The Eight Study Guide

The Eight

The Eight by Katherine Neville

The Eight features two intertwined storylines set centuries apart. The first takes place in 1972 and follows American computer expert Catherine "Cat" Velis as she is sent to Algeria for a special assignment. The second is set in 1790 and revolves around Mireille, a novice nun at Montglane Abbey. The fates of both characters are intertwined as they try to unravel the mystery behind the Montglane Service, a chess set that holds the key to a game of unlimited power. A gift from the Moors to Emperor Charlemagne, these pieces have been hunted fervently throughout the years by those seeking ultimate control.

In the throes of the French Revolution, Mireille and her cousin Valentine must help in dispersing the pieces of the chess set to keep them out of the wrong hands. However, when Valentine is brutally murdered in the Reign of Terror, Mireille is thrown into the midst of men and women who would pursue power at any cost, including Napoleon, Robespierre, Talleyrand, Catherine the Great, and more. She comes to realize she must rely on her own intuition and tenacity to accomplish her goal.

In 1972, Cat Velis faces a similar atmosphere of conspiracy, assassination and betrayal. When she is requested by an antique dealer to recover the chess pieces, she unwittingly enters into a mysterious game that will endanger her life. As she learns the story of the Montglane Service, she begins to realize that players of the Game may plan their moves, but their very existence makes them pawns as well.

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