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Cover image for The moon and the sun
Format:
Title:
The moon and the sun
ISBN:
9780671567651
Publication Information:
New York : Pocket Books, 1997.
Physical Description:
viii, 421 pages ; 24 cm
Summary:
A woman from the sea is captured by 17th century French sailors so that King Louis XIV can eat her rejuvenating organs. The captive, who has green hair and flaps for legs, sings beautifully and this moves a woman courtier to save her. A look at what it means to be human. In seventeenth-century France, Louis XIV rules with flamboyant ambition. In his domain, wealth and beauty take all; frivolity begets cruelty; science and alchemy collide. 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. By the fiftieth year of his reign, Louis XIV has made France the most powerful state in the western world. Yet the Sun King's appetite for glory knows no bounds. In a bold stroke, he sends his natural philosopher on an expedition to seek the source of immortality -- the rare, perhaps mythical, sea monsters. For the glory, of his God, his country, and his king, Father Yves de la Croix returns with his treasures: one heavy shroud packed in ice ... and a covered basin that imprisons a shrieking creature.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 5.7 21.0 35025.
Holds:

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FIC MCINTYRE
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MCINTYRE
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Summary

Summary

In seventeenth-century France, Louis XIV rules with flamboyant ambition. In his domain, wealth and beauty take all; frivolity begets cruelty; science and alchemy collide. 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.By the fiftieth year of his reign, Louis XIV has made France the most powerful state in the western world. Yet the Sun King's appetite for glory knows no bounds. In a bold stroke, he sends his natural philosopher on an expedition to seek the source of immortality -- the rare, perhaps mythical, sea monsters. For the glory, of his God, his country, and his king, Father Yves de la Croix returns with his treasures: one heavy shroud packed in ice...and a covered basin that imprisons a shrieking creature.


Author Notes

Vonda Neel McIntyre was born in Louisville, Kentucky on August 28, 1948. She received a bachelor's degree in biology from the University of Washington in 1970 and studied genetics there as a postgraduate until ending her studies in 1971.

In 1973, her short story, Of Mist, Grass, and Sand, won a Nebula Award for best novelette. Her novel, Dreamsnake, won a Nebula Award and a Hugo Award in 1978. She wrote five Star Trek novels including The Entropy Effect and Enterprise: The First Adventure. Her other novels included Curve of the World and The Moon and the Sun, which won a Nebula Award in 1997. She died from pancreatic cancer on April 1, 2019 at the age of 70.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

Inspired by tales of ancient sea-monsters, McIntyre (The Crystal Star) spins a marvelous alternative-history fable about greed and goodness, power and pathos set at the 17th century court of Louis XIV, France's glittering Sun King. At breathtaking (and chilly) Versailles, Louis pays for his glory by sacrificing his comfort and privacy. He lusts after bodily immortality and unending treasure, and he hopes to find both by devouring the entrails of a sea-woman trapped by Jesuit explorer Yves de la Croix. Enthralled by the creature's songs and telepathic tales, Yves's musician sister Marie-Josèphe must defy brother, king and pope to save the sea-woman from the court butcher. Marie-Josèphe isn't alone in her proto-ecofeminist struggle. She finds an ally (and lover) in Lucien, Comte de Chrétien, a great-hearted dwarf whose inner pain and essential nobility recall Cyrano and Quasimodo. Drawing on deep research (detailed in an afterword), McIntyre vividly re-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 truthss‘here, humanity's responses, base and noble, when confronting the unknown. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Kirkus Review

Historical fantasy set in 1693 at the court of Sun King Louis XIV of France, from the author of Superluminal (1983), etc. In an age when the king's slightest whim has the force of an absolute command and the underclasses stand at the palace gates pleading for bread, Louis orders the natural philosopher and Jesuit priest Yves de la Croix to capture certain sea monsters that, he hopes, will yield the secret of immortality. Yves returns with a male corpse and a live female: She's of human aspect except for her green hair, webbed fingers and toes, and twin tails in place of legs. As the king observes closely, Yves dissects the dead male, seeking the organ of immortality. Yves's sister Marie-JosŠphe, convent-raised and nun-educated, sketches the procedure and attempts to train the captive female in her pool. Marie-JosŠphe, whose many flourishing talents bring her into conflict with the Pope and with Louis's courtiers, comes to understand the sea woman's eerily beautiful singing language; meantime, she also falls in love with soldier, Arab expert, king's advisor, and atheist Count Lucien the dwarf. Typically, however, despite Marie-JosŠphe's pleas, Louis rejects the sea woman's intelligence and humanity, and agrees to free her only after she has paid an enormous ransom; while for defying the king, Marie-JosŠphe and Lucien face exile and impoverishment. A dazzling and spirited evocation of the passions, intrigues, and preconceptions of the age, along with a dandy pair of misfit, star-crossed lovers: an enchanting slice of what-if historical speculation.


Booklist Review

A Jesuit scientist, dispatched on an expedition by Louis XIV, brings a female "sea monster" back to the court. The king thinks the creature will enhance his glory and may hold the secret of immortality. But the Jesuit's younger sister, Marie-Josephe, newly come to Versailles, soon discovers that the newcomer is anything but monstrous. The revelation brings both females into collision with the Jesuit, the pope, and Louis himself. McIntyre has done her historical homework, as is evident in a superbly realized setting, and she executes the plot with superior skill. But her characterization is uneven, with the sea lady rising head and shoulders above the human protagonists, who are a trifle wooden and occasionally tainted by didacticism. But this is the only weakness in a splendid historical fantasy that shows sf star McIntyre admirably opening new territory. --Roland Green


Library Journal Review

A successful sf writer takes a stab at alternate history in this Gothic tale featuring a captured sea monster in 17th-century France. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.