. I really liked the plot. It was full of twists and turns and surprises. Some events were definitely romanticised, but I guess that's to be expected in a novel. Overall, I really enjoyed this book!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    This book really takes a long time to get moving, with lots of characters to introduce and lots of secrets to hint at, but not enough action or answers for me to be interested for quite a while. The oddly short chapters don't speed up the pace of the book like I assume the author hoped, but because the first part of the book is so slow, we're left with chapter after chapter where nothing happens. It doesn't start to really get interesting until about the 40% mark and it's my personal opinion tha This book really takes a long time to get moving, with lots of characters to introduce and lots of secrets to hint at, but not enough action or answers for me to be interested for quite a while. The oddly short chapters don't speed up the pace of the book like I assume the author hoped, but because the first part of the book is so slow, we're left with chapter after chapter where nothing happens. It doesn't start to really get interesting until about the 40% mark and it's my personal opinion that at least half, if not most, of that first 40% could have been cut. So much was just unnecessary and only served to slow down the story. However, I did like how whenever someone or something from a previous book by this author is mentioned in City of Tears, there's an asterisk that leads to a little endnote with the name of that previous book so readers can check it out if they like the subject. The second half of the book, set mostly in Amsterdam, was a lot more entertaining than the first half. It almost felt like one book had ended and we started another book after the time jump. A lot more happened in general but it was still oddly slow at times and there were long sections that could have been cut or at least pared way down. Some parts just really dragged. I really loved the little bits that dealt with the Prince of Orange, since he's one of my favorite historical figures, but he doesn't play a large role in the novel. Too much of the book left me yawning. I think my opinion of the book would be a little higher if I'd read the first book in the series, so let that be a warning if anyone is curious whether this book can standalone. It really can't. I received an ARC of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Carol lowkey.bookish

    I loved that the book starts with a few pages of historical notes. It really set the scene and grabbed my interest. My favorite part of the book was the history surrounding the story. The start of the story is in August 1572, when Minou Joubert and her husband Piet travel to Paris to attend a royal wedding in an attempt to unite Catholics and Huguenots. This is the second book in the trilogy and I think it was a true ‘middle book’, a bridge from the romance of the first book and a big cliffhanger I loved that the book starts with a few pages of historical notes. It really set the scene and grabbed my interest. My favorite part of the book was the history surrounding the story. The start of the story is in August 1572, when Minou Joubert and her husband Piet travel to Paris to attend a royal wedding in an attempt to unite Catholics and Huguenots. This is the second book in the trilogy and I think it was a true ‘middle book’, a bridge from the romance of the first book and a big cliffhanger ending to set up for book three The characters were plenty and I found myself flipping to the handy cast of characters in the front of the book. I would have been lost without that reference. This book was long, with some slow parts where the plot stalled out (like the preparation for the trip and the road trip chapters.) I think readers who enjoy sweeping historical fiction epics will enjoy this book. I received a free review copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Nicola Mackenzie-Smaller

