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Castles Made Of Sand (GOLLANCZ S.F.) [Paperback]

Gwyneth Jones
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

20 Jun 2002 GOLLANCZ S.F.

Ax Preston, Sage Pender and Fiorinda, charismatic leaders of the Rock ¿n¿ Roll Reich, have beaten the cascade of disasters that followed the collapse of the former United Kingdom. Now they have to find some resolution to the impossible dynamics of their own relationship, while the world keeps getting stranger. There are fearsome things going on in England¿s rural hinterland, and in Continental Europe the green nazis are planning a final solution to desperate environmental damage. But there¿s nothing the Triumvirate can¿t handle ¿ until Fiorinda¿s father, secret master of powers that are very old and very new, reaches out to reclaim his magical child, the flower-bride.

And that¿s when darkness falls over Ax¿s England . . .

Harrowing . . . enchanting -- a dark fairy tale with an epic sweep, set in a world very like our own.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz; paperback / softback edition (20 Jun 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575070331
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575070332
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 14.7 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 388,187 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gwyneth Jones, born in Manchester UK, 14th February 1952, is the author of many novels for teenagers, fantasy, horror and thrillers, using the name Ann Halam, and several highly regarded sf and fantasy novels for adults. Her critical essays and reviews are collected in Deconstructing The Starships, 1999 and Imagination/Space 2009. Among other honours she's won two World Fantasy awards, the Children of the Night award, the Philip K Dick award, the BSFA award and the Pilgrim award for Science Fiction criticism. Several of her novels have been nominated for the Arthur C Clarke award, the latest was Spirit in 2010. She keeps a blog (intermittent) at and lives in Brighton with her husband, son, two cats called Ginger and Milo, and five goldfish.Hobbies include cooking, gardening, playing with her websites and staring out of the window.

Product Description


Gwyneth won the Arthur C Clarke award this year for Bold As Love, this novelis the next in this excellent series. These are not ordinary fantasy novels,there appeal reaches way beyond. Festival/Conventions:Gwyneth has made appearances at the Writing on the Wall event for radical writers in Liverpool. Is guest of honour at Readercon and will be appearing at Fantasycon. Interviews:Major interview in the Manchester Evening News - the day before the Glastonbury Festival. Profile and short interview in DREAMWATCH Short piece in STARBURST relating to Arthur C. Clarke award and mentioning Castles Made of Sand. Signings/Events: Signings at Forbidden Planet with Bryan Talbot.Signing at Waterstone's Manchester with Alastair Reynolds.Signing and talk at Hammicks Redill. Sales lunch with seven other major authors. Reviews: 'Her first novel was excellent - this is even better.'THE GUARDIAN 'Further proof that it's possible to do something triumphantly new with the fantasy genre.'DREAMWATCH 'Castles Made of Sand quickly establishes itself among her best work.'STARLOG 'Gripp

Book Description

The lights are going out all over Europe: the stunning sequel to BOLD AS LOVE

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love the lot of them 30 May 2006
I read all the Bold As Love books --hooked from the start. I've been re-reading them, hoping to get to the end again before "Rainbow Bridge" comes out, and they stand up brilliantly, especially the addictive main characters. Midnight Lamp could be my favourite (movies and digital technology are far closer to me than rock and roll), but "Castles Made Of Sand" is probably the best novel, and the strongest use of sf/fantasy motifs. It starts off as a meaty, tough characterisation of a threesome relationship, happening against a backdrop of the same country-falling-apart politics of the first book --and if you've been in that situation, where a passionate threesome is not kooky sex, it's the centre of your life, you'll really appreciate this. Then, just when you're thinking yes! This is what Arthur and Lancelot and Guinevere would do, if their story was happening now!, the plot takes the same sort of rollercoaster plunge that kept happening in "Bold As Love", and becomes a bloodcurdling science-and-supernatural thriller. To say more would be to run into spoilers. Second time round I can see the big clues, and the fairytale roots, but what Gwyneth Jones can do with "cliches" is completely amazing. You don't have to know the difference between The Stone Roses and Guns n' Roses to love these books (though that's one joke I did get). They're fantastic, intelligent entertainment. I can't understand why more people don't rave about them.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It gets better 28 July 2002
I thought that Bold As Love was the best book I read last year and I couldn't wait to read Castles Made Of Sand. The wait was worth it.
Gwyneth Jones brings together plot elements from Bold as Love and moves them towards a classic fantasy climax. More than this the 3 main characters Ax, Fiorinda and Sage get to develop further as powerful but human (and hence fallible) characters. The trials and travails of a menage a trois are explored in a way that is real, sexy and thought provoking.
And, of course, the bad guy gets it (or does he?).
I cannot recoomend this book highly enough.
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This got published? 12 Jan 2006
By A Customer
Unrealistic. Pretentious. Stupidly named characters and a writing style that flows so badly that it often takes several reads to understand a sentence.
In short, really not worth the read!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.8 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A worthy follow up to Bold As Love 17 Nov 2003
By George - Published on
I thought that Bold As Love was brilliant. The best fantasy book I had read in years until I read Castles Made Of Sand which is even better.
All of the same characters except this time we know them better. Still brilliantly portrayed as we have come to expect from Jones. The menage a trois between the principles is portrayed as the fraught and dynamic thing that I suspect such arrangements will always be.
The action moves along at a cracking pace and I challenge anyone not to cheer when Sage does his stuff (I won't say more so as not to spoil it).
So, a more than worthy successor.
Roll on Midnight Lamp.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And so castles made of sand fall in the sea, eventually 13 Feb 2007
By frumiousb - Published on
The Rock and Roll Reich of Ax, Sage and Fiorinda returns to face new challenges and increasingly strange politics. The three of them need to figure out their relationship with each other while keeping the hard-core Celtic underground from undermining every good that the present brought the world.

Jones is one of the smartest writers around, and Castles Made of Sand is a worthy heir to the level set by Bold As Love. She deserves much more of a reputation in the US than she has. This book (set in the "near future" of England) continues to break genre conventions and turn reader assumptions on their head. I love her take on the Arthur legends-- twisted and very loyal at the same time. Also, living in Amsterdam, I had more than a few laugh out loud moments over the Green Nazis who populate her worst case scenarios.

Not to be read without first reading Bold As Love, I would recommend the series for any fans of smart speculative or slipstream novels.
4.0 out of 5 stars Super Reader 26 Aug 2007
By Blue Tyson - Published on
The Arthurian three have brought some sort of hope and stability to the UK, at least, but the world outside still has severe problems. Europe impacts them most closely, but the USA are most definitely not big fans of theirs.

The green revolution could spill over into a rather large amount of violence.

The other thing is, in any Arthurian legend, there is an evil [...] or [...] lurking in the older generation, in general.

It is no different here. In this case, Fiorinda's father is a truly vile man. He is also, basically, now an evil wizard and partly behind what has been going on. The triumvirate has managed to spoil a lot of his fun.

When that happens, what do any heroes of the era do? Yep, attack the evil wizard in his tower stronghold, and hope they survive.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars If you loved Bold as Love ... 16 Aug 2003
By "the_angel_jean" - Published on
... for the same reasons I did, you might hate the sequel.
I read Castles Made of Sand looking for resolutions and explanations, and expecting the same draw-you-in writing and plot as her earlier novel. Instead, the slick dialogue is much reduced, and what i thought was a celebration of friendship and relationships has deteriorated into a complete mess. And after all the buildup in both books, the final battle is fought between characters we don't understand. The one similarity with Bold As Love is that the lack of explanations is spectacular - but it was forgivable then, knowing that a sequel was coming. Ultimately, this novel is very unsatisfying.
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