France, 1942. While war blazes at the front lines of Europe, in the walled southern city of Carcassonne, nestled deep in the Pyrenees, a group of courageous women is engaged in an equally lethal battle. Like their ancestors who fought northern invaders seven hundred years before, these members of the French Resistance—code-named Citadel—fight to liberate their home from the Nazis.
Led by a daring eighteen-year-old, Sandrine Vidal, and her elder sister, Marianne, the women of Citadel work quickly to sabotage their German occupiers, safeguard their neighbors, and smuggle refugees over the mountains into neutral territory. But that is only part of their mission. Their struggle will reveal an older, darker combat being fought in the shadows, one meant to protect an ancient secret that in the wrong hands could change the course of history.
As the women of Citadel dare the impossible to save their homeland . . . the astonishing secrets buried in time are at long last revealed.
I'm a fan of Kate Mosse. Loved Labyrinth and Sepulchre, the first two books in this series (didn't much care for Winter Ghosts, though). So I anxiously awaited the release of Citadel in the U.S. earlier this year. And it didn't disapppoint.
The main thrust of the story follows Sandrine and Raul's romance while they run an underground resistance against the Nazi's occupying their town in France. Woven into this enormously heart-wrenching historical plotline is the story of the codex, seven lines of scripture bearing an otherworldly power hidden in the Pyrenees mountains nearly two thousand years ago by early Christian leader, Ireneaus. The villain in Citadel knows about the codex, as does a another man (who seems to enjoy eternal life). It is a race to the codex and to save France from the Nazis.
As always, Mosse brilliantly executes her story and manages to give us just enough supernatural element to make it unique. But setting aside the ghosts, this is a top notch tale of the Nazi occupation of France during World War II. My only complaint is that it didn't end the way I wanted it to. But of course, not all stories have happy endings. But I really loved it, and reading it made me want to go back and read the other two books again.