Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Audiobook Review - The Burning Chambers

  • Title And Author: The Burning Chambers by Kate Mosse
  • Publisher: MacMillian
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Audiobook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Borrowed from local library via BorrowBox
  • Length: 608 Pages or 17 Hours 12 Minutes
I’m not much of a historical fiction reader. I don’t know why, but I do tend to struggle with reading this and it makes me take longer to reading it (look at how long I’ve been reading Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare at the moment to prove my point). But the past few months (late last year), The Burning Chambers have been calling to me. So has a few other historical fiction novels. But when I saw this was on my library’s BorrowBox app, I decided to go for it and try upping the speed of the reader (something I don’t do normally, but I thought I would try as the reader, Hattie Morahan, has a slower tone to her reading so I thought me upping the speed to 1.25 and, on some occasions, 1.5 will be useful). 

The first is an epic historical saga, The Burning Chambers is set in Carcassonne 1562 where nineteen year old Minou receives a myserteous letter at her father’s bookshop: SHE KNOWS THAT YOU LIVE. 

Before she has time to decipher the message, a chance encounter with Piet, a young Huguenots convert on a dangerous mission . Meeting him changes her destiny and soon, the two find themselves wound together at Toulouse several months later when religious tensions between Huguenots and Catholics react boiling point…

And all the while, the dangerous mistress of Puivert is waiting, desperate to find a missing document and her eyes are slowly turning towards Toulouse and onto Minou and her family…

Now, like I said earlier, historical fiction isn’t my normal go to. I find historical fiction to be slower in pacing and tone, there’s a lot of info-dumping about details (politics, gender, etiquette, etc) that fit the time perfect and yet are jarring nowadays. And because of this, I never fall into the stories the same way I fall into fantasy or sci-fi (which, when you think about, is the same thing, but in different styles and explain in different ways). 

And yet… I did like this. There were times that, even when I fasten the speed of audiobook, I did care about the characters and the situations they were in. And it was this that kept me listening. 

And then, we have the mystery of the prologue, which is set in Franschhoek in 1862. With Burning Chambers and the sequel, City of Tears, following Minou, this mystery intrigues me. How are these two connected and how many books in the series are we going to wait to find out the connection? I have a theory, but I might be wrong. 

While this genre might not be a genre I rush towards, I am intrigued to see where this series goes and seeing as I have City of Tears (due to the kindness of publisher via NetGalley) and I have an audiobook of Kate Mosse’s Labyrinth (the first in the “Languedoc Trilogy”), I will be sticking around with this author for a while…

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