In Mosse’s vibrant sequel to 2018’s Burning Chambers, the year is 1572 and Minou Joubert (aka Marguerite Reydon-Joubert, Châtelaine of Puiver) is now married to Piet Reydon, a Huguenot soldier, and the mother of two children, Marta and Jean-Jacques. Minou and her family leave the peace and quiet of their estate and head for Paris to celebrate the royal wedding of Charles IX’s sister to Henry III of Navarre. In Paris, they get caught up in the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre, the slaughter of Protestant Huguenots on the orders of the French king. In the chaos of those dark, dangerous days, seven-year-old Marta goes missing. As the years pass and Marta’s fate remains unknown, Minou faces the uncertainties of life in the midst of religious conflict while dealing with the lethal machinations of her family’s archenemy, ruthless Vidal du Plessis (aka Cardinal Valentin). She eventually flees France, taking refuge in Amsterdam, “her city of tears.” The fascinating historical detail fuels the drama and keeps the plot zipping along. Wilbur Smith fans will want to check this one out. 75,000 announced first printing. Agent: Mark Lucas, LAW (U.K.). (May)
"Vibrant...The fascinating historical detail fuels the drama and keeps the plot zipping along."Publishers Weekly
"Thrilled aplenty as readers await the next installment of this well-researched series."Kirkus Reviews
"Mosse presents another absorbing historical yarn that mixes intrigue, action, and family drama with aplomb."Booklist
"A Kate Mosse classic, this book remains entertaining and riveting until the very last page."Historical Novel Society
"A saga of epic portions, The City of Tears by Kate Mosse is a brilliant, original, and inherently riveting historical novel by an author who supplements her impressive narrative storytelling style with a keen respect for historical detail."Midwest Book Review
In this follow-up to The Burning Chambers, (2019) Mosse’s characters endure the horrors of the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre, in which the Huguenots—members of the French Protestant minority—were attacked by Catholics.
Minou Reydon, the Huguenot protagonist of Chambers, and her husband, Piet, are now, in 1572, the nobility in residence at Château de Puivert in Languedoc after having wrested it from a usurper. Minou’s entire extended family lives in the castle, including her brother, Aimeric, sister, Alis, and her Aunt Salvadora. Minou and Piet have two children, precocious 7-year-old Marta and toddler Jean-Jacques. The family’s idyll is about to be interrupted, though. Piet’s former friend Vidal, now a Catholic cardinal, is scheming to carry out grudges against both Minou and Piet, one long-standing and one very recent: Vidal has suspicions about Piet’s lineage that he is determined to both confirm and conceal. The Reydons’ troubles begin when they leave Puivert to attend a royal wedding in Paris. Marguerite, the Catholic daughter of Catherine de’ Medici, is to marry Henri, the Huguenot king of Navarre, who will one day accede to the throne of France. Many hope that the match will signal a truce in the religious strife that has rocked France for decades. However, certain renegade Catholics, led by the Duke of Guise and abetted by Vidal, plan a limited strike on key Huguenots in town for the wedding. But the violence spreads until a mob has murdered thousands. Minou, Piet, their son, and Salvadora manage to escape but, through a profoundly unlucky turn of events, leave Marta behind. This act will test Minou and Piet’s marital bond as, in exile from France, they establish a new life in Amsterdam. Mosse keeps a firm grip on the extremely complex Reformation history in which her characters are enmeshed. The role of Vidal in the plot is less successfully executed. The aging and ailing prelate appears too overtly crazy to fulfill his intended role as mastermind and nemesis. And there may be too many minutely described stabbings for some tastes.
Thrills aplenty as readers await the next installment of this well-researched series.