This breathtaking tale is part adventure story, part legend, and part Gothic novel. 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: a rare, perhaps mythical, sea monster. When Father Yves de la Croix returns with the shrieking, gargoyle-faced creature, Marie-Josephe looks forward to assisting her adored brother with his scientific study. Yet the creature's gaze and exquisite singing foretell a different future. Soon Marie-Josephe finds herself contemplating choices that will defy the institutions which power her world--king, country, church, and even family. 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.
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In this rich and engrossing tale, Vonda N. McIntyre proves once again that her plotting and mastery of language are among the best in the business. The Moon and the Sun, which won the 1997 Nebula Award for best novel of the year, is the story of Marie-Josèphe, a young lady in the court of Louis XIV. When her brother Yves returns from a naturalist voyage with two sea monsters (one live, one dead), Marie-Josèphe is caught up in a battle of wills involving the fate of the living creature. The king intends to test whether the sea monster holds the secrets of immortality, but Marie-Josèphe knows the creature to be an intelligent, lonely being who yearns only to be set free. In a monumental test of the limits of patience and love, Marie-Josèphe defies the will of the king, her brother, and the pope in defense of what she knows is right, at any cost. McIntyre's atmospheric prose envelops the reader in a fully realized world--sights, smells, and sounds are described in great detail. The author completely represents the Sun King's court at Versailles--her research for the book must have been quite extensive. The blend of history, science, and fantasy makes for a book you will want to gulp down. --Therese LittletonFrom the Publisher:
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.
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