Debbie's World of Books
My book reviews, book news & random rants

The Eight by Katherine Neville

March 3rd, 2009 by Debbie's World of Books


This was a many times over re-read and I give it a 5 out of 5 stars.

Description: New York City, 1972—A dabbler in mathematics and chess, Catherine Velis is also a computer expert for a Big Eight accounting firm. Before heading off to a new assignment in Algeria, Cat has her palm read by a fortune-teller. The woman warns Cat of danger. Then an antiques dealer approaches Cat with a mysterious offer: He has an anonymous client who is trying to collect the pieces of an ancient chess service, purported to be in Algeria. If Cat can bring the pieces back, there will be a generous reward.

The South of France, 1790—Mireille de Remy and her cousin Valentine are young novices at the fortresslike 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.

The first time I read this was back in the early 90s.  It was actually an assigned reading book for my Modern European History class.  I have to say I am so glad we had to read it because it became one of my favorite books of all time.  I’ve re-read it so many times my copy is near falling apart and I just bought a replacement copy.

I loved both the story lines although I have to say following Cat’s story was my favorite.  She along with the help of a friend, Lily Rad, and the handsome chess champ, Solarin(mmm…sexy and smart!), she has to solve the mystery surrounding the Montglane Service.  Although I am not a chess player I found the references interesting especially as you start to see what parts each of the characters in the story take and eventually finding out who the Black Queen is.  The reader is introduced to a cast of interesting characters, each who grabs you in their own way with their quirks of personality.  Sometimes I found it hard to decide if I wanted to cheer Lily on or strangle her and her little dog.  I highly suggest this book to everyone!

I am currently in the middle of the sequel that just came out but I will save that for a review when I am done.

Posted in 5 Star Books, Books, Historical Fiction

No Responses

  1. Nurta San

    nice post dude.. :)

  2. Jenn

    Oh, this takes me back….I can picture the teacher I had for MEH, just can’t quite name her….

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