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The Moon and the Sun [Mass Market Paperback]

Vonda N. McIntyre
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Sep 1998
New York Times bestselling author Vonda N. McIntyre proves she is "blessed with both vision and genius" (BookPage) in this breathtaking tale-- part adventure story, part legend, and part Gothic novel-- what Publishers Weekly calls "a marvelous alternative history fable". In seventeenth-century France, Louis XIV rules with flamboyant ambition. From the Hall of Mirrors to the vermin-infested attics of the Chateau at Versailles, courtiers compete to please the king, sacrificing fortune, principles, and even the sacred bond between brother and sister. Marie-Josephe de la Croix looks forward to assisting her adored brother in the scientific study of the rare sea monsters the king has commissioned him to seek. For the honor of his God, his country, and his king, Father Yves de la Croix returns with his treasures, believed to be the source of immortality: one heavy shroud packed in ice... and a covered basin that imprisons a shrieking creature. The living sea monster, with its double tail, tangled hair, and gargoyle face, provides an intriguing experiment for Yves and the king. Yet for Marie-Josephe, the creature's gaze and exquisite singing foretell a different future... Soon Marie-Josephe is contemplating choices that defy the institutions which power her world. Somehow, she must find the courage to follow her heart and her convictions-- even at the cost of changing her life forever. A sensitive investigation of the integrity in all of us, "The Moon and the Sun" is destined to become a visionary classic.

Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books (Sep 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671567667
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671567668
  • Product Dimensions: 17.1 x 10.5 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,033,828 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Publishers Weekly" McIntyre vividly creates a Versailles poised on the cusp between alchemy and modern science. Her imaginings enliven her history with wonder, but, as in the best fantasy, they serve less to dazzle by their inventiveness than to illuminate brilliantly real-world truths.

