The globally bestselling thriller that paved the way for THE DA VINCI CODE and countless copycat conspiracy novels. In the 8th century AD Ibn al'Arabi, the Moorish governor of Barcelona, bestowed a magnificent gift upon Charlemagne, Holy Emperor of half of the known world: a chess set with the power to transform the course of history. New York ...
The globally bestselling thriller that paved the way for THE DA VINCI CODE and countless copycat conspiracy novels. In the 8th century AD Ibn al'Arabi, the Moorish governor of Barcelona, bestowed a magnificent gift upon Charlemagne, Holy Emperor of half of the known world: a chess set with the power to transform the course of history. New York City, 1970. Catherine 'Cat' Velis, a computer expert working for one of the world's largest accountancy firms, is sent on a dangerous assignment to retrieve an object of immeasurable value from somewhere in the remote reaches of Algeria. Montglane Abbey, France 1790, Mireille de Remy and her cousin Valentine are young novices at the fortress-like Montglane Abbey. With France aflame in revolution, the two girls burn to rebel against constricted convent life - and their means of escape is at hand. Buried deep within the abbey are pieces of the Montglane Chess Service, once owned by Charlemagne. Whoever reassembles the pieces can play a game of unlimited power. But to keep the game a secret from those who would abuse it, the two young women must scatter the pieces throughout the world...
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I normally have trouble reading 'fiction' by female authors, and or reading about a female main character. I have read this book several times, and given it as a gift several times. ( and YES I now have other books by Neville, I am a fan ). Well researched, Well written, Great adventure, Great storys.
Nov 6, 2009
Quite a good read, and I liked the switch from French Revolution times to modern day chapter by chapter. I havent finished the book yet but find it intriguing. I hope the final chapters are suitably exciting.
Apr 15, 2007
A good read
This book is a good read for the genre - a time mix novel. It combines the story of events that are centuries apart by skillfully weaving the thread of man's lust for power down through the ages. It cleverly includes the much needed conspiracy to pull off the validity of the central theme. If you liked The Da Vinci Code you will probably like this as well.
Publishers Weekly, 2007-12-24 Nearly 20 years after it was first published, Neville's debut novel finally arrives on audio. Its combination of historical references, conspiracy theory and action/thriller format have earned it cult status over the years and may have paved the way for books like The Da Vinci Code. Imposing a new format on a "classic" can be a tall order and a daunting task for a performer; fortunately, Susan Denaker's talents are level to the material. The book offers a full variety of challenges to a reader: over 60 characters, young and old, male and female, with accents from around the world. None of these pose any obstacle to Denaker, who deftly sculpts a voice for every one, including several famous historical characters. The Monteglane Service, a bejeweled chess set that holds great power, has been buried in an obscure abbey in the French countryside and later scattered throughout Europe to keep it out of the wrong hands. The tale takes place both in the 1790s and the 1970s, when it may finally fall into evil hands. Denaker is able to emphasize the appropriate speech nuances of each century with subtlety and deftness by adding the cadence of the aural to the mix. Perhaps the audio book, too, will reach cult status. A Ballantine paperback (Reviews, Nov. 4, 1988). (Oct.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly, 1990-01-12 In this ``astonishing fantasy-adventure,'' Catherine Velis, a computer expert banished to Algeria by her accounting firm, gets caught up in a search for a legendary chess set once owned by Charlemagne. ``A thoroughly accomplished first novel,'' praised PW , ``daring, original and moving, it seems destined to become a cult classic.'' (Feb.)
Publishers Weekly, 1988-11-04 Even readers with no interest in chess will be swept up into this astonishing fantasy-adventure, a thoroughly accomplished first novel. Catherine Velis, a computer expert banished to Algeria by her accounting firm, gets caught up in a search for a legendary chess set once owned by Charlemagne. An antique dealer, a Soviet chess master, KGB agents and a fortune-teller who warns Catherine she's in big trouble all covet the fabled chess pieces, because the chess service, buried for 1000 years in a French abbey, supplies the key to a magic formula tied to numerology, alchemy, the Druids, Freemasonry, cosmic powers. As the story shuttles between the 1970s and the 1790s, we are introduced to 64 characters, including Mireille, a spunky French nun who helps scatter the individual chess pieces across Europe lest the set fall into evil hands. Involving Napoleon, Talleyrand, Casanova, Voltaire, Rousseau, Robespierre and Catherine the Great in the quest, Neville has great fun rewriting history and making it all ring true. With two believable heroines, nonstop suspense, espionage, murder and a puzzle that seems the key to the whole Western mystical tradition, this spellbinder soars above the level of first-rate escapist entertainment. Daring, original and moving, it seems destined to become a cult classic. $100,000 ad/promo; major foreign sales; BOMC altenate. (Jan.)
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