    Love it! I absolutely loved The Burning Chambers and was thrilled to be returning to the world of Minou, Piet and the rest of the family thanks to a serialisation with The Pigeonhole. We find the family pitted against an old enemy, and travelling away from Minou’s beloved Puivert to a Royal Wedding - that of Henri de Navarre and his bride Marguerite. I confess that I loved the film La Reine Margot, so the post wedding events were not a surprise to me. As ever, I love the way that Kate Mosse weave Love it! I absolutely loved The Burning Chambers and was thrilled to be returning to the world of Minou, Piet and the rest of the family thanks to a serialisation with The Pigeonhole. We find the family pitted against an old enemy, and travelling away from Minou’s beloved Puivert to a Royal Wedding - that of Henri de Navarre and his bride Marguerite. I confess that I loved the film La Reine Margot, so the post wedding events were not a surprise to me. As ever, I love the way that Kate Mosse weaves a personal story with relatable characters into well-researched and interesting historical events. There are some very intense moments of high drama in this book, and a shocking event which has a massive impact on the Joubert family. There are some moments where Piet’s ongoing ability to escape from peril require some suspension of disbelief but I believe this adds to the general tone of this series- full of adventure and excitement alongside characters you can really care for. You can tell this is true by the reaction of my fellow readers to the death of a character in the book (no spoilers). I’m only a bit sad that read The Burning Chambers recently and finished this today so I feel like it’s a long wait until I meet these characters again.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    Perhaps it is the isolation of the pandemic, compounded by below zero weather, but after reading this second book of the trilogy I think I can drop out. I just did not enjoy it as much as I had the first. Those were difficult years to live and die in, great unrest and inability to trust anyone. The French Catholic government vs Calvinists/Huguenots made for tough living with the need to find safe living. This one is centered between Paris and Amsterdam and has the sad loss of a young daughter who Perhaps it is the isolation of the pandemic, compounded by below zero weather, but after reading this second book of the trilogy I think I can drop out. I just did not enjoy it as much as I had the first. Those were difficult years to live and die in, great unrest and inability to trust anyone. The French Catholic government vs Calvinists/Huguenots made for tough living with the need to find safe living. This one is centered between Paris and Amsterdam and has the sad loss of a young daughter who goes missing during civil unrest as the focus for one family. It got to be melodramatic for me when I already have enough of that right now. Yes, the author has done meticulous historical research. Library Loan

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sue Jenkins

    I was fortunate enough to read this over several days, courtesy of Pigeonhole and Kate. It was a powerful continuation of the first book in the series and continues the story of Minou and Piet and their family. It was full of emotion, historic fact, tragedy and joy and I thoroughly enjoyed being swept along by the unfolding events. A great description of life during those times interwoven with the family saga made it an interesting read and I couldn’t wait for each stave. Thanks to Pigeon and Ka I was fortunate enough to read this over several days, courtesy of Pigeonhole and Kate. It was a powerful continuation of the first book in the series and continues the story of Minou and Piet and their family. It was full of emotion, historic fact, tragedy and joy and I thoroughly enjoyed being swept along by the unfolding events. A great description of life during those times interwoven with the family saga made it an interesting read and I couldn’t wait for each stave. Thanks to Pigeon and Kate.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Alyssia Cooke

    I'm going to be a dissenting voice here and say that I enjoyed this far less than the initial novel in this series; The Burning Chambers. Don't get me wrong, it is still exceptionally well written and definitely one of it's greatest strengths is how well Moss builds the historical period around you, across multiple settings and even countries. I did however feel that there was a significant amount of repetition of themes from the previous novel in terms of the narrative; the unknown inheritance I'm going to be a dissenting voice here and say that I enjoyed this far less than the initial novel in this series; The Burning Chambers. Don't get me wrong, it is still exceptionally well written and definitely one of it's greatest strengths is how well Moss builds the historical period around you, across multiple settings and even countries. I did however feel that there was a significant amount of repetition of themes from the previous novel in terms of the narrative; the unknown inheritance for example, and that there was a shift in tone from the villains of the piece being complex, perhaps mentally unstable individuals to just being evil. I appreciated the occasional shift of perspective to Vidal and his hunt for various religious artefacts, but felt he was a far weaker character than Minou or Piet. There wasn't enough effort made to humanise him and it made him a rather two dimensional villain, rather than a fully formed character in and of his own right. This wasn't helped by the fact that his motivations were two fold, and neither of them were particularly strong. The author also leans heavily on the character building she did in the first book, and I suspect if you tried to read this as a standalone you would really struggle to engage with the characters and the narrative. This reliance also means that new characters aren't anywhere near as deeply drawn as individuals like Minou and Piet, who come with the full backstory and history from the first novel. Secondary characters are also far weaker, and some of the historical perspective is lost. I often simply didn't really care when peripheral characters were killed off, whereas these incidental deaths really impacted me in The Burning Chambers. That said, I really enjoyed how well Mosse moves with the historical setting and how she changes the focus from the immediate romance of Minou and Piet to a far more settled relationship. The responsibilities of land ownership and parenthood have changed the dynamics of the relationship significantly, and Mosse really does well at portraying this. I loved the dynamics of Minou and her children throughout the novel, and how fear for her children has changed her priorities. Much of the first half of the novel is slow reading, but I enjoyed it as I felt it built up these relationships and the changes that have happened in the last ten years. It also gives Mosse a chance to set the scene for the next waves of violence to grip France in this tumultuous time of war and short lived peace. There are some things Mosse does really, really well here. Her descriptions of Paris and of how the sudden conflict once more cracks the very foundations of Piet and Minou's life are fantastic. I felt she really captured the fear that leads to becoming a refugee from a country that has your heart and your home, and yet how individuals adapt and change to meet their circumstances. If she had stuck to the historical conflict and how this impacted the family, I suspect this would have been a four or even five star novel. But the over-arching narrative of Piet's family name stole some of the shine from this novel, as it felt like a copy and pasted version of Minou's story in the first novel. Likewise, whilst the historical period and the brutal impact of civil conflict was captured brilliantly, the focus on Vidal and his obsession seemed far thinner and marred my enjoyment somewhat. I'd have preferred more to have been with Marta, as that is a tale that was all but forgotten until the end. I will still undoubtedly be reading the third novel in this series though, as Mosse writes beautifully and have really peaked my interest in what comes next. I still have no idea what's going on with the nineteenth century prologue though. It clearly has direct relevance to events in the main story, but there isn't enough there to really make is a decent hook. My thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for my review copy of this novel.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Meghan

