The globally bestselling thriller that paved the way for THE DA VINCI CODE and countless copycat conspiracy novels.
In the 8th century AD Ibn al'Arabi, the Moorish governor of Barcelona, bestowed a magnificent gift upon Charlemagne, Holy Emperor of half of the known world: a chess set with the power to transform the course of history.
New York City, 1970. Catherine 'Cat' Velis, a computer expert working for one of the world's largest accountancy firms, is sent on a dangerous assignment to retrieve an object of immeasurable value from somewhere in the remote reaches of Algeria.
Montglane Abbey, France 1790, Mireille de Remy and her cousin Valentine are young novices at the fortress-like 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...
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 576 pages, Illustrations
- Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
- Publication Date: 30/04/2009
- Category: Thriller / suspense
- ISBN: 9780007303540
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Review by reader68
originally published in 1988. Read in paperback form. 2 strands to this novel. First: late 18th early 19th century. French Nun Mireille is given the task of safeguarding pieces of a chess set said to contain a formula giving all power to possessor. Goes through the French Revolution, the Terror and her relationship with Charles Maurice Talleyrand. She discovers chess set's secret of immortality. 2nd strand: early 1970's; Catherine Velis, cmputer data specialist, brought into the Game by Minnie/Mireille (the Black Queen). Velis discovers location of chess pieces and becomes Black Queen after Minnie retires from the Game. The formula of immortality has been lost over time. Velis decides to bury chess set so it's power and formula are lost. Her partners in the Game: Lily, Harry (Lily's father), Solarin (Russian chess grand master), Nim (reclusive computer expert), Mordecai (Harry's father). Catherine and Solarin marry. 8: meaningful in various religions, chess and mysticism.