Author(s): Mary Gentle
Conrad Scalese is a writer of librettos for operas in a world where music has immense power. In the Church, the sung mass can bring about actual miracles like healing the sick. Opera is musicodrama, the highest form of music combined with human emotion, and the results of the passion it engenders can be nothing short of magical. In this world of miracles, Conrad is an atheist - he sees the same phenomena, but sees no need to attribute them to a Deity...until his first really successful opera gets the opera-house struck by the lightning bolt of God's disapproval...And Conrad comes to the attention of the Prince's Men, a powerful secret society, who are trying to use the magic of music to their own ends - in this case, an apocalyptic blood sacrifice. Life is about to get interesting for Conrad.
THE KINGDOM OF THE TWO SICILIES is Mary Gentle's take on opera, volcanoes and the Mind of God: a sumptuous, lush alternate Italy where music has magical power. Mary Gentle's bestseller ASH, the largest single-volume fantasy ever published, reinvented the field of historical fantasy. The first genre novel to be shortlisted for the WH Smith's Thumping Good Read Award, it won a slew of prestigious awards within the fantasy & sf field. Mary Gentle is one of the most critically acclaimed writers in the Gollancz stable: 'Gentle's feel for language and character provide both immediacy and a sense of timelessness' LIBRARY JOURNAL 'When she's got you hooked, there's no beating Mary Gentle' Rhianna Pratchett, SFX 'Mary Gentle's novels hover in the grey area between fantastic postmodern and historical fiction. The prose is flinty, the characters real and ... Gentle pushes hard at the boundaries of genre. An Arthur C. Clarke-award nominee in waiting' THE GUARDIAN
Mary Gentle is one of the world's most acclaimed writers of fantasy and science fiction; ASH, the largest single fantasy work ever - longer even than THE LORD OF THE RINGS - combines the authentic details of Bernard Cornwell and the magical storytelling of Terry Goodkind. Mary has a number of academic degrees, including an MA in War Studies, and has hands-on experience of sword-fighting and armour, amongst many other useful talents. She lives in Stevenage, Hertfordshire.