    This book was received as an ARC from St. Martin's Press - Minotaur Books in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own. I was totally into the concept of this book from the start and all of the relating corresponding stories are so intriguing. There is the story of Minou and Piet and attending the royal wedding to bring an end to a holy war. Just when peace was around the corner, the evil Vidal is on the search for an ancient relic of its This book was received as an ARC from St. Martin's Press - Minotaur Books in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own. I was totally into the concept of this book from the start and all of the relating corresponding stories are so intriguing. There is the story of Minou and Piet and attending the royal wedding to bring an end to a holy war. Just when peace was around the corner, the evil Vidal is on the search for an ancient relic of its power to end the world as we know it. As he gets closer and closer, Minou's family is scattered and suffering piece by piece. This book did jump but however still correlated with the plot which not only made it easier to read but much easier to visualize and be part of the story. I know our community will have a lot of great words to say about this book and will enjoy it to the max. We will consider adding this title to our Historical Fiction collection at our library. That is why we give this book 5 stars.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Veronika Jordan

    I described The Burning Chambers – the first book in the series – as epic. I can’t think of another word that fits The City of Tears. Once again we have conflict, religious wars and unbridled ambition, set mainly in Paris, Chartres and Amsterdam over a period of around ten years. We join Piet and Minou living comfortably in Puivert, Minou now the Chatelaine, due to her inheritance. The family are planning a trip to Paris for the Royal Wedding between the Catholic Crown and the Huguenot King of Na I described The Burning Chambers – the first book in the series – as epic. I can’t think of another word that fits The City of Tears. Once again we have conflict, religious wars and unbridled ambition, set mainly in Paris, Chartres and Amsterdam over a period of around ten years. We join Piet and Minou living comfortably in Puivert, Minou now the Chatelaine, due to her inheritance. The family are planning a trip to Paris for the Royal Wedding between the Catholic Crown and the Huguenot King of Navarre intended to bring peace to France. Minou’s brother Ameiric will go separately as he is a soldier, but sister Alis plans to go with them. Piet and Minou have two children – seven-year-old Marta and two-year-old Jean-Jaques, who will also be on the trip. But things in Minou’s life rarely go to plan and what should have been a beautiful celebration and coming together of peoples of different Christian denominations turns into a nightmare. Paris is burning and bodies litter the streets. No one is spared, not women or children or the clergy. Minou and Piet must flee but at what cost? I got so upset and angry I almost couldn’t carry on reading. I’m glad I did – I know with Kate’s books there will be sadness – but sometimes it is unbearable. In the meantime, Cardinal Valentin – Vidal – is obsessed with collecting religious relics (real or fake it doesn’t matter so long as people believe them to be real). He has also acquired the service of a nine-year-old boy known as Louis, who we soon discover is his illegitimate son. Following the massacre in Paris, Vidal has been forced to flee and seems to have gone underground. Power mad and bitter, he wants to start his own Catholic church based around the relics he has collected (a bit of a simplistic description for which I apologise). Piet and Minou are now living in Amsterdam but for them the conflict will never be over. As with book one I got quite stressed at times. I got cross too as I mentioned above and was upset by certain decisions the family made, but then I suppose I have to put myself into what life was like in 1572 and not nowadays. I kept thinking about it but I’m afraid I didn’t change my mind by the end of the book. Many thanks to The Pigeonhole, the author and my fellow Pigeons for making this such an enjoyable read.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Architha | thebookishdweeb