From the Author

Publishers Weekly Best Books of 1997
The Moon and the Sun has been named one of Publishers Weekly's Best Books of 1997. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars How did this win a Nebula? 30 Nov 1998
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I purchased this novel almost entirely on the strength of it winning the 1997 Nebula Award. Now I find myself asking: "How on Earth was it even nominated, let alone win?" The Moon and the Sun is not a science fiction novel. True, it is a fantasy novel, but ultimately it's more an historical romance. Moreover, it's set in a period I don't really care much for - 17th century France.
That said, it is not a bad novel by any means. The period has clearly been very well researched, and many of the historical characters are very convincing. The heroine of the story, however, does seem a little over the top. She apparently is a gifted composer, artist, mathematican/scientist and horseperson (have you ever tried riding side saddle at a gallop) all rolled into one. Oh, and of course, she was a stunning beauty too.
Overall, The Moon and the Sun is quite a good read, and will appeal to those who like historical fantasy with a strong emphasis on romance, and where everyone lives happily after.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
After only a few pages, I was hooked on one of the most enjoyable "reads" I've had lately. I appreciated the attention to detail, especially because McIntyre's writing style incorporated the many obviously well-researched and fascinating historical references effortlessly into the plot - unlike many "historic" novels which come off as thinly disguised vehicles for the author to parade his/her knowledge of the period, usually with a plot and dialog that is stilted and dull. Yes, Marie-Josephe is both beautiful and incredibly talented. But there were such women in the real world - we just didn't hear about them because ... well, you know and no need to flog a horse that's down and dying (to use a nasty metaphore)! Along with the fascinating descriptions of life at court and almost incomprehensible wealth of the Sun King (visiting Huron indian chiefs gifted with diamond encrusted suits), the sea, Marie-Josephe's origins in the Caribbean and an appreciation of a good horse all appealed to me and kept me reading. All the while, I wondered why the novel had not been made into a movie - then I read McIntyre's afterword and went to the web page. So I am looking forward to the Jim Henson-produced movie as another chance to share the adventure!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great story, slightly disappointing writing 28 Jun 1998
By A Customer
Sometimes, there's nothing an author can do to kill a great story. Mermaid/Monster gets captured and brought to the court of Louis XIV, where a spunky young servant girl must liberate her. With a premise like that, how could you lose?
The author did well enough telling the story to make the book a winner. The trouble for me was that I just really wanted the author to do more, and write better. The setting and story didn't deserve the awkward, flat prose, or the almost-but-not-quite believable characters. The worst part was when the plot seemed to come to a complete stop around Chapter 4 and didn't start up again until Chapter 10 or so. It was like the characters all avoided each other (often literally) for 100 pages. The author seemed to be so entranced by the location (how many times can she describe at length the same "green carpet" that the protagonist walks up and down every day?) that she forgot characters are allowed, even at court, to do something other than make courtly small talk with one another. Why this lapse, I never figured out. Once the plot got going again, it was intricate, exciting, and emotionally engaging right up to the satisfying-if-predictable ending.
I can only hope Vonda McIntyre does with this book what Stephen King did with The Stand: come back in a few years when her skill as a writer has grown, add 100 pages, thicken the plot, and ratchet up the character depth and tension.
Don't wait til then to read the book, though! Greatness will out, sometimes in spite of the author's efforts, and this is a truly great story.
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By A Customer
In The Moon and the Sun, Vonda McIntyre has created a wonderfully accessable, well written and thoroughly researched novel that should be enjoyed by mainstream readers as well as her loyal fans from the science fiction genre.
Well-known in her more familiar domain for hard science fiction indicating a strong understanding of the social implications of the alternate settings she creates, Vonda adopts a highly scrutinized setting, the court of 17th century Louis XIV's court for this story. To this she adds the perspective of a person of mixed privilege, a young woman entangled by circumstance in King Louis's court intrigue, but also enthralled with the knowledge that the study of natural philosophy offers.
Her studies, along with the King of France's desire to bring all things in the world under his control leads her to befriend a "sea monster", captured by her brother for his own studies and the greater glory of his king. This "sea monster" proves to have a soul, a people, and a life of her own and pulls a vortex of events and circumstances around itself that prove to be more interesting than all of the power plays and intrigues of 17th century France at the height of her influence.
This is a tale of coming of age, of great happenings, hope and grandeur juxtaposed with personal loss, unimaginable arrogance, and terrible tragedy.
I've passed my copy to my Mother and told all of my friends to buy it for themselves or ask for it for Christmas!
If you like this one, go back and find Dreamsnake, Exile in Waiting. If you are also an SF fan, find Superluminal and the Transition Series. Vonda always offers a great read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed it
I like fantasy and really enjoyed reading this book. Easy to read and engrossing.
Published on 1 Sep 1999
1.0 out of 5 stars No meaning
I didn't like this book because the story is too big and the character is too strong. I don't know how a book like this one can win an award
Published on 24 Aug 1999
2.0 out of 5 stars Highly overrated
I'm surprised so many people liked this book. It was okish but it certainly didn't deserve that award.
Published on 24 May 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent, wonderful book.
This book does what only certain rare, strange, magical bits of art can do-- show a person that this world is wonderful, and that miracles are everywhere. Read more
Published on 17 May 1999
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, But Wanting
I liked this book; it's quite entertaining and the writing is smoothly accomplished and palatable. Easy going down. Read more
Published on 2 May 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars McIntyre's best yet
I've been a fan of McIntyre since DREAMSNAKE many years ago and have read everything she's written (well, I haven't missed anything I know of). Read more
Published on 18 Jan 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic and Enthralling!
I wasn't sure that I was going to enjoy this book when I picked it up, but friends of mine had given it rave reviews. Read more
Published on 17 Dec 1998
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical Historical Romantic Realism
The two genres of magical realism and alternate history collide with stunning effects in McIntyre's Moon and Sun. Read more
Published on 18 Sep 1998
4.0 out of 5 stars A captivating alternate historical novel.
If you are interested in the pomp and circumstance of French royalty mixed with science and a sea monster, then this is the book for you. Read more
Published on 11 Sep 1998
5.0 out of 5 stars So good I read it in one day!
This book is definitely a keeper on my bookshelves. The story line was very unique; mixing true historical figures with fictional ones. Read more
Published on 20 Jun 1998
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