Cover Image: The City of Tears

The City of Tears

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I was inspired to read The Burning Chambers to fill in the hole which the end of GOT left.  Kate Mosse’s Burning Chambers series was the perfect answer and I am already hopefully anticipating the next.   As a Catholic,  these books have made me thankful I live in 2020 rather than during the war between the Catholics and Huguenots.  I find relics fascinating and while I won’t share any spoilers, Vidal’s search for an important one kept me turning the pages as well.   Kate Mosse is a scholar!
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I review my books around five areas that I think are key in a book. They are Character, World, Plot, Writing Style, and Enjoyment. 

Character: 3
- If I had to choose a favorite character from The City of Tears I would pick Piet. He is the main character's husband and one of the best characters in this book. My least favorite character was Marta, frankly a spoiled brat, and daughter of the main character and her husband. My next least favorite was Minou, the main character herself. I liked her quite well in the first book, but in this book, she made several choices that I felt were very immature for her. She purports herself as an independent and strong woman but lets the decisions of others decide how she will act. This just doesn't make any sense to me. So, unfortunately, there aren't a lot of redemptive characters in this book. For myself anyway.

World: 3.5
- Since I have read quite a few of Mosse's books I'm very in love with medieval France. The locations were much easier to follow in this book because they weren't obscurely French. In many of her other novels, the French terminology and locations are lost on me. But, while reading The City of Tears I didn't find the world to be distracting from the story. This made it easier to read. 

Plot: 3
- This was something I struggled with throughout most of this book. There are three main sections in this book and they are all several years apart. So you will read one section and it will have its own plot and climax. Then you skip several years in the future and have another plot and climax and conclusion. It's the same for all three sections. So technically you are reading three different stories about the same group of people. It's a very interesting way to write a book. That said, there were a lot of "dry" sections. With not a lot happening with the plot or the characters. It took me a good month to get through this book.

Writing Style: 3.5
- I do enjoy Mosse's writing style. The character's language feels authentic. I don't know much about how people in medieval France spoke, but the way Mosse has written their dialogue and the way that they word things makes the story feel authentic. It was very easy to imagine wandering the streets of Paris or taking a horseback ride through the Midi. 

Enjoyment: 3
- I will say that I enjoyed the beginning and the end of this book. The middle was not my favorite. There was only one thing that I was curious about and that is a relationship that springs up toward the end of the book. I don't want to say what it is because it would be spoilery, but it just didn't seem like it would have actually happened in the time period this book is set in.

Overall, The City of Tears got a 3.2/5 star rating from me. It was an ok book. It was long and there were some very boring bits, particularly in the middle. I enjoyed the writing style and of course medieval France, but other than that this book didn't really stand out to me. Oh, I should mention the "cliffhanger" ending. It didn't come as much of a surprise to me but it does set up for the final book in the trilogy.
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This is the second book in the saga The Burning Chambers, that Kate Mosse wrote about important episodes in the history of France. The story of this book takes place during the 16th century in Europe where Minou Joubert, together with her family, attend a royal wedding in order to create an alliance between the Catholic Crown and the Huguenot king of Navarre. The religious war has lasted 10 years, people long to finally have peace in their respective countries. However, Vidal, the most controversial enemy, has other wishes, among them, to continue the search for a relic that would surely change the course of history. Minou will witness all these events and will have to be very cautious and resourceful in order to solve these problems that impede peace. This is a very entertaining story, Kate Mosse makes the reader feel immersed, she describes various historical elements that I found very interesting. It is difficult to narrate such a dense subject as a novel and I feel that the writer did a magnificent job. There are several characters so I recommend writing them down so that you can follow the thread of the story. If you are interested in learning more about European history, this is the perfect book. I thank NetGalley, St Martin's Press and Minotaur Books for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
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The author does a great job of portraying the woes of one family as they may have experienced during the Religious Wars of Europe.  The family came across as authentic and the sufferings were deeply felt.  However, I think it would have enlightened the reader if there had been a prologue included that reviewed the era.  It would serve to remind the readers of Martin Luther and the Protestant movement and the split in the Catholic Church that led to the Religious Wars.  I don't think it  would detract from the story at all, but would add clarity at the very beginning.
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Thank you to Netgalley and the Publisher for this early copy!