    France has been in unwavering instability ever since the French revolution and the conquering of the Bastille. This is more so because of religious conflicts within the same religion (which is very ironic); in this case between the Catholic 'pure' Christians and the Protestant 'impure' Christians. Here, this conflict take solace not only in France, but in the neighboring countries of Belgium and Netherlands. 'The City of Tears' is the second book of the Burning Chambers series, and though I haven France has been in unwavering instability ever since the French revolution and the conquering of the Bastille. This is more so because of religious conflicts within the same religion (which is very ironic); in this case between the Catholic 'pure' Christians and the Protestant 'impure' Christians. Here, this conflict take solace not only in France, but in the neighboring countries of Belgium and Netherlands. 'The City of Tears' is the second book of the Burning Chambers series, and though I haven't read the first book, this one was highly entertaining and I was under the conviction of it being a standalone. The story revolves around a family whose members were separated or killed and how they were indirectly caught up in many situations that came to shape France's future. The writing was impeccable and highly understandable, considering it being a historical fiction. Written from multiple POVs, the story was covered from every side, though I still have a lot of questions and queries on many exchanges and incidents. The city of tears here refers to Amsterdam, and the events of this story unfolds here and in Paris. The way these two cities were described from the 16th century POV was highly amazing, and the imagery was appalling. Narrated by Hattie Morahan this book was a long but almost perfect listen. Highly recommended! Thank you Netgalley and MacMillan Audio for the ALC!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mairy

    The City of Tears, or a 16th-century story about family and power. I did no expect to enjoy this book as much as I did since I did not read The Burning Chambers. So this novel can definitely be read as a standalone. This is a thick, 560-pages long book, but Kate Mosse is such a talented storyteller that time will simply fly: from the vivid landscape description of places such as Paris and Amsterdam, to the well-developed and so-not-cliche characters, I finished this book asking for more. I know The City of Tears, or a 16th-century story about family and power. I did no expect to enjoy this book as much as I did since I did not read The Burning Chambers. So this novel can definitely be read as a standalone. This is a thick, 560-pages long book, but Kate Mosse is such a talented storyteller that time will simply fly: from the vivid landscape description of places such as Paris and Amsterdam, to the well-developed and so-not-cliche characters, I finished this book asking for more. I know TCOT has just been released but, when is the next installment coming out?? I fell head over heels in love with characters Marta Reydon/Marie Cabanel and Louis and I need to know what is going to happen next! The ending is a real cliffhanger! As you can see, this book gets you hooked while educating you a bit on the Holy Wars of Northern Europe in the 1500s. I am officially a Mosse fan and I am adding Chambers to my TBR. I recommend this book to all Ken Follett fans as well as those enjoying Historical Fiction family sagas. Thank you so much Net Galley and Minotaur Books for this e-ARC in exchange for my honest review.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lynne Smith

