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Mary Gentle is one of the world's most acclaimed writers of fantasy and science fiction; ASH, the largest single fantasy work ever - longer even than THE LORD OF THE RINGS - combines the authentic details of Bernard Cornwell and the magical storytelling of Terry Goodkind; all editions were Gollancz bestsellers.
Mary has a number of academic degrees, including an MA in War Studies, and has hands-on experience of sword-fighting and armour, amongst many other useful talents.
She lives in Stevenage, Hertfordshire.
You can view this as a fantasy novel – but it is also an alternative history of epic proportions. Set in the time of James I it involves assassins, demons and incorrigible women.
Mary Gentle is one of Britain's most outstanding writers of imaginative fiction, able to move seamlessly from science fiction to fantasy within the same story. Following on from the success of ASH, 1610: A SUNDIAL IN A GRAVE and the omnibus volumes WHITE CROW and ORTHE, comes CARTOMANCY, the definitive collection of Mary Gentle's short fiction. CARTOMANCY includes the stories from SOLDIERS AND SCHOLARS as well as a number of tales previously unpublished in book form, all with new afterwords and topped and tailed with a specially revised version of her split story 'Cartomancy'.
This gracefully written sequel to Golden Witchbreed powerfully depicts the impact of a high-technology civilization on a decaying planet. Ten years after having served as Earth's first envoy to Orthe, which is struggling to survive after a planetwide holocaust millennia ago, Lynne de Lisle Christie returns there as an advisor to PanOceania, one of Earth's giant multinational companies, which is seeking to discover the technological secrets of the Goldens, the ruling race that had destroyed itself while almost obliterating Orthe. Christie seeks to help the native people, some of whom have been her friends, some her enemies, but all closely bound in her memories and loyalties. Instigated by the last of the Golden, a madwoman seeking domination, war between the poor and starving hiyeks of the Desert Coast and the land-loving telestres of the north is aggravated by smuggled high-tech weapons. Christie, while holding a dreadful secret from the Orthe's past, attempts to mediate. Gentle creates moving, different, yet recognizable societies and people that catch the reader's emotions as they struggle to save themselves.
For the beautiful young woman Ash, life has always been arquebuses and artillery, swords and armour and the true horrors of hand-to-hand combat. War is her job. She has fought her way to the command of a mercenary company, and on her unlikely shoulders lies the destiny of a Europe threatened by the depredations of an Infidel army more terrible than any nightmare.Winner of the BSFA Award for best novel, 2000
What is an orc?An orc is an 18 stone fighting machine, made of muscle, hide, talon and tusk, with a villainous disposition and a mean sense of humour. And, of course, an orc is a poor dumb grunt - the much abused foot soldier of the Evil Horde of Darkness.The usual last battle of Good against Evil is about to begin. Orc Captain Ashnak and his war-band know exactly what they can expect. The forces of Light are outnumbered, full of headstrong heroes devoid of tactics - but the Light's still going to win. Orcs - the sword fodder in the front line - will die by the thousands.Life's a bitch.
It is a nameless city somewhere between past and future, a mythic realm at the "e;heart of the world,"e; where wicked Rat Lords have reduced all humankind to slaves, and god-daemons make the decision to end all existence. This energizes a compelling quest for survival, and prompts the powerful White Crow to order an uprising against this chaotic strike that threatens them all. Among those who respond to her are the defiant Prince Lucas of Candover, a student at the University of Crime, and no mans's slave; and Zari, the young Katayan woman who is destined to become the living Memory of all that follows. And others rally to join them in one final desperate revolt, hoping to create a magic powerful enough to reshape the very nature of how they live.
Mercenaries in lace and steel roam the countryside and the heads of criminals are impaled on London Bridge. The characters' relationships are played out in the shadow of the hangman's rope. Sequel to Rats and Gargoyles.
Orthe - half-civilized, half-barbaric, home to human-like beings who live and die by the code of the sword. Earth envoy Lynne Christie has been sent here to establish contact and to determine whether this is a world worth developing. But first Christie must come to understand that human-like is not and never can be human, and that not even Orthe's leaders can stop the spread of rumors about her, dark whisperings that could cost Christie her life.And on a goodwill tour to the outlying provinces, these evil rumors turn to deadly accusations. Christie is no offworlder, Church officials charge: she is a treacherous and cunning descendant of Orthe's legendary Golden Witchbreed - the cruel, ruthless race that once enslaved the whole planet. Suddenly, Christie finds herself a hunted fugitive on an alien world, where friend and foe alike may prove her executioners. And her only chance of survival lies in saving Orthe from a menace older than time...
Conrad Scalese is a writer of librettos for operas in a world where music has immense power. In the Church, the sung mass can bring about actual miracles like healing the sick. Opera is musicodrama, the highest form of music combined with human emotion, and the results of the passion it engenders can be nothing short of magical. In this world of miracles, Conrad is an atheist - he sees the same phenomena, but sees no need to attribute them to a Deity ... until his first really successful opera gets the opera-house struck by the lightning bolt of God's disapproval ... ... And Conrad comes to the attention of the Prince's Men, a powerful secret society, who are trying to use the magic of music to their own ends - in this case, an apocalyptic blood sacrifice. Life is about to get interesting for Conrad.