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The Eight by Katherine Neville

The Eight (original 1988; edition 2006)

by Katherine Neville

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
4,4551241,978 (3.75)1 / 148
Computer expert Cat Velis is hired to recover the chess pieces of the Montglane Chess Service of 1790, they have the ability to endow anyone playing with them unlimited power.
Title:The Eight
Authors:Katherine Neville
Info:Corgi Books (2006), Edition: New edition, Paperback, 736 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Tags:read 2009, borrowed, thriller

Work details

The Eight by Katherine Neville (1988)

  1. 50
    The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (norabelle414)
  2. 20
    Codex by Lev Grossman (conceptDawg)
    conceptDawg: The “mystery/intrigue that is tied to an historical relic” genre
  3. 20
    Black Market Truth by Sharon Kaye (cat505)
  4. 20
    Zugzwang by Ronan Bennett (rarelibri)
    rarelibri: A murder mystery within the backdrop of chess tourney. The name of the book itself is taken from a chess position where: A player whose turn it is to move who has no move that does not worsen their position is said to be in zugzwang (Soltis 2003:78). Thus every move would make their position worse, and they would be better off if they could pass and not move. A great book and for fans of Neville. rarelibri… (more)
  5. 10
    The Fire by Katherine Neville (PghDragonMan)
    PghDragonMan: The two books are connected by the Montglane Service and The Game
  6. 10
    Gospel by Wilton Barnhardt (kullfarr)
  7. 00
    La tabla esmeralda by Carla Montero (Anonymous user)
  8. 00
    The Last Cato by Matilde Asensi (JAPerlmutter)
    JAPerlmutter: This books by Spanish author Asensi preceded Katherine Neville's The Eight and, in many ways, is more fascinating since it deals with the vagaries of Catholicism and the schisms, myths and spiritual journeys peculiar to the Church's dogma. Strong female protagonist and an ending just as satisfying as Neville's.… (more)
  9. 00
    Sandstorm by James Rollins (majkia)
    majkia: similar race to uncover mysteries.
  10. 00
    The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco (SharronA)
  11. 00
    The Flanders Panel by Arturo Pérez-Reverte (isabelx)
    isabelx: Historical mysteries involving chess.
  12. 11
    The Geographer's Library by Jon Fasman (cransell)
  13. 16
    The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown (cransell, kawika)

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» See also 148 mentions

English (109)  Spanish (6)  Dutch (3)  Catalan (3)  French (2)  Lithuanian (1)  All languages (124)
Showing 1-5 of 109 (next | show all)
Sometimes you read a book and find yourself wishing it'll never end. If you want that, this is a book for you. I thought it'd never end, and I don't mean that in a good way. The book has been compared to the DaVinci Code, but I think that's an unfortunate comparison. The story alternates between the 1970's and the late 1700's, both periods linked by the individuals quest for lost ancient knowledge. To me, the action and dangers are contrived, as is the object of the search. If you can get caught up in pure fantasy, and not get too concerned about logic or believability, you may enjoy this book, but if you want something more believable, as I do, it's hard to stay engaged in this long book.
( )
  rsutto22 | Jul 15, 2021 |
  pszolovits | Feb 3, 2021 |
I really enjoyed the female lead characters, both the modern story and the older storyline. It was on the long side, but kept my interest the whole way through. Especially the descriptions of some of the desert scenes. Amazing to find these website photos that match up so well with the descriptions.

( )
  out-and-about | Sep 12, 2020 |
One of my favorite books, I've read it several times. Another of that genre I love with history woven into a modern mystery. Don't read the sequel "The Fire". it is a horrid and tedious book. ( )
  JohnKaess | Jul 23, 2020 |
This really sounds like my kind of book. Too bad I didn't record what I disliked about it enough to DNF it. I'm thinking that I might need to give it another try, at least so I know why I DNF'd it the first time.
  ca.bookwyrm | May 18, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 109 (next | show all)
Pawns and Kings.

I love reading and reviewing books. Yet if you read a lot of my reviews, (and I hope, Dear Reader, that you do), you will notice how frequently I write about the difficulty I find in reviewing certain books. More often than not I then precede to rave about that book. It’s because as a reviewer I feel that I am beheld to an oath similar to the Hippocratic one taken by doctors; first, do no harm.

Good books deserve to be experienced by their readers with as little interference as possible, so I try to give you a feel for the book without dropping spoilers and ruining the reader’s chance to revel in an exceptional work. All of which brings me to The Eight by Katherine Neville. It’s a novel that is tailor-made to fit my little manifesto. It’s very good, very original, and it deserves to be appreciated first-hand. Both the story and the plot are intricate, bordering on the Byzantine, but to break it down, it is about The Montglane Service, an antique Chess set, made in India, and gifted to Charlemagne, which holds mystical and mythic powers, and must be protected by the innocent from falling into the hands of the evil.

There are two main story-lines, one featuring Cat Velis, a computer expert and accountant, who works for Con Ed, in the 1970’s. After refusing to do something illegal for her boss she is sent from New York to a dead-end assignment to Algeria, to work with a then-unknown organization called OPEC. Before she leaves a fortune-teller at a party tells her that her life is in danger, and quick as a wink two people are dead and Cat is afraid that she might be next. The other story is about two young nuns, Valentine and Mirielle, and is set in France during the Revolution. These two are sent to Paris with a mission that involves the mythical Service. Before long everyone is either trying to hide or find this powerful artifact.