    This sequel to The Burning Chambers is set mainly in Paris and The Netherlands. Some of the themes are repeated (rather stretching credibility perhaps) when there are hints that there is a mystery around Piet’s birth. The family have travelled to Paris for the royal marriage and whilst there the unrest between Huguenots and Catholics ignites and in the confusion Minou and Piet’s wilful daughter Marta goes missing. The book is at its best in its domestic scenes, I feel, and its portrayal of not q This sequel to The Burning Chambers is set mainly in Paris and The Netherlands. Some of the themes are repeated (rather stretching credibility perhaps) when there are hints that there is a mystery around Piet’s birth. The family have travelled to Paris for the royal marriage and whilst there the unrest between Huguenots and Catholics ignites and in the confusion Minou and Piet’s wilful daughter Marta goes missing. The book is at its best in its domestic scenes, I feel, and its portrayal of not quite fitting into one’s native culture nor one’s adopted culture, and these are the parts I enjoyed the most. I know very little about the religious wars on the continent and so these details were also very interesting. As in The Burning Chambers the book opens with a scene in Franschhoek but never returns to this period which I found a little frustrating, but all in all a fascinating look into a turbulent and violent period.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Theresa Smith

    Spanning twenty years across the Wars of Religion, from 1572 through to 1594, The City of Tears is the second novel of The Burning Chambers series. It picks up the story of Minou and Piet ten years on from the close of The Burning Chambers. While there is some referencing back to the first book, it by no means recaps everything so I would not recommend this one as a standalone; it’s firmly a second in a series by way of following the whole story. Once again, the history is sublime and the action Spanning twenty years across the Wars of Religion, from 1572 through to 1594, The City of Tears is the second novel of The Burning Chambers series. It picks up the story of Minou and Piet ten years on from the close of The Burning Chambers. While there is some referencing back to the first book, it by no means recaps everything so I would not recommend this one as a standalone; it’s firmly a second in a series by way of following the whole story. Once again, the history is sublime and the action plentiful. For a novel covering such a turbulent and religious/political period of history, it does so with ease. As was the case with The Burning Chambers, the story is accessible and entertaining as well as emotionally gripping. I love these characters and the way Mosse has crafted their family history against the back drop of an extensive greater European history. I’m not entirely sure how many books are planned for this series but I hope there’s a few more yet to come. The period in which this series is set is a little further back through time than the historical fiction I usually read, but I am really loving the world that Mosse has brought to life, with its blend of fictional characters and real people from history. The City of Tears is a stunning follow up to The Burning Chambers; the two together a must read for fans of historical fiction with substance. ‘In the space between one beat of her heart and the next, Minou allowed herself to stand momentarily in the company of the ghosts of the past, with those she had loved and lost, the missing and the dead.’

  26. 5 out of 5

    Connie

    The City of Tears is the follow up to The Burning Chamber. Set in 1572 the story follows Minou and Piet Joubert and their family, as France is ripped apart by a holy war between the Catholics and Hugenots. It's a story of revenge, persecution and loss, which hit me right in the feels on more than one occasion. I loved this and predicted a couple of the plot scenes but it took nothing away from the story. And like the Burning Chamber I had to remind myself to breathe. Thank you Netgalley and Publish The City of Tears is the follow up to The Burning Chamber. Set in 1572 the story follows Minou and Piet Joubert and their family, as France is ripped apart by a holy war between the Catholics and Hugenots. It's a story of revenge, persecution and loss, which hit me right in the feels on more than one occasion. I loved this and predicted a couple of the plot scenes but it took nothing away from the story. And like the Burning Chamber I had to remind myself to breathe. Thank you Netgalley and Publisher for the ARC.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Corrie Anne Stacey

