I previously read the first book of ‘The Mongoliad’ and thought it had a lot of promise, but suffered a bit from committee-itis. (too many authors, not enough focus).
So, I skipped forward to this one, which is #5 in the series, and written by a single author. It is, indeed, much more focused. The story is solely about the character Ocyrhoe, and although I clearly missed some events since the first book, I thought it worked fine as a self-contained, stand-alone work.
Ocyrhoe ends up at Montségur, during the famous siege of the heretical Cathars at the end of the Albigensian crusade. It’s a fascinating moment in history, but although events are complicated both by Ocyrhoe’s being the custodian of a cup that may or may not be the holy Grail, and her new-found emotions for her old friend Ferenc, whom she’s coincidentally been reunited with, well, being besieged can get a little tedious.
I also felt that the book is stylistically consistent with the first novel in this series – which is undoubtedly appropriate, but it just didn’t fully resonate with me. It’s not bad, and it’s definitely recommended for fans of the series – I just didn’t love it as much as I wanted to.
Copy received through GoodReads’ First Reads program. Many thanks to GoodReads and 47North.