Did not finish. I have come to realize after years of trying that I just do not connect with historical fiction.
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Well written continuation of the story. The character development and world creation always pulls me into the story. The plot flows well and keeps the reader engaged. I look forward to more from Kate Mosse. I recommend this series to anyone that enjoys a good story no matter their genre preference. 

Thank you Netgalley and publisher for the darc of this work in exchange for my honest review.
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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. Thank you to the team at @minotaur_books and @katemossewriter

The incredible follow-up to #1 Sunday Times bestseller The Burning Chambers, Kate Mosse returns with The City of Tears, a sweeping historical epic about love in a time of war.

An amazing epic family saga, in 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. Sadly this doesn’t come to pass. When Mosse’s characters come vividly to life through these stunning pages. Having to endure the horrors of the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre, which was a massacre of Huguenots. Who were members of the French Protestant minority thar were horribly attacked by Catholics. 
With  the devastating outcome Minou’s family will be scattered throughout as their enemy, Vidal is searching for a ancient relic.

This is a gripping book of reformation, with extensive meticulous research makes this one incredible historical fiction!

 #cityoftears #katemosse #minotaurbooks #partner
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This is the second novel in Kate Mosse's historical epic series, THE BURNING CHAMBERS, and I recommend readers begin with the first book if they want to understand the backstory. This book picks up several years after the first one left off, with Minou and Piet now as parents. Their daughter, Marta, is precocious and plays an important role in the book, so readers should not dismiss her because of her young age. The story is set during the time of the medieval religious wars in France, when the Catholics and Huguenots were battling to the death. Catherine de Medici's dysfunctional sons rule the country, but many historians would have you believe that she was the one pulling the strings in the royal household. Coincidentally, prior to reading this book I had just finished a Jean Plaidy book called EVERGREEN GALLANT, which dealt with this exact same time period, so I had a decent understanding of the players and the politics of this time period. 

On the eve of St. Bartholomew's, when a bloody massacre occurs between the Catholics and the Huguenots, Minou's daughter Marta goes missing. Minou and her husband Piet have reason to believe that Marta is dead, and they flee from Paris to escape death. Since they fall on the protestant side of the church fence, they know that they aren't safe if they remain in France. But I'm not sure they were any safer in Amsterdam, where more religious wars are being fought.

This book reintroduces us to the villain from the previous novel, Vidal, and his son. Other reviews can better summarize the plot than I can, but let it suffice to say that if you like Dan Brown's books, you will probably like THE CITY OF TEARS. I was hoping for a greater emphasis on the history, but the book is more concerned with swashbuckling action and soap opera theatrics.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Full disclosure:  I received a free Advanced Reader's Copy of this book from St. Martin's Press/Minotaur Books via NetGalley in exchange for possibly writing a review.

The City of Tears is the second book in the Burning Chambers series by Kate Mosse.  You will want to read the first book before this one as this book builds upon that foundation.  The length of the books requires a willingness to invest in the Reydon family.  I read pretty fast, but they still took me several days to finish.  

This book takes place ten years after the last one.  All your favorite characters are here and doing well.  There are even a few new additions.   You know that can't last forever because the Catholics still hate the Huguenots and vice versa.  A royal wedding takes the family to Paris which is where things start to go horribly wrong.  There's less mystery in this book than the first.  In fact, there is a lot of sadness for about two-thirds of the book.  Life was not easy in the 1500s.  Just when you think this book is just the story of a family trying to survive religious persecution, the tension and action really ramp up, and you are racing with them to the end of the story.  

