Book talk led by Dano Cammarota, this year devoted to historical fiction. This week's selection is The Eight (1988), by Katherine Neville.
This is a big book, a sweeping historical whirlwind involving the “lost” chess pieces of Charlemagne, hidden in the French Abbey of Montglane and protected by the nuns for centuries. The French Revolution places both the nuns and the chess set in danger of exposure; thus, begins the hunt and explanation for the mysterious qualities embedded in the pieces. Numerous personalities and locales abound, culminating in the 1970’s female protagonist, who lives in Tudor City, stumbling upon a ninth-century game of chess played to the death with real-life individuals standing in for chess pieces. Although a long book, it’s a fast read and page-turner with memorable characters.