A novel of comedy and tragedy, set in Puritan London, by the author of "Rats and Gargoyles". 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.
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Gentle follows her baroque fantasy Rats and Gargoyles with this semi-sequel, featuring two of the previous novel's characters in a far different milieu. The White Crow, aka Valentine, Master Physician of the Invisible College, and her husband, the Lord-Architect Casaubon--both masters of alchemical magics--have retired to the White Crow's estates outside of London. This alternate 17th-century England evokes that of Cromwell's Protectorate, with a few playful changes; here the monarch (Queen rather than King) remains alive, a rallying point for the royalists, and the Protector is a woman as well, General Olivia. The occasional historical figure appears (for example, the anatomist William Harvey) as the White Crow and Casaubon find themselves unwillingly drawn into the intrigues between the two factions. An old friend, Pollexfen Calmady, brings Casaubon to the city to help build a temple--"the eye of the sun"--for the Protector, while a puritan woman, Desire-of-the-Lord Guillaime, induces the White Crow to help in a scheme to encourage the Queen to go into exile. But when Calmady rapes Desire in the White Crow's home, events begin to spiral toward catastrophe. Where the previous novel was at times too complicated and over long, this one errs on the other side, sometimes feeling compressed, its turns of plot underrationalized. But Gentle's witty prose and the unusual and intriguing atmosphere of her world more than compensate.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Another tale set in the weird alternate past of Rats and Gargoyles (1991), with some of the characters in common. In Gentle's 17th-century England, magic, alchemy, and science all work, demons and ghosts are real, and an amnesty has been declared in the Civil War between the forces of Queen Carola and Protector- General Olivia. Olivia sends a message to Lord Architect Casaubon requesting his help to complete a sun temple whose unruly foundations are infested with demons. The messenger, a mercenary named Pollexfen Calmady, meanwhile rapes Desire-of-the-Lord--a woman bringing a message to Casaubon's wife, the mage-physician White Crow, to the effect that Olivia requests the White Crow's aid in bribing Queen Carola to leave the country, thereby avoiding further bloodshed. Later, the White Crow is dismayed to learn that Desire, believing herself loathsomely diseased after the rape, has killed herself. So Calmady, swiftly condemned by both Carola and Olivia, will hang at Tyburn unless the White Crow relents and arranges his rescue. Thoughtfully strange, less complicated and more approachable than Rats, while Anglophile readers may find amusement in detecting the genuine historical characters here. The drawback, however, is the pushy narrative: matters would flow more agreeably, and Gentle would win more friends, if she stopped trying to overpower her audience. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Descripción Corgi 16/07/1992, 1992. Estado de conservación: used-good. Will be shipped promptly from UK warehouse. Book is in good condition with no missing pages, no damage or soiling and tight spine. There may be some dog-eared pages showing previous use but overall a great book. Nº de ref. de la librería 9053-9780552136280
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