I'm not going to spoil the end, but I felt Kate Mosse set herself up for a possible third book.  We'll see.
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I liked this book and found the characters engaging but it took a long time for the plot to get going and I felt was too long.
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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.
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I love Kate Morse books. They are true to time period with a good plot. Here you will find all intrigue, romance, suspense and historical facts. The author will keep you crave for more!
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From Paris to Amsterdam the intriguing story will have you engulfed in romance, revenge, loss, persecution, and redemption!
It all begins with the historical context from the religious wars which brought about trading throughout using ancient religious relics.
This created vast amounts of chaos involving not just religion and massacres.
Were the Huguenots being targeted?
The story revolves around two main characters Minou and Piet while bringing in several other characters to create an epic novel that burns from within every page.
Their marriage was to be a time of great joys yet hiding was of essence from Guise's spies.
Could the French cardinal be a relic hunter?
France descended into chaos.
Volatile atmospheres created uncertainty.
Tempers flared on high!
Yet, "you saw an injustice and did not turn away."
Stealing relics became common place to protect the Sancta Camisia.
However, one must ask where's Lord Evreaux in all this madness?
What if a relic is actually a forgery being used for access to estates?
When the waters recede we focus on the damage, the unity, the rebuilding.
Could two men have been hired to kill Vidal a man believed to be a priest ?
So much to fall in love with and immerse yourself within here!
Perfection!!!
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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. The 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!
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This book continues the story of The Burning Chambers. Revenge and religious persecution persist but also love and family. Quite a story!
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Everything about this book drew me in. I was first caught by the fleur-de-lis and hooked by the premise of a book set amidst France's religious wars. French history is something I'm interested in and have studied extensively, but I haven't read a lot of fiction that is set there.

 Minou Joubert and her husband Piet go to Paris to attend the royal wedding of Henry of Navarre, which is intended to finally bring peace between the warring Catholics and Huguenots. Minou is herself very open-minded and tolerant of her Catholic countrymen and is confident that the majority of both religious groups feel the same. But their oldest enemy, Vidal, is in Paris as well, looking for a relic that will change history. And just days after the marriage, blood will run in the streets and Minou's family will be scattered.

Author Kate Mosse's writing is just lovely, as is her attention to historical details. The story flows at a nice pace and I found myself instantly compelled to read to the end. My only regret is that I didn't read The Burning Chambers, to which this book is a sequel, first. I'm not sure what I missed reading out of order, but I am eager to go back and complete that book too.

Special thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press/Minotaur Books for providing this advance review copy for review.
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560 pages

4 stars

Minou and Piet travel to Paris in this, book two of the series, for a royal wedding. It is hoped that the wedding will heal the hurts of France. 

However, there is evil afoot. Bad intentions by old foes and some surprising new ones add tension to the story. Vidal, an influential Cardinal, is also in Paris searching for an ancient relic whose loss he believes Piet knows something about. 

Piet who survived a wounding is unable to fight but supports the Huguenot cause in other ways. He is very much involved with the Amsterdam Huguenots. 

This is a very well written and plotted novel. I enjoyed it very much and it dovetails right into the first book in the series, “The Burning Chambers.” I liked Minou and Piet. They make a very good pair and they seem like ordinary people but are so much more. 

I want to thank NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for forwarding to me a copy of this absolutely wonderful book for me to read, enjoy and review.
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A long, strong historical fiction tale told with imagination and style. I'm sure this will fly off the shelves, as it has all of the elements of a good story of this kind (and since the previous book was well received). Recommended.

Thanks very much for the ARC for review!!
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“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.
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This book was received as an ARC from St. Martin's Press in exchange for an honest review. If you' ve read the Burning Chambers then you have to read this sequel! This books follow Minou and Piet on a yet another exhilarating adventure against Christiann fanatics. Although set in a completely different time, it still rings true today as religion is still a driving factor behind many of the world's problems today. This story was rich in plot and character, and is a must read for anyone who is into historical fiction from this era.
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