Reading Journal Entry: A Sundial in a Grave, by Mary Gentle

This book is four days overdue at the library. Gentle is one of my favorite authors, but I didn't get around to reading this before it was due back. Someone else had requested it, so I couldn't renew it. I started to flip through it before heading over to drop it back off - and that was a mistake. Because within three pages I was totally and completely hooked. So I read this over the next three days at 30 cents per day, thank you very much.

Shockingly violent and extremely explicit. Such a nice relief from the tedium of today's do-gooder heroes. This is an adult book. Handle with care.

Rochefort is an expert swordsman, 40 years old, violent and reasonably ruthless, but loyal. He is in the service of Duc de Sully, a member of King Henri's court in France of 1610. The book begins with the Queen giving him an ultimatum - either the King dies or Sully dies, murdered by a double agent in his household. She underscores it by having his colleague's throat slit right in front of him.

And that's just the beginning. England. France. Japan. Witches. Samurai. Sodomy. Prognosticators. Shakespeare. One of the best examples of sexual tension ever written, and a set of wonderful, wonderful characters. Who I will not describe. Because I can not ruin this book for you. As a side bonus you get one of the most sophisticated literary treatments of rape I've ever read.

Egad, I just went back and edited out about six intances of 'ever', and there are still two left. I hope you're getting the idea.

read this book!


Maxine said...

Ok, Ok, enough already! I'll put it on the list.
(Hope it is on UK amazon).
all best ;-)

Sandy said...

I'm going to request it now. Despite the fact that I loved "Lord Perfect". I'm hoping that this means I find "Sundial" even more superlative. BTW, I'm talking about you in my blog today (or tomorrow, I don't know if I'll finish the post today).