    This is the second book in the burning chambers series and the first book I’ve read by Kate Mosse. It was a little confusing in the beginning as there was a lot of characters introduced early on, but I soon settled into the story. Its August 1572. Minou, Piet and their family travel to Paris for a royal wedding. To witness an alliance of Catholic crown and Huguenot king of Navarre and hopefully bring to an end a decade of religious wars in France. Also in Paris, is their oldest enemy Vidal. He’s c This is the second book in the burning chambers series and the first book I’ve read by Kate Mosse. It was a little confusing in the beginning as there was a lot of characters introduced early on, but I soon settled into the story. Its August 1572. Minou, Piet and their family travel to Paris for a royal wedding. To witness an alliance of Catholic crown and Huguenot king of Navarre and hopefully bring to an end a decade of religious wars in France. Also in Paris, is their oldest enemy Vidal. He’s collecting ancient relics and has a plan to change the course of history. Minou and Piet’s daughter, 7 year old Marta heads off exploring alone. The leader of the Huguenots has been murdered, so all hell breaks loose through the streets of Paris and she goes missing. I couldn’t put this book down, it was a long read, but so detailed and educational. It had me gripped from very early on. I was so invested in the characters and it was a roller coaster of emotions. The writing is just so good! I must read more from Kate Mosse. I highly recommend this work of historical fiction! thanks to #netgalley for my arc copy!

  28. 5 out of 5

    skketch

    ***NOVEL THOUGHTS*** +++Thanks to Goodreads, Kate Mosse, St Martin's Press and Minotaur Books for the ARC in exchange for an honest review+++ 3.5 It seems rather ironic that I write this review on Easter Sunday since the central theme of The City of Tears, which takes place in the mid to late 1500's in Paris and Amsterdam, are the religious wars between Huguenots, Catholics and Calvinists. The practitioners of each of these Christianity based religions were so passionate about their beliefs, they w ***NOVEL THOUGHTS*** +++Thanks to Goodreads, Kate Mosse, St Martin's Press and Minotaur Books for the ARC in exchange for an honest review+++ 3.5 It seems rather ironic that I write this review on Easter Sunday since the central theme of The City of Tears, which takes place in the mid to late 1500's in Paris and Amsterdam, are the religious wars between Huguenots, Catholics and Calvinists. The practitioners of each of these Christianity based religions were so passionate about their beliefs, they would fight endless wars over them. Historically accurate, the author, weaves her characters from her first book, Minou and Piet Reydon and their lives in the countryside of France with their two children, Marta, a precocious 7 yr old and toddler Jean-Jacques. Piet's relative, Vidal a Catholic cardinal whose fanaticism extends to procuring religious relics, also has a vendetta against Piet and wants him out of the way. This storyline is something from the first book which I couldn't quite follow since I didn't read the first one. Vidal hires assassins and devises other wicked measures with hopes to eliminate the family throughout the book. The family journeys to Paris to attend the wedding of a Protestant Prince to a Catholic Princess which has hopes of uniting the country's religious factions. But despite this momentous occasion, the opposite occurs and the leader of the Huguenot movement is assassinated which leads to chaos throughout the city. It is during this time, little Marta is caught up in the melee and disappears. The family, Huguenots themselves try find her but must leave the country if they are to survive and wind up in Amsterdam where for the next decade live in peace, but even that, doesn't last. I knew very little about the history of this century and through the Reydons' lives, the reader gets a great insight on a cursory level of this tumultuous time period. There is a good level of action and mystery with the story which kept it interesting. But, it took a long time for the story to get going and capture my attention. It is clear Mosse intimately knows the regions she is speaking about because she rattles off names of streets where action was taking place and that got tedious for me. Mosse does write well and even uses the lilt and language of the time which keeps it more authentic. It is a long book, all 676 pages, so I think some of it could have been edited and the story would not have suffered at all. And, I believe it would be very helpful to read the first book before reading the second to understand the backstory and nuances of the characters have a better experience. For fans of Outlander or if you like French history, this series would be for you.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    The City of Tears by Kate Mosse is a journey of 23 years, from 1572 to 1594, during the years of religious wars in France, between the Catholics and various Protestant groups. It was a bloody time that saw much upheaval. Primary in this journey are Minou and Piet, her husband. Minou was French; Piet had been born in the Netherlands but was now French. They lived in a villa in Puivert with Minou's father and aunt, her brother and sister, and her and Piet's two children. Near the beginning of the The City of Tears by Kate Mosse is a journey of 23 years, from 1572 to 1594, during the years of religious wars in France, between the Catholics and various Protestant groups. It was a bloody time that saw much upheaval. Primary in this journey are Minou and Piet, her husband. Minou was French; Piet had been born in the Netherlands but was now French. They lived in a villa in Puivert with Minou's father and aunt, her brother and sister, and her and Piet's two children. Near the beginning of the book, Alis, the sister, was shot, as she stood high on the walls of the keep. She survived, but the stress was too much for her father (and Minou's) who died that night. The family, most of it kept to their plan of making the many-weeks journey to Paris to see the wedding of Marguerite de Valois to Henry of Navarre which many hope would heal the rift in France by joining the two factions in marriage. In fact, it got worse. Within days there was a massacre in Paris that spread too all of France. Minou's brother was killed, and her daughter was lost, although she could never bring herself to admit that Marta was dead. The story progresses through the family's years in Amsterdam, where they were relatively safe, and their reunion with their long-lost daughter. All of the story is written in blood. Very sad. It took a little to get into this book. It was several stories that took time to come together. It was written coldly at first, with little opportunity to bond with the characters. As it progressed, the characters came closer, although it was all very formal. The story offers a glimpse into a very bloody time in history, all over religion, as is often the case, although it is often not all within one country. It is a story of deceit, greed, madness, and love. By the middle of the book it had become a parge-turner; by the end it was a saga. I recommend for lovers of historical fiction. It is not for the casual reader as it will take some effort. I received a free ARC of The City of Tears from Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions and interpretations expressed herein are solely my own. #netgalley #thecityoftears

