Mary Gentle is definitely one of my favorite authors. In 1610, she continues with some of the themes that run through much of her work historical settings, swordswomen, and hermetic magic.
Rochefort is loyal man to the Duc Sully, a member of the court of France. But when Marie de Medici embroils the unwilling Rochefort in her conspiracy to kill her husband the King and that assassination attempt is unexpectedly successful Rochefort must flee the country, also half-unwillingly bringing along the headstrong young duelist Dariole (whom he cant decide if he would rather kill or ravish), and soon acquiring a shipwrecked Japanese ambassador/samurai, Saburo. However, practically no sooner have the unlikely trio assembled themselves in England, that a separate group of conspirators want to compel Rochefort to assist in yet another regicide this time that of King James. And this conspiracy, headed by the mysterious Doctor Fludd, and backed by the Crown Prince, seems much more insidiously dangerous because the Doctor seems able to truly divine the future through his mathematical equations. And the future seen through these equations shows that much more than the fate of a kingdom may rest on the outcome of this conspiracy.
Although Gentle sets up a situation that would seemingly be very unlikely in the 17th century, her well-researched details make her theories at least seem possible. The device of having the book purport to be a computer-reconstructed version of a damaged manuscript works well, also. And with the addition of an awfully sweet sadomasochistic love story well, Id have to say that Id recommend this book to anyone who loves reading Alexandre Dumas, but cant help wishing for more spicy bits
I read about the first 1/3, then skimmed through the rest. Although very well written and had a very interesting premise, I somehow had little patience for it (perhaps another time?) and am ready to pass it on to someone who *really* wants it.