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The Moon and the Sun

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  1,483 Ratings  ·  148 Reviews
In seventeenth-century France, Louis XIV rules with flamboyant ambition. In his domain, wealth and beauty take all; frivolity begets cruelty; science and alchemy collide. From the Hall of Mirrors to the vermin-infested attics of the Chateau at Versailles, courtiers compete to please the king, sacrificing fortune, principles, and even the sacred bond between brother and sis ...more
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published September 1st 1997 by Pocket
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Althea Ann
Nov 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
For quite a while, I was convinced I'd already read this book - but then I realized I'd confused it title-wise, with Patricia McKillip's "The Moon and the Face." Not the same book at all.

Here, we are thrown into the court of Louis XIV. Our protagonist, Marie-Josephe, is a very low-ranking member of this court, an absurdly sheltered girl, straight from a hellish stint in a convent. However, she's scholarly and intelligent by nature, and is more than enthusiastic to assist her brother, a priest an
Lisa Jensen
Jan 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Vonda N. McIntyre's thrilling historical fantasy introduces an entirely unexpected hero: Lucien, Count de Chrétien, war hero, personal advisor to King Louis XIV of France, second most powerful man at court, and well-schooled in the arts of love. Lucien is also a dwarf. But as the only character moral enough to assist the heroine at her impossible task, he sets a standard by which more conventional fictional heroes shrink in comparison. A "sea monster" is captured and delivered into the decadent ...more
Kristal Kitap
Jul 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Deniz seferinden dönen Rahip Yves de la Croix'in gemisinde türleri tükenmekte olan ve zor bulunan iki deniz canavarı vardır. Ölü olan deniz canavarı Yves'in incelemelerini aydınlatması için diğer deniz canavarı ise Fransa Kralı XIV Louis içindir.

Yaşayan deniz canavarının bakımını Kralın yeğenine hizmet etmek için manastırdan ayrılan Yves'in kız kardeşi Marie-Josèphe üstlenmektedir. Marie-Josèphe dönemin kadınlarına göre çok daha zeki ve bilimden anlamasının yanı sıra araştırmalarda sürdürmekted
Nov 06, 2012 rated it liked it
This is not at all a bad novel--the fact it won a Nebula attests to that--but somehow I never really warmed to it.

The history is lavishly researched and beautifully depicted--Versailles at its height makes a fantastic backdrop. The maybe-alt-history works very nicely as well. Marie-Josephe, the protagonist, gets an increasingly sweet love story, and the ending comes together nicely with everyone getting what's coming to them.

But I never really warmed to any of the characters. Part of the problem
May 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
English title: The Moon and the Sun (you can find it here on Goodreads, but it's not linked to this edition). I'm reviewing the present French edition.

This book is really great. I first read it a few years ago, in a week-end, almost didn't do anything else on the sunday. I reread it once since, and it had the same power. I will probably read it again in the future.
First, I love the place and time it takes place in. France, Versailles, during Louis XIV reign. I don't know why but that time fasci
Rachel (Kalanadi)
Loved the expertly researched and written setting and time period. Great female protagonist, and the other supporting characters were just as well drawn. Only drawbacks? Slow pacing (perfect for the setting, less so for the plot) and a slightly jarring epilogue/ending that I don't think matched the preceding story.

Recommended for people who loved Kelly Robson's "Waters of Versailles" or enjoy the new Versailles TV series.
Mar 05, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
The struggle of science versus religion is not a new one, especially with religion portrayed as being in the wrong (particularly Christianity, it seems), but bringing in the stories told by sailors as reality rather than superstition and fear is clever. The story is told almost entirely from Marie-Josèphe's point of view, and for much of the book she's caught between the two schools of thinking, although it's fairly clear to the reader that while the king may be unreasonable when someone threate ...more
Apr 30, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
J'ai longtemps hésité avant de mettre cette note à ce livre. D'ailleurs, si goodreads le permettait, je mettrais plutôt un 3,5/5.

J'ai apprécié l'histoire, surtout qu'on sent bien que l'auteur a fait pas mal de recherches (et ca, c'est super agréable). J'ai absolument adoré les monstres marins dont ul est question, très loin des clichés que l'on rencontre habituellement. Leurs peuples, leur histoire, leur façon de communiquer, j'ai trouvé ça génial !

Mais je pense que ce qui m'a gâché ma lecture,
Apr 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, read-2017
Set at the glamorous court of Versailles during the reign of Louis XIV, this dazzling and imaginative historical fantasy brings its magnificent historical setting beautifully to life, populating it with intriguing characters and adding to it an element of the supernatural that gives the story a unique flavour. On the orders of the King, Father Yves de la Croix has captured a sea monster, to be studied and then served at a banquet as the King is convinced that eating the creature's flesh can best ...more
Katherine Coble
Jul 01, 2018 rated it did not like it
Mermaids and Jesuits are two of my favourite things to read about so I was sure I’d like this.

