You will have to pay attention to keep up with the multitude of characters and timelines, and it is quite a lengthy book. I have seen many reviewers make comparisons to Dan Brown, but I have to vehemently disagree with any such comparison.
The whole story revolves around the Montglane Service, an infamous chess set rumoured to be the key to an immense source of power. The type of power that can make or break countries, kings and people.
Now, I have to say for a secret of such importance there a certainly plenty of people who know about it. Every Tom, Dick and Harry throughout the centuries seem to know of and want to possess the chess set and its pieces.
The reader wanders from the beginning of the French revolution to the 70’s. Visiting the violence and butchery of the streets of Paris, during those times, and the political machinery of the present. Strong women are at the centre of the plot, both in the past and the present.
Neville mixes her fiction with historical fact and extensive knowledge about chess. In essence everyone wants to know where the set is, and those who do are in mortal danger.
It is a little long-winded at times, and the switching from past to present isn’t quite as smooth as it could be. The historical sub-plots are quite extensive though, which makes up for some of the weaker parts.
I received a copy of this book via Netgalley.