Title Ash: A Secret History (signed & dated)..
Book Condition Fine copy in a fine dustjacket (as new).
Edition First edition (& 1st printing).
Publisher Victor Gollancz: London. 2000.
0575069007 / 9780575069008
Seller ID 02932
1100 pages: published earlier in the USA as four separate paperbacks. Alternate history. SIGNED AND DATED (7/6/2000) BY THE AUTHOR AT TIME OF PUBLICATION.
''in her magnum opus to date, Ash: A Secret History (2000; vt The Book of Ash 1999-2000 4 vols) - which is the first and by far the most weighty instalment in the Ash sequence - Gentle gathers into one sustained narrative the various approaches to the fantastic she had explored and exploited up to that point. The tale begins in the fifteenth century, in the mode of historical fantasy: the eponymous young woman who becomes an extremely believable mercenary leader is raped, kills the rapists, and hears a voice inside her head that gives her tactical instructions in life, which she does not necessarily heed. She finds herself dedicated to the preservation of the then-independent kingdom of Burgundy, the necessity of whose preservation comes clear only when - via experiences in the half of the world suffering under the Entropy of an Eternal Twilight, and the realization that the voice in her head is a Computer audible to Ash because she has been genetically engineered to perceive it, and a proper understanding of the twenty-first-century frame story - it is understood that we are inhabiting an Alternate History in the throes of an aeons-long Changewar in which Burgundy serves as a fixative of the preferred time-line. Over its 600,000 or more words of continuously intensifying narrative, Ash demonstrates, as do few contemporary texts, that extremely long novels only tend to work when their focus is unwavering'' (John Clute/The Encyclopedia of SF, 3rd Edition).