If that was all there was to the story, I would be done with my review. The Eight, however, is over 500 pages long, and Ms. Neville has plenty of stories up her sleeve. Historical figures, from the Freemasons to Catherine the Great, from Muammar Gaddafi to Cardinal Richelieu and Charles Maurice de Talleyrand all play significant roles, and Ms. Neville spins plenty of myths and history into her tale as well. Both backgrounds are solid and believable without being burdened by too much minutiae. The prose is solid, and all of the main characters ring true. What makes The Eight really special is the way that Ms. Neville makes the two storylines twist and turn, each enforcing and informing the other until they are, in the end, one. It’s something that is rarely accomplished, and deserves a tip of the cap.

The mythology of Chess also plays an integral part in this novel, and as a lifelong fan of Nabokov, I can say that she does the old master proud, both in her knowledge, and in her execution. Also worth noting is that the complexity of both the story and the plot are closely tied into the underlying motif of the game of Chess. In case you might find this intimidating, let me tell you that I am terrible at Chess, and my knowledge of it’s history is weak, and it never interfered my my enjoyment of this novel. What makes this book so good, in the end, is that all of this is subsumed by the narrative flow. You can read this big, smart novel as a thriller, and enjoy all of the tangents as just gravy. Smart, intricate and sophisticated gravy. Now how is that for an ending sentence?

Review by: Mark Palm
Full Reviews Available at: http://www.thebookendfamily.weebly.co...

» Add other authors (39 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Katherine Nevilleprimary authorall editionscalculated
Constante, SusanaTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eliot, T. S.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ohl, ManfredTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sartorius, HansTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Chess is Life. --- Bobby Fischer
Life is a kind of chess. --- Benjamin Franklin
First words
A flock of nuns crossed the road, their crisp wimples fluttering about their heads like the wings of large sea birds.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Computer expert Cat Velis is hired to recover the chess pieces of the Montglane Chess Service of 1790, they have the ability to endow anyone playing with them unlimited power.

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Book description
Νέα Υόρκη, 1972 Εξειδικευμένη στους ηλεκτρονικούς υπολογιστές και αυτοδίδακτη ειδήμων στο σκάκι και στα μαθηματικά, η Κάθριν Βέλις εργάζεται σε μια εταιρεία ορκωτών ελεγκτών λογιστών, μέλος των Μεγάλων Οκτώ. Προτού ταξιδέψει στην Αλγερία για ένα νέο έργο της εταιρείας, η Κάθριν μαθαίνει για τον θανάσιμο κίνδυνο που της επιφυλάσσει το μέλλον από μια μάντισσα που της διαβάζει το χέρι. Λίγο μετά, ένας αντικέρ πλησιάζει την Κατ με μια παράξενη πρόταση: της εμπιστεύεται την πληροφορία πως ένας ανώνυμος πελάτης του προσπαθεί να συγκεντρώσει τα χαμένα κομμάτια μιας ανυπολόγιστης αξίας σκακιέρας, τα οποία εικάζεται ότι βρίσκονται στην Αλγερία. Αν η Κατ καταφέρει να τα φέρει πίσω, η αμοιβή της θα είναι εξαιρετικά γενναιόδωρη.

Νότια Γαλλία, 1790 Η Μιρέιγ ντε Ρεμί και η εξαδέλφη της Βαλεντίν είναι δύο νεαρές δόκιμες μοναχές στο ιστορικό μοναστήρι του Μονγκλάν. Σε μια εποχή όπου ολόκληρη η Γαλλία είναι παραδομένη στις φλόγες της επανάστασης, οι δύο κοπέλες ανυπομονούν να αποτινάξουν τα δεσμά της μοναστικής ζωής, και η επιθυμία τους δεν θα αργήσει να πραγματοποιηθεί. Θαμμένα βαθιά στα θεμέλια του Μονγκλάν βρίσκονται τα πολύτιμα κομμάτια μιας πελώριας σκακιέρας που ανήκε κάποτε στον βασιλιά Καρλομάγνο. Ήξεραν ότι όποιος κατάφερνε να τα αποκτήσει όλα θα γινόταν ο κυρίαρχος ενός παιχνιδιού με απεριόριστες δυνάμεις. Με σκοπό να προστατεύσουν τη σκακιέρα από οποιονδήποτε θα μπορούσε να καπηλευτεί το μυστικό της ανείπωτης δύναμής της, οι δύο νεαρές μοναχές αποφασίζουν να σκορπίσουν τα κομμάτια της σε ολόκληρο τον κόσμο...
Neville, Katherine.
Οκτώ / Katherine Neville · μετάφραση Χρήστος Καψάλης. - Αθήνα : Ελληνικά Γράμματα, 2020. - 736σ. · 20x13εκ.
Γλώσσα πρωτοτύπου: αγγλικά
ISBN 978-960-19-0794-9 (Μαλακό εξώφυλλο) [Κυκλοφορεί]
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