A Sundial in a Grave: 1610 by Mary Gentle

A Sundial in a Grave: 1610

by Mary Gentle

In an effort to expose the newly crowned queen Marie de Medici's ruthless plot to assassinate her husband, French king Henri IV, professional duelist and court spy Valentin Rochefort inadvertently carries it out. Now the noble yet unscrupulous swordsman must plan a perilous escape from Paris, reluctantly paired with the insolent, insouciant youth Dariole, who also swings a mean epee. Their journeys take them to the glittering London court of King James Stuart, where they become involved in another assassination attempt; to a wind-swept Japanese beach, site of a duel between noble and samurai; and back to Paris. This sweeping and absorbing historical novel takes minor characters from The Three Musketeers and tells their breathless story 15 years prior. Fictional and historical characters and events are deftly intertwined among the multiple plot strands within an intriguing literary device--this novel is the supposed restored translated text of actual memoirs and related historical papers.

Reviewed by wyvernfriend on

4 of 5 stars

I'm still not sure about this one. Although billed as Fantasy I'm not sure that it is, it does use prediction as a method of trying to change the future but I'm sure people of the time believed that it was possible. The characters were interesting and well rounded but some scenes were a bit off for me.

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  • 8 December, 2007: Reviewed