Unfortunately, Mary Sues and Parisian court intrigue are two of my least favourite things to read about. I knew I was in trouble when, after a passable prologue, there were 35 pages—THIRTY FIVE PAGES—about the procession of King Louis’ court to the seaside. Who sat where, what order they walked in, some grumpy man complaining about the poor peeling gold leaf from his was a trial.

Jan 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012, kindle
I have a soft spot for Vonda McIntyre, author of the first work of science fiction I ever read, and by pure chance (the reading, obviously, not the writing). My mom brought home a copy of Dreamsnake to entertain her sick daughter. Bear in mind that, at the time, I was used to reading Christopher Pike and Francine Pascal — about whom more later — with the occasional dash of adult horror I probably couldn't stomach now. McIntyre's compassion and skillful, character-driven storytelling, for which s ...more
Alysson Oliveira
Nov 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Nos dois romances que li de Vonda N. McIntyre (o outro é DREAMSNAKE) o centro de fuga da narrativa é uma jovem forte e em confronto com uma sociedade que a sufoca, resultando num conflito entre dever e liberdade, ciência e crença. THE MOON & THE SUN – ganhador do Nebula em 1998 (derrotando Game of Thrones) – é uma História alternativa que se passa na corte do Reis Louis XIV, o Rei Sol, e protagonizado por Marie-Josèphe, jovem aspirante a cientista que vive como uma espécie de agregada em Ver ...more
The story is about Marie-Josephe and her fight to save the life of a sea woman who her brother, Yves, caught and the king plans to eat. When Marie-Josephe finds out that the sea woman is intelligent she is willing to risk everything to save her. I liked the dual nature of Marie-Josephe’s character where one minute she is shy and blushing and the next she is standing up to the king. It makes her more complex but at times she is almost too complex. She is open minded, and accepting of everyone eve ...more
Jan 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
Pageantry in the court of the Sun King, intertwining a brother and sister's fortune with a sea monster who turned out to be not so monstrous.

This isn't really a story about intricate court intrigues (alas! for I love those). The plot is fairly straightforward, and although there is a large cast of characters, only 5 really matters: Marie-Joseph -- wide-eyed, good-hearted, intelligent, yet incredibly naive re anything sex-related; Yves, her brother, aspiring to delve deep into scientific studies;
Jun 23, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 20th-century, fantasy
I was a bit disappointed with this book, although that may have been because my first encounter with McIntyre was in her Hugo and Nebula winning novel, Dreamsnake, which does kinda skew one's perspective.
This story is grounded solidly in the court of the Sun King, almost too solidly, as I do feel that the narrative sometimes wanders off into the "look how much research I did" category. Still, the setting is lovely and the characters are, overall, quite sympathetically drawn. She doesn't make the
Brian Palmer
Jun 29, 2013 rated it liked it
Very believable historical novel about life as a curious young woman in Louis XIV's court, plus mermaids. Wait, what? It worked fairly well ... this is not a high fantasy, nor a significantly different world; this simply advanced the notion that there was a previously undiscovered creature in the sea, which is brought to court to demonstrate France's power as well as to enable the just-stirring science to study rumored magical properties.

The main character is a sheltered woman who, innocent and
Jun 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
what would life be like for a woman brilliant in math and science if she were born in France during the reign of Louis XIV of France, the Sun king?

it takes a long long time to figure out what is going on because of the utter unfamiliarity any average present-day reader has with the hierarchy of life at a royal court in the late1600s but once I got things sorted I was totally fascinated, absorbed and on the edge of my seat! An excellent and brilliant heroine constricted by her gender and status,
Aug 16, 2008 rated it really liked it
I can't even approximate objectivity about this book. It was recommended to me by the guy at Pandemonium Books in Cambridge (a jewel among SF bookshops) when he heard I was pursuing a masters in early modern French studies, in particular, ballet at the court of Louis XIV. This fantasy, set at Versailles just around 1700, earns Ursula LeGuin's praise as "the finest alternative history ever."

Some aspects of this novel are not above reproach, of course -- its prose is musical only within the constr
Apr 28, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
250 pages too long.
The author obviously wanted to write more about French court romance and fashion especially ribbons and headpieces than the sea creature up until 280. Countless mentions on whose a legitimate son (we got it), unnecessary detailed costume descriptions of EVERYONE seemed like the book had several different themes. Even if the book cover states that it has everything that I would love in a book (mythology, adventure and sci-fi), it was so hard to stay engaged. Thankfully, it had
Melissa McCauley
Jan 13, 2015 rated it liked it
Marie-Josephe is a naïve young woman suddenly thrust into the spotlight of Louis XIV’s court at Versailles because her brother Yves captures a mermaid for his majesty’s menagerie. She befriends the sea-woman and tries to save the misunderstood creature from Louis’ plans to eat her and gain immortality.

