Customer Review

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From the sleeve...., 22 Mar 2007
This review is from: Rats and Gargoyles (Hardcover)
Somewhere in a Baroque time of the heart, in a past and future Renaissance, there is a city too immense for the mind to easily comprehend. It is a city where Rats -- aristocratic Rats, much given to wit and swordplay, fine clothes and church ceremony -- rule the human servant class. A city where miracles have been everyday wear, and God only a step away down any street. But now there is silence from the Divine.

All across the city, people are coming together-- Lucas, Prince of Candover, student at the University of Crime, Zar-bettu-zekigal, who follows the profession of Kings Memory and possesses a tail, and is currently in love with her landlady. A woman calling herself the White Crow, a practitioner of Hermetic science and magia. Baltazar Casaubon, architect and lover, a man of indescribable personal habits. And many more.

In the city, tensions are strained to breaking point. Under the streets, in metaphysically haunted sewers, the last remnants of the Imperial human dynasty plot a rising against the Rat-Lords' oligarchic rule. On the great architectural monuments being built by human slaves for God, and on the factory production lines, there is talk of a wildcat strike. And Theodoret, Bishop of the banned Church of the Trees, talks with Candia, a Reverend tutor at the University; their problem one of impossible dimensions -- to cross examine the Divine, whimsical, miracle-working, capricious and perhaps the custodians of the deep structures of the universe.

There is a city too labyrinthine and unfathomable for the mind to easily comprehend but it must be comprehended. And the time in which to do this is running out.

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Rats and Gargoyles is a work breathtakingly imaginative in its scope, in which the author converts a field of scholarly research into an adventure playground. It conjures up an exotic, savage world of humans and fabulous creatures; a world of anarchy and tyranny, of magic and forbidding religion. This novel is a stunning achievement and a new departure for Mary Gentle -- one of the foremost writers of the dark and the visionary.
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