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Thursday, October 4, 2007

The Eight by Catherine Neville

Publisher: Ballantine Books
ISBN-10: 0345366239
ISBN-13: 978-0345366238

The Eight is a complex thriller and is not for the casual reader. The entire book revolves around the game of chess. It would help the reader to have a working knowledge of the game, as the game is central to the plot and theme.
The story has many layers. It is really two intertwined stories set centuries apart. It starts in 1972 with Catherine Velis, a computer expert, as she is sent to Algeria to work for the nascent OPEC cartel. The second story is centered around Mirielle de Remy, a novice nun at the Montglane Abbey in rural France.
The centerpiece of the story is the search for the Montglane Service. It is an ancient chess set, created by an ancient people, lost in time and once belonging to Charlemagne. The service is the subject of many mysteries and legends and thought to hide a secret that will grant the owner unimaginable power. It is the desire of many, kings, queens and the powerful, to own the service and gain the power it hides.
In the middle of the French Revolution, the service is brought out of centuries of hiding, throwing Mirielle into an ancient game of power and intrigue that has gone on for hundreds of years. Mirielle is soon involved with some of the central figures of the
French Revolution, and they also want the Service. Her story leads her to find the origin of the Service, lost to time in ancient Africa.
Catherine is caught up in the same quest, only centuries later. She is manipulated into searching for the pieces of the chess set. She also finds herself looking for the origins of the set. Things start to heat up and she cannot tell who is her friend and who is her enemy. She is surrounded my conspiracy, assassination and betrayal.
She finds the Mirielle’s journal and traces her story as she searched for the origin of the Montglane Service and the riddle behind its power. She finds that she is now the centerpiece of the game on the side of the men and women that are protecting the service from the evils of man.
Cat and her allies are faced with a choice, if they gather all the pieces and can figure out its hidden riddle, just what will they do with it?

6 comments:

Bill Bennett said...

This looks like a great read. Great review too.

Grasshopper said...

Interesting concept...

Sevenine said...

Sounds like an excellent read, though I have very little knowledge of chess.

Katie said...

We read this one for our book club not too long ago. I thought it was just ok. I lost interest though about half way through and skipped chapters until the end.

Sevenine said...

Because it didn't have any vampires in it? Ha ha! :D

Anonymous said...

really good.one of my best books..but i think you must have a little knowledge about chess to appreciate it..