Ash A Secret History For the beautiful young woman Ash life has always been arquebuses and artillery swords and armour and the true horrors of hand to hand combat War is her job She has fought her way to the command of

  • Title: Ash: A Secret History
  • Author: Mary Gentle
  • ISBN: 9781857987447
  • Page: 169
  • Format: Paperback
  • For the beautiful young woman Ash, life has always been arquebuses and artillery, swords and armour and the true horrors of hand to hand combat War is her job She has fought her way to the command of a mercenary company, and on her unlikely shoulders lies the destiny of a Europe threatened by the depredations of an Infidel army terrible than any nightmare.

    • [PDF] ↠ Unlimited ☆ Ash: A Secret History : by Mary Gentle ✓
      169 Mary Gentle
    • thumbnail Title: [PDF] ↠ Unlimited ☆ Ash: A Secret History : by Mary Gentle ✓
      Posted by:Mary Gentle
      Published :2018-08-13T08:38:52+00:00

    One thought on “Ash: A Secret History”

    1. Mary Gentle created a wide variety of interesting and complex characters. The military details were fascinating and very convincing and I've no doubt Gentle knows her stuff. This long and sprawling historical fantasy sprinkled with speculative fiction was a very pleasant surprise, considering I was never interested in a warrior's panoply or in military fantasy. The human aspect of war was covered very well. Highly recommended!

    2. I skimmed a few pages of an online preview of this before I bought it, and every readerly fiber of my being hissed at me like Gollum, "Gentleses is a stinksy writer, Precious, we will hates iiiiit!" However, I was intrigued by the subject matter, and the reviews were good, so I bought it anyway. I should have listened to my readerly instincts. The problems are apparent right from page one. Bask in the wretched awkwardness:    It was her scars that made her beautiful. [Hrm. I'll take your wor [...]

    3. (edit: this review relates to the single volume edition of a book which was published in the US as a four-volume series, even though it's a single novel.)This is one of those books where what is going on in the footnotes is as important as the main text - the conceit here is that a historian is supposedly annotating a recently discovered medieval manuscript that recounts the history of Burgundy in the 13th century, but there is a lot more going on here than meets the eye. And, as the story progr [...]

    4. This is a hard story. Not in the sense that it is difficult to read, but in the sense that it is often harsh, brutal, even crude.The squalor and brutality of middle ages just spring to life, the characters are all fully realized, nuanced and not even the protagonist is entirely good or entirely evil.There is magic, and although it is a very central point, it is also low-key, poetic and fully integrated with the historical and cultural background. There are some science fiction touches more than [...]

    5. Despite its problems, this is one of the best historical fantasies I've read.The text is very closely grounded in historical detail, with every item of armour, every weapon, every breed of dog described and enumerated. The footnotes add in extra historical detail on almost every page.Which is important because at the same time, the book is on a ratchet, with each turn adding another layer of amazing, thrilling WTF.Even to the very last page (1122, closely-printed) there are new twists, new inter [...]

    6. Ash is the story of the last year of the life of a female mercenary captain who leads her company into the conflict between France and Burgundy in the mid-15th century, only this Burgundy is a little bit different than ours. It lies at the heart of an alternate history in which Carthage still stands, the centre of an expansionist Visigothic empire cursed to live under eternal twilight; the Throne of Saint Peter has stood empty for centuries; and the last of the Valois Dukes of Burgundy may be al [...]

    7. Published 1999. 1113 pages in the edition that I read. I finished it so the story must have been engrossing even though it could have been far shorter. Not sure whether I got the grand plan or not. At times, it felt as if I was wading through water. Would not read again though. Quote from a book blogging site "The ground of reality itself shifts under our protagonists' feet, confusing both the reader and the present-in-the-text-via-footnotes-and-excerpts editors, with events building to a satisf [...]