While I enjoyed the story, I skimmed (extensively) because the painstakingly researched and lavishly depicted court at Versailles overwhelmed the characters to the point of being distracting.
Judy Abbott
Sep 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fantastik kısmı azınlıkta kalmış. Kitap 14.Louis ve asilzadelerin yaşadığı görkemli Versailles sarayına yeni gelen genç Marie Josephe'nin sarayın adabı muaşeret kanunlarını öğrenmesi ve aşkı bulmasını anlatıyor daha çok. Versailles'daki o debdebeli, şatafatlı hayatın detayları çok nefis detaylandırılmış. Fransa tarihini ve saraylıların yaşamını sevdiğim için ben zevkle okudum. Kral'a hediye edilen deniz canavarı ile Marie Josephe'in kurduğu dostluk da kitabın fantastik yanını oluşturuyor. Sevdim ...more
Sep 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: every one
Recommended to Sherry by: no one
great in so many profound ways, with its stirring romance, lively characters, and vivid depictions of court life under the rule of the "most christian king" the sun king, louise the fourteeth. This historical/ fantasy novel is a literary treasure for all ages. (note: maturity required in some parts)
Caleb Liu
Mar 30, 2007 rated it really liked it
A sumptuous historical fantasy set in the court of Louis XIV at Versailles in the 17th Century. A young woman feels a unique bond with a sea creature that was captured by her brother and placed in the large fountain in the gardens. It is rich in historical detail and fine charaterisation. A fine novel and wonderful read.
Sara Stamey
Apr 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A terrific alternate history fantasy of the court of Louis XIV. Meticulous research really made me feel I was living in the bizarrely opulent world of Versailles. And tension built until I was anxious for the heroine, Marie-Josephe, as she tries to defend a captured, intelligent "mermaid." The fantasy aspects were imaginative and vivid, too. Watch for the upcoming film with Pierce Brosnan!
May 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
J'ai adoré! J'aime le mélange historique/scientifique/mystique et un peu féministe. Le personnage du Roi est très intéressant, le rapport à la science, à la religion et au mystique est très bien équilibrée. L'histoire met un peu de temps à s'installer mais je recommande vraiment!
I think I am going to create a shelf called, "toreachforwhensanityrunsthininschool". Or not because that is too long but goddamn I miss my fantasy books.
Jacqueline O.
The Moon and the Sun is part historical novel set in the court of Louis XIV (the Sun King) of France, and part SF/Fantasy novel. The entire novel takes place at Versailles except the opening chapter and the epilogue. The novel opens with Father Yves de la Croix leading an expedition to locate and find the sea monsters - which they do, and return them to the Court of Louis XIV. Yves returns with a living female "sea monster" and a dead male to dissect. Meanwhile, his younger sister, Marie-Joseph ...more
N.W. Moors
Feb 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Father Yves de la Croix has been commissioned by Louis XIV, the Sun King, to find a sea monster. Louis, well into his reign in his fifties, believes he will obtain immortality by eating one of these creatures, and Yves, his Jesuit natural philosopher, knows where to find them. He succeeds, returning with a live female and a dead male for dissection.
Yves sister, Marie-Josephe, is also at court. She is intelligent and helps him in science experiments but also naive in the ways of the sophisticate
Janito Vaqueiro Ferreira Filho
Great book. It's set in France, during the reign of King Louis XIV. It mostly follows the events of the court, viewed through the eyes of a few characters. The protagonist is a Marie-Josèphe, a girl that was born and raised in one of France's colonies, Martinique. She's delighted by her new status and continuous rise in the King's court, while at the same time happy to be helping her brother in the study of the sea monsters.

Her brother, a priest, went on a mission in the sea to capture sea monst
Leila P
Nov 08, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookcrossing, fiction
Historiallinen romaani fantasiamaustein. Luin kirjan melko nopeasti, ja kirjan idea oli todella kiehtova. Tuli vähän Johanna Sinisalon "Ennen päivänlaskua ei voi" mieleen; molemmissa myyttiset oliot paljastuvat oikeiksi. Lisäksi pidin aurinkokuninkaan ja hovielämän kuvauksesta kovasti. Lempihahmokseni nousi Lucien de Barentheon, jota yritin googlatakin koska henkilöluettelon mukaan hän on todellinen henkilö. Mutta eipä olekaan, ainakin loppusanoista saa sellaisen käsityksen eikä googlekaan nimeä ...more
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Vonda Neel McIntyre is a U.S. science fiction author. She is one of the first successful graduates of the Clarion Science fiction writers workshop. She attended the workshop in 1970. By 1973 she had won her first Nebula Award, for the novelette "Of Mist, and Grass and Sand." This later became part of the novel Dreamsnake, which won both the Hugo and Nebula Awards. The novelette and novel both conc ...more
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