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Der Aufstieg Karthagos. Die Legende von Ash (edition 2007)
by Mary Gentle
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0380805502, Mass Market Paperback)In A Secret History, the first of a four-volume series, Mary Gentle began the story of Ash, a mercenary captain, and her band of 800 veterans embroiled in a war in 15th-century Europe. As the war assumes epic proportions, Ash--who hears a tactically astute voice in her head--becomes a sought-after commodity. Gentle, a writer who delights in confounding reader expectations, used as a literary device the insertion of e-mail from a present-day scholar and his editor to set up a series of intriguing questions about the main narrative: Are the Carthaginians' stone golems fantastical, or explicable in terms of alternate history? Is the shocking dimming of the sun evidence of magic, or of technology impossible in that milieu? Is Ash touched by God, or the end result of a careful breeding program? In the second volume, the author grins impishly and replies, "Yes."
Gentle keeps the reader enthralled on two levels. In the main narrative, Ash's enforced sojourn in Carthage is described authoritatively and viscerally. We believe in Ash, in her shock and pain and denial when she finds herself a slave in enemy territory. We understand her occasional despair, cheer her final refusal to give up, and absolutely delight in her hard-won escape and her satisfaction at once again donning armor and taking up her sword. However, it is the secondary narrative that adds depth. Gentle gives us explanations with one hand and takes them away with the other, while simultaneously posing ever more fascinating questions. The intertwined narratives reflect and complement one another, adding layer upon layer--and the sheen of brilliance--to the series. --Luc Duplessis
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:38:49 -0400)
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