    8. Got halfway through this monster before accepting that I just did not care anymore. The historical detail and invention was interesting but just got swamped by the ponderous plot, the annoying incerpts of author's correspondence and the anachronistic style of the "translation". I see now that it was originally four volumes, so I'm happy to count this as two books that I finished, rather than one which I gave up on.

    9. Staggering detail of plot, depth of character study and all around imagination, all carefully housed in a fragile shell of pseudohistory. Fantasy, SF and military history beautifully fused and wrought.

    10. Hi guyshappy new year!!!Ash: A Secret History by Mary GentleI feel I have to recommend this book with table pounding intensity to all of you. It's long, epic length fact the American version was spread out over 4 books, I read the British version which was one long, almost 1200 page brickworth every page!!! (BTW, according to the author, this is the way it's meant to be read, the segregated U.S. version was just a marketing ploy.)This book worked on so many levels that it made my head spin and, [...]

    11. Wow, what can I say? This is the second time I have read this book and I loved it just as much as the first time. It's a hard story to quantify - it starts off as a history book, a new translation of a medieval diary telling the exploits of Ash, a female mercenary leader who is embroiled in the wars between Burgundy and France. But the war takes a mystical turn as Europe is invaded by Visigoths from Carthage, who bring permanent night time with them. They seem determined to destroy Burgundy, but [...]

    12. ETA: Many, many months later, I'm finished. Less a book, more an endurance test; I never want to hear about another detail of 15th-century armour again.So a few days ago I asked what I should read next, and apparently it turned out to be this. I bounced off this book hard about 6 or 7 years ago (even though I hardly ever leave a novel unfinished, and was even less likely to do so back then), and there it's sat on my bookshelf ever since, taunting me with the bookmark at page 125 of a massive 111 [...]

    13. A big fat book of 1120 close-printed pages of pure awesome! A perfect blend of historical-fantasy with near-cutting-edge SF and heaps of battles, violence and (because it is a "free translation" of an "historical" body of work) an absolute ton of rude words - I almost made up a "Swearing" shelf just for this book, but settled for the more descriptive "Housebricks."Ash is a mercenary captain who has heard voices for half of her young life. They advise her on tactics leading her to a reputation as [...]

    14. I had not read anything by Mary Gentle before, so when I picked up Ash: A Secret History for my reading challenge, I did not quite know what to expect. I knew that the story I was about to read was set in mediaeval Europe, albeit not quite the historical Europe we know today, and I knew that the main character was a woman mercenary leader named Ash. I could also see that this was a very long story I had taken on and that it would take me some time to get through it. With this starting point, I h [...]

    15. I have a personal interest in the history of late fifteenth century Europe, so it wasn't exactly difficult for me to get into the story. Gentle is meticulous in her historical research, something which is essential for a credible alternate history novel. The book revolves around the discovery of a manuscript purporting to describe the true history of Burgundy - a late fifteenth century European duchy. In reality, Burgundy disappears from European history rather suddenly at the end of the 1470's [...]

    16. I would probably like the last decade in fantasy more if it had been influenced by Ash (which I would categorise as science fantasy, leaning slightly towards the fantasy side) rather than Perdido Street Station (which beat Ash out for the Clarke Award). The conceit of an academic presentation of a 'found' text is one of my favourite things, and the way it's handled in this book, through an ongoing email conversation between the author and his publisher, makes me love the modern characters as muc [...]

    17. I read this book a few years ago and remember thinking WOW!!! Part historical fiction, part science fiction, it tells the tale of Ash, an orphaned girl with silver hair who grows up in the army. She eventually becomes a great commander and discovers the strange secret of her bloodline.Mary Gentle pulls no punches in this book. Aged eight, Ash gets raped by drunken soliders (on about page 8, as I remember) and manages to kill one of them. She is punished for this, and from there on her life only [...]

