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ASH: A Secret History von Mary Gentle
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ASH: A Secret History (Original 1999; 2001. Auflage)

von Mary Gentle

Reihen: Ash (Omnibus 1-4)

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6461728,265 (4.02)75
In a world not unlike fiteenth century mediaeval Europe . . . 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 more terrible than any nightmare. Ash is guided by voices. They may come from her God, or from a source infinitely stranger . . . ASH: A SECRET HISTORY marks the full-flowering of the talent of one of the world¿s most acclaimed writers of fantasy.… (mehr)
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Titel:ASH: A Secret History
Autoren:Mary Gentle
Info:Gollancz (2001), Paperback, 1120 pages
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Ash : A Secret History von Mary Gentle (1999)

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When people ask the dreaded 'what's your favourite book question', this is one of my stand-by answers. And it's not just a throw-away line because it honestly is. I don't usually go for historical fiction but this alternate-history/fantasy-history grabbed me and compelled me the entire way through. I'd only read one other Mary Gentle novel, Grunts, before this, and this was both so different and contained the things that made me enjoy that book. Ash is a fantastic character and not just because it's wonderful to read about a literal strong female character. ( )
  ashelocke | Feb 17, 2021 |
Well written, with exacting historical detail in regard to armour, weapons and combat.

My only real complaint is that it's too long. at over 1100 pages, it took me forever to read it. ( )
  JudithProctor | May 25, 2019 |
Ms. Gentle's work is of high quality. This is definitely not by-the-yard trolls, dragons and Elves fantasy. It is a setting postulating that the Visigoths are still in possession of North Africa, and there is a very weird meteorological phenomenon dominating the south shore of the Mediterranean. But the changes all happened so long ago that there's very little artistic reason for any of this being on our earth. I guess it saved money on drawing a map of a made-up planet. So a curious failure in fantasy construction as far as I'm concerned. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Apr 18, 2014 |
This is fantasy that is written by a woman for women in my opinion.

As a premise I give it 5 stars. Aliens attacking earth, using the pyramids, golems, and breeding of telepathics for communication with the aliens...mind control, loss of the sun...good stuff for a book.

But then I start subtracting stars from there:

-0.5 star : I did not like the heroine. You get into the head of the women in the story all the time...it is well written from that point I suppose as you see them (Ash and Floria) make decisions, agonize over their results, change their mind, agonize over that...so much like my ex that I started to have flashbacks :) Hates a man for abusing her in a disgusting way...is forced to marry this weak SOB...has one night of sex on their marriage night and then decides maybe he is ok...the man is a traitor, abuser, weakling but good looking and apparently good in bed...I know women like that, they never learn it seems.

-0.5 star: The author (in an effort to make her tough I suppose) gives Ash a potty mouth to end all potty mouths. The men in the story rarely swear but she uses the f-bomb sometimes 10 times on a page...not realistic but I suppose it is supposed to make her a no-nonsense warrior...after a while it sounded more like whine to me.

-0.5 star: The author is apparently an expert on medieval history. I did not care for the pseudo research that cuts in every few chapters....did not do anything to enhance the story, I stopped reading it after a while.

-0.5 star:The battle scenes are terrible. Yes there is a fog of war and confusion on the battle field but given her expertise on the period I would have expected to see some logical use of forces...every battle was nothing more than a mad melee. Ash never really COMMANDS in the battle, she seems lost in the conflict, wondering why her scouts don't report to her...well she is never in one place...I doubt she could be found. Everyone bows to her as a leader but I don't see her leading at all in any battle scene...in a major battle scene near the end she seems more of a drunken boob tripping over bodies, maybe killing one though she is in the thick of the battle. If it were not for the "voices" she would be nothing special.

This is a long story that drags a bit towards the end in the siege of Dijon...they are surrounded by 300 siege machines for several months and the bad guys cannot knock down a single wall??? Impossible...but this is a fantasy...definitely not reality. ( )
3 abstimmen Lynxear | Nov 15, 2013 |
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AutorennameRolleArt des AutorsWerk?Status
Mary GentleHauptautoralle Ausgabenberechnet
Howe, JohnUmschlagillustrationCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
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"My soul is among lions."

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Ash: A Secret History was published in the United States as four separate volumes: A Secret History, Carthage Ascendant, The Wild Machines, and Lost Burgundy.

PLEASE do not combine with A Secret History: The Book of Ash #1--these are not the same books!
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In a world not unlike fiteenth century mediaeval Europe . . . 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 more terrible than any nightmare. Ash is guided by voices. They may come from her God, or from a source infinitely stranger . . . ASH: A SECRET HISTORY marks the full-flowering of the talent of one of the world¿s most acclaimed writers of fantasy.

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Durchschnitt: (4.02)
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