This book takes a while to get into, but it is well worth the time. It took me about two weeks to read it at about 50 pages every couple of days.
Alice is a modern visitor to southern France. While volunteering on a local archaeological dig, she stumbles across a cave containing 2 skeletons, and sets in motion a string of events she could never have imagined.
Alais is a 12th century native of southern France, living in the time of the Catholic Crusade against the supposedly heretical Cathar Christians. When her people are attacked, it is up to her to hide the treasure her father brought back from the Jerusalem Crusades. That treasure is made up of 3 books that when read together will lead the reader to the Grail (which is NOT the cup from the Last Supper in this book).
In the midst of the Crusade, the books are separated from each other. 800 years later, it is up to Alice, Alais' modern-day reincarnation, to bring them back together and once again hide the Grail from unscrupulous people who want it for their own evil purposes.
If I didn't have a 3 year old in the house, I would probably have read this book cover to cover in one sitting, because I was so anxious to learn all the secrets of the Grail that didn't come out until the last 50 pages of the book.
I really liked this book. It was hard to put down because I wanted to know the secret! It took me awhile to read it, simply because of the length and the millions of things going on in my world, and so I did have to keep putting it down, but it was well worth the read. I ended up reading the last 300 pages in one sitting one night (stayed up late to finish it) because I was so engrossed.
The book started off a bit slow, taking its time to really build up the story - then it became really intense right near the end but ended rather quickly. The very last chapter was satisfying (and left a bit of a lump in my throat), but it did feel a bit rushed right before then especially with the slow lead-up prior to that. But I liked the story and the history so it was definitely worth reading.
fun, interesting historical fiction with a bit of fantasy thrown in.... lots of real info about the Cathars, and not so real guesses about the Grail....thick but good read, i was up all night about midway through