MosseI first came across Kate Mosse’s books because Labyrinth dealt with Cathars. It was one of those so-so reads with a great setup which somehow missed the mark in the end. At the time, I was reading a lot about the Cathars who were the most successful of the groups of medieval heretics. And now a few years later my own Cathar novel is ready to take its turn amongst agents, I was drawn into another Mosse book about the heretics. In a way, it brings me full circle back where I started.

Photo: Nhamblen

Photo: Nhamblen

The Winter Ghosts follows the story of Freddie Watson who, too young to fight in WWI, suffers the loss of his older brother and only friend. On the mend from a mental breakdown, he travels through the French Pyrenees during the winter of 1928. During a mountain storm his car slides off the road. Poor Freddie hits his head and he knows he must go for help or die in the exposed elements. He eventually finds shelter in a small village, but while there an annual celebration opens the doors of time. Freddie meets the mysterious Fabrissa, several famous historical Cathar leaders, and is drawn to uncover dark secrets from the past. The tale is not terribly complicated, but gives Mosse the luxury of being able to delight in atmosphere and setting. Freddie’s loss and Fabrissa’s, although separated by hundreds of years, are the same. This is a perfect read for those long winter nights, tucked safely inside away from haunted mountainsides.


Filed under Albigensian Crusade, Cathars, Catholic Church, death, Ellis Nelson, France, French history, ghosts, hauntings, heresy, Kate Mosse, literature, Medieval Church, medieval heresy, memorials, paranormal, Pyrenees Mountains, Reading, The Winter Ghosts, time slip, visions, World War I, YA

12 responses to “ECHOES OF HERESY

  1. Also a fan of Kate Mosse and have this on my list of books to read.
    Thanks for this post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like time travel a lot. Sounds like an interesting read.

    Since you’ve read my blog, I’ve tagged you for a fun challenge — Spreading the Love:


  3. Nice overview! It sounds like a fascinating read!


  4. mysticcooking

    I haven’t read anything by Kate Moss, but I’ll be sure to check this one out.


  5. You might enjoy the book, “Talisman,” by Graham Hancock. A good portion of the book deals with the history of the Cathars. I have always had a great fascination with this group and time period. Looking forward to a snippet review of your upcoming book!


  6. I’ve read several Kate Mosse books, but not this one – plan to check it out.


  7. I hadn’t heard of the Cathars but recently reviewed a book for Ronovan by Dan McNeil, The Judas Apocalypse, that featured them and had to look them up. Love time travel novels!


  8. I lived in the French Pyrenees for six years or so and have a friend who was raised near Carcassonne, an Occitan speaker as it happens, who told me a tale of an old person who lived into the Twentieth Century and could repeat – presumably without knowing their true origin – elements of Cathar prayers or the Cathar credo, I forget what exactly. The story certainly made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck.


    • Interesting. Back in the 70s there was a group in England who had recall experiences of prior Cathar lifetimes. There is a legend about those souls returning (‘the greening of the laurel’) in a time when they can prosper. Even today people visit Cathar sites as pilgrimage. Most of our understanding about Cathars (a term they wouldn’t have used) comes from Inquisition sources. There are some known prayers & rituals.


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