Ten years have passed since Lynne Christie's first visit to Orthe, a world laid waste when its dominant culture, the Golden Witchbreed, destroyed itself two millenia ago. Earth's multicorporate companies have long regarded Orthe as a backwater, yet commercial interest revives when ancient Witchbreed technology is found to be functional. But the Ortheans are aggressively uncooperative, fearing the rediscovery of high-tech weapons.
Trade is the solution, and Christie, now a PanOceania representative, returns to a world in which she feels half Orthean, half human. Tormented by her age-old, alien memories – are they madness? Might they be real? – Christie fights trade exploitation and the threat of conflict amongst Ortheans. And suddenly events race – for this struggle threatens to engulf the future of all she loves...
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.