Mary Rosalyn Gentle (1956—) is a UK science fiction and fantasy author. Her first published novel was Hawk in Silver (1977), a young adults fantasy. She came to prominence with the Orthe duology consisting of Golden Witchbreed (1983) and Ancient Light (1987).
The novels Rats and Gargoyles (1990) and The Architecture of Desire (1991), together with several stories in her 1989 collection Scholars and Soldiers form a loosely linked series, about an alternate history version of Elizabethan England where a form of magic has taken over the role of science. This sequence is very much informed by historically existing ideas about magic, alchemy and such and the stories are rife with allusions to real history and literature.
In general, Mary Gentle's writing is somewhat cynical about human nature and does not flinch away from the darker side of human behaviour.
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