About this Item
Quantity Available: 1
Title: IN THE GARDEN OF IDEN
Publisher: NY, Harcourt,
Publication Date: 1997
Book Condition: Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: Fine
Signed: Signed by Author(s)
Edition: 1st Edition
About this title
In this “highly impressive and thoroughly engrossing” (Kirkus Reviews) debut novel of the Company, Mendoza is sent to Elizabethan England to collect samples from the garden of Sir Walter Iden all in an effort to save the Company. But her quest is jeopardized by Nicholas Harpole, who stirs unfamiliar emotions within her about her future-with a man she will long outlive. “If you’re reading something by Kage Baker, fasten your seat belt-you’re in for a wild ride” (Gardner Dozois).
In 16th-century Spain, everybody expects the Spanish Inquisition, as they have a well-known tendency to cart people off to their dungeons on trumped-up charges. What 5-year-old Mendoza, on the brink of being tortured as a Jew, is totally unprepared for is to be rescued by the Company--the ultimate bureaucracy of the 24th century--and made immortal. In return, all she has to do is travel through time on a series of assignments for the Company and collect endangered botanical specimens. The wisecracking, mildly misanthropic Mendoza wants nothing to do with historical humans, but her first assignment is to travel to England in 1553--uncomfortably close to those damn Inquisitors--with Joseph and Nefer, two other Company operatives. Their intent is to gather herb samples from the garden of Sir Walter Iden, a foolish though generous country squire. (Kage Baker knows her Shakespeare: Sir Walter is the descendant of Alexander Iden, loyal subject of Henry IV, who slew the hungry rebel Jack Cade in that very garden in Kent.)
The cyborg trio poses as Doctor Ruy Lopez, his daughter Rosa (the irrepressible Mendoza, now grown), and her duenna, Doña Marguerita; Sir Walter's hospitality and discretion are bought for the promise of restored youth. (There are hilarious moments that call to mind the Coneheads, who claimed to be from France when caught doing anything peculiar.) Sir Walter's secretary, Nicholas Harpole, is immediately suspicious of and hostile towards the strange "Spanish" visitors, which prompts Mendoza to fall in love with him. Nicholas has his own badly kept secret: he's proudly Protestant at a time when Queen Mary and Philip of Spain are on a Catholicizing rampage. Mendoza knows Nicholas is probably doomed, and that as a Company operative she cannot meddle with his fate, but love makes people do desperate things. Baker surpasses even Connie Willis in humor and precision of period detail in this fresh, ingenious first novel.--Barrie Trinkle
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