Industrial-Sized Deals TextBTS15 Shop Men's Hightops Learn more nav_sap_plcc_6M_fly_beacon Fidlar $5 Off Fire TV Stick Off to College Essentials Shop Popular Services hog hog hog  Amazon Echo Starting at $99 Kindle Voyage Nintendo Digital Games Shop Now Deal of the Day
Ash: A Secret History and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy Used
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Acceptable | Details
Condition: Used: Acceptable
Comment: We aim to deliver to the USA within 10 days! (subject to customs delays). Cover image and publication date may vary. Paperback; English language; a fair reading copy. We are an experienced and professional UK bookseller who have been sending books worldwide for over 5 years.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

ASH: A Secret History Paperback – February 1, 2001

16 customer reviews

See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
Hardcover, Import
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$25.91 $0.78

Best Books of the Year So Far
Best Books of the Year So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2015's Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

SALES POINTS ASH marks the full-flowering of the talent of one of the world's most acclaimed writers of fantasy "The writing is as intricate as filigree but as tough as wrought-iron" The Times The largest single fantasy work ever - longer than The Lord of the Rings The authentic details of Bernard Cornwell, the magical storytelling of Terry Goodkind Lead title marketing campaign The hardback and trade paperback were bestsellers


Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 1120 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz; New edition edition (February 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857987446
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857987447
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.8 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,081,263 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Anastasia on April 21, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was great! I read the entire 1000 (or so) page volume in several days. It is reminiscent of the popular The Deed of Paksenarrion by Elizabeth Moon, but, dare I say it, better.

It's a very realistic, gritty military fantasy set in medieval France. Ash, a girl, grows up as an orphan in a mercenary camp. At one point, she discovers a voice in her head that gives her tactical advice during battles. With the help of the voice, she grows into a brilliant mercenary leader .

The story is like alternate history/fantasy/hint of scifi. Historical fantasy shows a hint to alternate history when Carthage invades Europe. And the brilliant general leader of the Carthagian forces happens to look exactly like Ash and also respond to a voice in her head. What is the voice? Is it hallucination, a demon, or a computer?

Great adventure, thrilling battles, mysteries, and discoveries. The main character is a vibrant strong woman, very realistically portrayed. I wish there had been more romance. Ash is in an arranged marriage with a man she's really attracted to, on a base physical level, who has nothing but distaste for her. But, since this is not a trashy romance novel, she dismisses her lust for him for what it is, has no trouble beating him up or sticking to her grand plans of conquest and adventure. I loved it. I do wish that there was more sex though. After all, once the battle is won, the warrior herione must get her reward in the arms of a handsome boy, right?
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Maximiliano F Yofre on March 19, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is an alternate history tale full of attractive ideas, images, violence and well defined characters.
It was originally published as one mammoth book in the UK; the present book is that version. In USA (and the rest of Europe) divided into four tomes. A wise option IMHO.

A very well documented background reveals Ms. Gentle's researches both in medieval history and warfare.

The entire late middle age world is reconstructed accurately; its reality is overwhelming. The mercenary way of life, camping, battles, cities and courts are vividly described.

The tale starts firmly gripped in actual medieval facts and rapidly evolves into a great alternate history scenario.

The story is presented as a contemporary new translation of medieval manuscripts, with the addendum of new revolutionary documents recently discovered by a historian.
This is shown as a series of emails exchanged by the translator and his editor.

Ash is a very young & capable mercenary leader with eight hundred warriors under her command. At the beginning she is at German Emperor Frederick's service against Burgundy's Duke.
Soon the emergence a mysterious visigothic invasion changes the whole background and launches the story into an alternate universe.

Golems and strange unnatural occurrences spice the tale, nevertheless highly realistic description of day to day life mingle seamlessly.

As the story develops the fantastic and sci-fi elements catch wind and grow up.

Characters are well fleshed, each with its own vital problems to solve and interact: fortune-soldiers, nobles, surgeons, priests and serfs. Interesting issues about ethic, gender, love, politics & warfare are presented to the reader in a shocking cavalcade.

This book is strictly for adult readers due to its violent scenes and language; it will be fully enjoyed by alt-his lovers, fantasy fans & sci-fi buffs.

Reviewed by Max Yofre.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By EAH on May 5, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're looking for a gripping story with a ferociously strong heroine...
If you get a little tingly and wistful during History Channel programs on weapons and warfare of the middle ages;
If you love fantasy and sci-fi and would love to read an epic adventure on a par with Tolkien, but admittedly a tad darker in the narrative;
read this book.

This is an award-winning book (won the Sidewise award in 2000) that has consistently earned critical acclaim over the years. The use of "swashbuckling" above in the review makes you think of Disney and pirates. This is far, far from Disney. It is at times grim and dark, and in its 1000+ pages has on two occasions visited images of the atrocities of war so unspeakable that I sort of wish I didn't have the images in my head now. But the book is worth it. The story and the characters and the writing are worth it. This isn't like Bernard Cornwell - the violence is part of the story, not simply gratuitous. Ms. Gentle is a master swordsman herself and has a master's degree in War Studies. It shows in the writing. I'm already getting a little panicky wondering what I'll read next that won't be like cheap table wine after a fine claret, or Lone Star after Guinness.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Luca Ozzano on August 22, 2009
Format: Paperback
I had been waiting to read this book for a long time. Now, after about 1000 pages, I'm partly disappointed. In my opinion, Ash is a great story (as other reviewers have already pointed out), and a perfect example of what non stereotypical fantasy should be. However, the book has two great flaws, which I have found quite annoying. The first of them is the book structure, and the contemporary framework which - through the emails exchanged by a researcher (who, in the fiction, is translating the manuscripts about Ash) and his agent - surrounds the main story. First of all, the idea that the text is the translation of medieval manuscripts is not credible. The authour could have portrayed it as a fiction work based upon ancient sources, but to portray it as an academic work... Sometimes, especially in the early sections of the book, the emails are also quite repetitive and boring (but fortunately, the contemporary sections are particularly short!).
The second problem is the ending of the book. Without revealing too much to prospective readers, I must say that most of the story is very realistic and often crude, while its ending suddenly comes to contradict everything (in terms of both philosophy and content).
However, I still recommend the book: not only for the idea behind the story and the superb storytelling, but also for the characters, which are very well depicted, and make the reader wish to know more about them and their lives.
Moreover, in a time of precooked books, it is funny to read a novel without understanding which label could describe it. At first, one has the impression of reading an historical novel; a little later, discrepancies start to be unveiled and Ash becomes an alternate history novel; in its second half, hovever, it seems to turn definitely towards fantasy, and in the last section, it could be described as an hard science fiction work.
Hard to believe? Try it!
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews