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Review | The City Of Tears

By Kate Mosse

Published : 20th January 2022

Publisher : Pan Macmillan

Format : Kindle, Hardback, Audio, Paperback

Genre : Historical Fiction

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May 1572: for ten violent years the Wars of Religion have raged across France. Neighbours have become enemies, countless lives have been lost, and the country has been torn apart over matters of religion, citizenship and sovereignty. But now a precarious peace is in the balance and a royal wedding has been negotiated. It is a marriage that could see France reunited at last.

An invitation has arrived for Minou Joubert and her family to attend this historic wedding in Paris in August. But what Minou does not know is that the Joubert familyโ€™s oldest enemy, Vidal, will also be there. Nor that, within days of the marriage, on the eve of the Feast Day of St Bartholomew, her family will be scattered to the four winds and one of her beloved children will have disappeared without trace . . .

Sweeping from Paris and Chartres to the City of Tears itself โ€“ the great refugee city of Amsterdam โ€“ this is a story of one familyโ€™s fight to stay together and survive against the devastating tides of history . . .

My Review

This is the second book to this series, the first being The Burning Chambers ( review to follow ) and it was every part as enthralling as the first.

Minou, Piet and their family are travelling to Paris for the wedding of the decade! A Catholic and a Protestant are coming together to unite the country and put an end to years of pointless wars, wars that have killed men, women and children all because of a need to control who can worship and in what way itโ€™s done.

The atmosphere around Paris still feels turbulent, both religions are poised and unsure of what will happen, or if the wedding will even go aheads, especially after the grooms mother was killed, apparently rumoured by the brides mother who is well known for using poison. Either way the air is crackling with tension and Minou is eager to get back home to their castle in Pruvert.

The wedding goes smoothly and everyone seems to relax a little, Marta, the eldest daughter of seven years old who is a very confident and insistent child is put out that she cannot go to visit the chapel as her younger brother is not well. Adamant that she is old enough and knows the way by herself she sneaks out of the house and gets totally lost, at the same time a plan to kill the Protestant leader and break the peace is about to happen and little Marta gets caught up in the middle. Luckily a boy finds her cowering in the street and takes her to safety in his home, not realising she has just been taken by her fathers oldest enemy's son Marta goes happily, only to find herself trapped in a house with no way out and fighting angry soldiers getting closer and closer to where she hides, all alone.

Piet and Minou have to escape Paris before they are caught up in yet another religious fight, when they realise Marta is missing they both desperately go in search for her but with fighting all around them they are limited where they can look and the danger is all encompassing. But all efforts to find their daughter are lost and after two days of searching and the only item they haver found is her bonnet covered in blood from the ground they have no choice but to leave to save their family.

Why I Loved It

To say I loved this series would be an understatement! The writing and definition of detail to the sixteenth century is utterly on point, so much so that you feel caught up right there in the midst of it all!

Reading all of Minouโ€™s raw emotions towards her lost daughter and also her husband really made my heart invested in this story, the times they lived in were extremely turbulent and they lost everything just to build it back up again, to only have the underlying fear of it all being lost in a moments notice.

Flipping back and forth between multiple narratives Kate builds her story with great staggering suspense, always leaving you wondering if you will get your hopes for the outcome you want!

Intensely atmospheric, this story is packed full of deception, love, secrets and betrayal and leaves you totally gasping for more.

Kate Mosse could literally be the queen of historical drama!

Thank you @randomthingstours @mantlepressbooks for this epic read โœจ

โœจOut now

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Buy from

๐Ÿ›’ Waterstones

๐Ÿ›’ Amazon


About the author

Kate Mosse is the author of eight novels & short story collections, including the No 1 bestselling The Burning Chambers Series โ€“ The Burning Chambers and The City of Tears โ€“ as well as the multimillion selling Languedoc Trilogy - Labyrinth, Sepulchre and Citadel - and No 1 bestselling Gothic fiction including The Winter Ghosts and The Taxidermist's Daughter, which she has adapted for the stage. Her books have been translated into 38 languages and published in more than 40 countries. She has also written four works of non-fiction โ€“ including An Extra Pair of Hands (Wellcome Collection, 2021) - four plays, contributed essays and introductions to classic novels and collections.

A champion of women's creativity, Kate is the Founder Director of the Women's Prize for Fiction - the largest annual celebration of women's writing in the world - and sits on the Executive Committee of Women of the World. She is the Founder of the global campaign - #WomanInHistory โ€“ launched in January 2021 to honour, celebrate and promote womenโ€™s achievements throughout history and from every corner of the world. She was awarded an OBE in 2013 for services to literature and women and was named Woman of the Year for her service to the arts in the Everywoman Awards. She is a regular guest on book & arts shows on radio and television. She also writes and presents documentaries.

Kate hosts the pre performance interview series at Chichester Festival Theatre in Sussex, chairs Platform Events for the National Theatre in London, as well as interviewing writers, directors, campaigners and actors at literary and theatre festivals in the UK and beyond. Kate was awarded a Fellowship at the Writer's House in Amsterdam in 2019. She is also Professor of Creative Writing & Contemporary Fiction at the University of Chichester.

Kate lives full-time in Chichester, though visits Carcassonne whenever possible. She is currently working on a documentary inspired by #WomanInHistory and working on the third novel in 'The Burning Chambers' series, which will be set in Amsterdam, Tenerife and South Africa ready for publication in 2022.

In 2019, Kate was honoured to be presented with a medal for services to culture by the City of Carcassonne. It is because of buying a tiny house in the shadow of the medieval city walls of Carcassonne in 1989 - and becoming inspired by the landscape, the beauty and the history of the region - that Kate became the writer she is.

Books by Kate

The Burning chambers - book one -


The Winter Ghosts

I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts on this review, if you have read this book why not drop me a line telling me your thoughts?


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