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ted Waterfall

    This tale of historical fiction begins in France in 1572 as a young woman, Minou Joubert and her husband, Piet, and eight year old daughter Marta, travel to Paris to attend a political-Royal wedding between a Catholic and a Huguenot (Protestant) arranged for the purposes of trying to end the vicious warfare between those two religions that had plagued the French countryside and planted the seeds of so much hatred and suspicion. But just days after the wedding is over, the Catholics descend on th This tale of historical fiction begins in France in 1572 as a young woman, Minou Joubert and her husband, Piet, and eight year old daughter Marta, travel to Paris to attend a political-Royal wedding between a Catholic and a Huguenot (Protestant) arranged for the purposes of trying to end the vicious warfare between those two religions that had plagued the French countryside and planted the seeds of so much hatred and suspicion. But just days after the wedding is over, the Catholics descend on the Huguenots and slaughter them in what became known as the St. Bartholomew Day's Massacre. Minou and Piet's precocious and inquisitive young daughter had slipped out of their residence earlier that very evening and was lost in the fray, being taken in by the son of one Vidal, an arch enemy from the past of the young couple Joubert, but saving her life in the process. Minou and Piet, being Huguenots, escape with their lives but without their daughter who is then raised not only Catholic but also by the Joubert's personal enemy. Oh the complications that can present as the Jouberts try to reclaim her once they hear she might still be alive some twelve years later. The story line is well written, the threads are a bit complicated to follow sometimes, but never deviate from the theme. If you love murder mysteries and have the kind of brain that likes to figure out mysteries, you could love this book, like my wife did (she gave it 5 stars). If you like the kind of sustained action of a Dean Koontz or a Mark Alpert, then you may well find this book rather slow, as I did in parts. However, the second half of the book really picked up and the ending would give Indiana Jones a run for his money. Good character development, good dialog. I didn't find out one of the characters survived until the very last page! This is actually volume 2 of a series of books. Volume 1 was entitled The Burning Chambers. My wife won this book from Goodreads.com as an Advanced Readers Copy. It will be available for sale to the public on May 26, 2020.

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