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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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Baker's witty debut novel is a pip. Full of exquisite descriptions of 16th-century England and the Spanish Inquisition (Baker was an actor and director at the Living History Centre and has taught Elizabethan English as a second language), this is a bittersweet tale of a young woman's first love. The initial assignment for 18-year-old Mendoza, transformed into an immortal cyborg by the 24th-century Company, is to retrieve from Renaissance England an endangered plant that cures cancer. Posing as a Spanish lady accompanying her doctor father, she falls in love with the mortal Nicholas Harpole, secretary to the owner of Iden Hall and its exotic gardens. Amidst the raging Catholic/Protestant powerplays revolving around the English throne and the fervent religious bloodlust of common folk, Mendoza is torn between her task and her love. Baker's story comments powerfully on religious hypocrisy and xenophobia. Highly recommended for most collections.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I had seen these books in the library and finally decided to try one out. I have mostly been in the mood lately for humorous and well written novels. This one fit the bill. Read morePublished on April 9 2004 by C. L. Munson
Baker has come up with a variation on the "future do-gooders go back in time and meddle with history" theme, in which, in order to avoid paradox, the work is all done by people... Read morePublished on May 4 2003 by Allen Gathman
In the Garden of Iden by Kage Baker certainly is original but this is not a Sci-Fi. This is a historic romance in a sci-fi disguise. Read morePublished on April 27 2003 by T-Rex
I read a lot of science fiction and am continually amazed at the criticism of this genre for "not being scientifically accurate" It it's science you're after, try Scientific... Read morePublished on Feb. 26 2003 by Avid Reader
Truly original novel with a great mix of history and future. I cared about the characters and there are several places where it was almost too painful for me. Read morePublished on Jan. 22 2003 by mbg_bookworm
I couldn't put it down...I plan to read the entire series.Published on Oct. 12 2002 by J. Gabrielson
I really do appreciate how original this book is. Most fantasy novels are very cliche and have a similar storyline and characters in them. This book was truly original. Read morePublished on Aug. 14 2002 by Jen Frampton
i was recommended this book because i bought "to say nothing of the dog" by connie willis. Read morePublished on July 22 2002 by mouse trap