1610: A Sundial In A Grave
"It's about sex, and cruelty, and forgiveness."
Thus begins a sweeping historical adventure about two dueling swordsmen and the plot to kill a king in the grand tradition of Dorothy Dunnett and Alexander Dumas.
The year is 1610. Continental Europe is briefly at peace after years of war, but Henri IV of France is planning to invade the German principalities. In England, o...more
It's the story of a swordsman with a hidden past in France/England in the 1600's who gets mixed up with powerful people all intent on using him. Rochefort sounds (from the prologue and blurb) like the greatest hero ever written.
He wasn't. I didn't even like him. The book is a mix of quick, fast action followed by lots and lots and lot ...more
Sex and swashbuckling in about seven hundred pages.
Cross-dressing dominant swordswoman meets submissive duellist spy.
I rest my case.
(This is, however, fantasy so expect one entirely unnecessary rape of the central female character because is that inevitably is what happens to female characters in fantasy novels).
"The Mémoires de Monsieur le Comte de Rochefort", which the author in her foreword acknowleged, was written by Gatien Courti ...more
I can't figure out what's going on with 1610. I thought it was going to pull it all together, but now maybe I don't think that? Regardless, it is already much longer than it needs to be: it is definitely the sort of book you can skim. It's interesting to contrast this with Patricia Finney's Becket and Ames novels (Firedrake's Eye etc), because you do really have to read every sentence in those books if you want to get out all that there is to get out of them (there is lots!), al ...more
Nothing wrong with that, I guess, if you are the type of reader who can accept preposterous plot devices. To enjoy this book allegedly set in the England of James I, you have to believe that two characters have the ability, through some ki ...more
The story is a historical (possibly alternative history) look at some assassinations of kings (successful and otherwise) and on the surface level is a swashbuckling adventure. Then it also has a lot of introspective ...more
Similar to the best of Dumas
Quite entertaining story. Reminded me of Dumas. Just a bit more of humour, less of tragedy, and a little bit more of sex!
All in all, a good, solid book.
Interesting characters, good plot, a couple of surprises here and there and...not for kids.
Alors que je commençais à peine ce roman, un camarade twitter m'expliquait que, si Cendres est une tragédie, ce roman est une comédie. Je n'y croyais qu'à moitié. J'aurais dû pourtant ! Parce qu'effectivement, cette histoire est une authentique comedia del'Arte, comme on n'en fait (hélas à mon goût) que trop rarement. Mais reprenons du début.
Ce roman raconte une aventure de Rochefort (oui, LE Rochefort des trois mousquetaires, mais bien avant qu'il ne s ...more
(mild spoilers in the review)
Plot in a nutshell:
After having failed to avert the assassination of the French King Henri IV, the French spy/assassin/duellist Valentin Rochefort has to urgently leave France. He finally finds himself in the company of his nemesis, a young duellist who calls himself Dariole, and who refuses to leave him, and a mysterious Nipponese stranger, in London. Although they only try to lay low and find out what's going on at ...more
From then ...more
Rochefort is loyal man to the Duc Sully, a member of the court of France. But when Marie de Medici embroils the unwilling Rochefort in her conspiracy to kill her husband the King – and that assassination attempt is unexpectedly successful – Rochefort must flee the country, also half-unwillingly bringing alo ...more
This is, also, a book of edges (as befits the story of two duelists): it balances between history and fiction (after all, most of us are more familiar with the fictional three musketeers than with ...more
AKA i wish this book didn't end, and i'll read more of her. apparently she's in the s ...more
For me this was a Charity Shop pickup to be read on a journey and left. But ...more
That however was an accident of sorts, and now Rochefort is on the run. Already burdened with Dariole, a young arrogant duellist, Fludd’s interference i ...more
Excerpted from Wikipedia:
Mary Gentle's first published novel was Hawk in Silver (1977), a young-adult fantasy. She came to prominence with the Orthe duology, which consists of Golden Witchbreed (1983) and Ancient Light (1987).
The novels Rats and Gargoyles (1990), The Architecture of Desire (1991), and Left to His Own Devices (1994), toge ...more