by Kate Mosse
Berkley Books, New York 2005
The was a good read, lots of action and suspense, and the Medieval portions were extremely well placed into what is known of the historical setting, including people, places, and behaviors. I liked it a lot.
I don't want to do a full review of this book. It is an International Bestseller and deservedly so. I just want to point out a 'similarity' between a specific description on one page in this book and my own story of "Margreet's Fall Into Love" (on this site, click here to go there).
On page 278, Mosse gives a description of the primary character's dream, a dream she has had before in several forms, but this time it changes some, and the change is significant to the story but I won't tell you why. Here is the narrative, with the . . . indicating where I have left something out:
Now the dream was changing. This time rather than the multitude of faces taking shape in the flames, there was only one, a young woman . . . reaching out . . . [and] . . . singing, in a voice of spun silver.
This time, no chill fingers grabbed her ankles or shackled her to the earth. The fire no longer claimed her. Now she was spiraling through the air like a wisp of smoke, the woman's thin, strong arms embracing her, holding her tight. She was safe.
. . . Alice smiled as together they soared higher and higher toward the light, leaving the world far behind.
. . .
Now compare this with my description of Margreet's leaving the claim of the fire and moving onward and upward:
I surrender. I swoon. I sink into my lover and in a momentary flame of blinding ecstasy I am finally and utterly consumed. That which I truly am falls out. What I had thought I once was melted and burned away in Love's fire. Nothing remains of me but that which I have always been and ever will be: Love. I am home. I am.
In my mind, the picture I constructed as I read Mosse was the same picture I had in mind when writing the above paragraph at least ten years ago. The words may not be all that similar, in fact they are quite dissimilar, but to me the thought of triumph in the apparent defeat of an unjust and cruel martyrdom was very similar.
Thanks, Kate, for reminding me again, and us all, that those who are cruelly used and destroyed in the flesh in this world may well have release, comfort, and ecstasy in the next. One hopes so at least.
I read this book on a business trip that allowed me some time to go to Salem, Massachusetts, where I heard the story of the many who were killed because of bogus accusations of witchcraft. Reading Mosse's page 278 during this visit gave me a reason to not feel so terrible about this inhumanity and cruelty. Theirs was also the triumph of the innocent so well described by Mosse.
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