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Yet another me-too Da Vinci Code? Comparisons with both The Da Vinci Code and The Lost Symbol are inevitable, but no, it is not yet another me-too Da Vinci Code, and luckily the publishers do not make that comparison either.
A better comparison would be with Labyrinth by Kate Mosse.
So many characters from history wander through the pages, little bit parts, then walk off, that it becomes laughable. Suspend belief and it is not a problem.
The Eight is set around a chess set, the fabled Montglane Service that once belonged Charlemagne. The characters themselves are pieces in some cosmic game of chess, which they do not understand.
A thriller it is not.
The Glass Bead Game by Hermann Hesse springs to mind. The scene in the desert hunting with falcons is very reminescent of Santiago in the desert with the alchemist in The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, as are many other parts of The Eight. Also read Aleph.
Top Story in The Chess Daily (Thursday 17 May 2012).
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