    18. Looks like a big fat fantasy novel, but this alternate history is actually terrific science fiction, or, if you prefer, science fantasy. Mary Gentle has an MA in military studies, and this is a well-researched story of late-medieval warfare, modern-day scholarship, and crazy speculative physics. The woman warrior Ash and her compatriots are some of the most compelling characters I've come across in a long time. Also please note: (1)I have no interest in big fat fantasy novels (2)I dislike really [...]

    19. This book is just too long for its own good. The writing is good, and for a while the book kept me interested, but eventually I became bogged down by the length and redundancy of it. There are conversations that go on for page after page, when a two-sentence conclusion would do. Ash tends to find herself in the same situations fairly frequently (though her surroundings may be different), and her reaction is always the same. She's kind of a stunted character. And while the whole present-day email [...]

    20. I'd forgotten what a fabulous writer Mary Gentle is. This is a tour de force, and gave me the same sense of total and glorious immersion as Neal Stephenson's Anathem did - also, at the risk of a mild spoiler, these two books have more than their considerable great length in common. There are issues (yes, perhaps it is a bit too long, and I'm not entirely convinced by the ending) but it's still a great read. For me, there was the added dimension that Mary and I have been members of the same medie [...]

    21. It's a tour-de-force, unparalleled in my experience in its daring approach to the re-interpretation of history. As an eye-opener to the genre of alternative history, I found the book took my breath away and sent shivers down my spine. The central character is so charismatic and so convincing that her quite unpleasant nature is overridden and we dote on her. As the story progresses the element of unstable realities enters and throws out even such familiarity as we have gained. It is a very exciti [...]

    22. In the year 2000, an academic named Pierce Ratcliff is putting together a fresh history of Ash, a 15th Century female mercenary captain whom mainstream history has largely ignored, but whose exploits have been of interest to a small number of historians. In preparing this new history, Radcliffe undertakes a fresh translation of the original historical texts. As he translates each chapter and sends it to his editor, they discuss the intriguing historical oddities within each chapter: references t [...]

    23. 'Ash' is probably not the book for anyone who has a weak stomach. There is a lot of gore, many people and animals die, there is some sex, and the language is far from PG-13. That aside, I love this book unreservedly. Over a thousand pages of complex character interaction, humour, battle, grief, magic, and history. Gentle balanced everything with precision and skill, without baulking from difficult issues. 'Ash' is written with absolute courage, research, and human insight. I have read it more ti [...]

    24. At first sight appears to be set in the fifteenth century of our own era. Ash, a teenage mercenary commander, has taken strategic advice for years from voices in her head and as a result is one of the most successful mercenaries in Western Europe. But the near-future researchers who are trying to compose a new biography gradually realise that her history is not their history, and the two realities begin to leach into each other. This book gave me very strange dreams.

    25. I really do not remember when I read this book. But it is a masterpiece of fantasy-alt history!Really ought to be read together with its prequel, the short story "The Logistics of Carthage", for Ash's origins, but if you can't find it you won't really miss it.Especially poignant for a person of Burgundian/North Provençal/Lyonnais descent, whose surname is an English translation of the French Quebecois cognomen Lafreniére, "the ash grove"

    26. I would love to be the type of reader who loves Mary Gentle, but I frequently find her a difficult and frustrating read. However, I tumbled into this book (or these books, rather - I read them in the separate novel format) and remained completely enthralled, even if moments were downright painful. A big, bloody, epic, grubby saga.

    27. Oh dearie me, another attempt to find the perfect hot Labor Day weekend escape that didn't work out. Granted, I'm in an impatient mood presently, and didn't give this book much chance but enough for me to realize it wasn't for me. I didn't even skip ahead just to see was happening, just put it aside in my GoodWill box. So much to read, so little time, not gonna spend it on this.

    28. This is fantasy rather than SF - the story does not make scientific sense, and the author's erroneous astronomical asides display an irritating ignorance of Astronomy, which is why I did not particularly like it, but if you like fantasy then you might enjoy the ending.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *