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A Sudden Wild Magic [Mass Market Paperback]

Diana Wynne Jones
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

17 July 1997
For aeons the mages of Arth, a neighbouring universe, have been looting Earth of ideas, innovations and technologies, all the while manipulating events and creating devastating catastrophes for their own edification. Now this brazen piracy is threatening Earth with total extinction. It is up to the Ring, a secret society of witches and warlocks dedicated to the continuance and well-being of mankind, to fight the virtuous, unbendingly traditional stronghold of Arth with an arsenal of psychological sabotage, internal dissension -- and kamikaze sex . . .

Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (17 July 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575601973
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575601970
  • Product Dimensions: 17.6 x 11 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 201,877 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Diana Wynne Jones is recognised internationally as a major writer of fantasy and in 2007 received a LIFE ACHIEVEMENT AWARD at the World Fantasy Convention. She has also won the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award (twice) and the Guardian Award for CHARMED LIFE. Her books have been translated into more than eighteen languages, and her novel HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE was made into an animated film by Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki. Diana lives in Bristol with her husband, a professor of Early English literature.

Product Description

About the Author

Diana Wynne Jones is Britain's foremost writer of children's fantasy, including the World Fantasy Award-nominated Archer's Goon, which was made into a six-part BBC TV series, and the Guardian Award-winning Charmed Life.

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The magical activities of Britain have always been highly organized. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clever, funny, joyous book 8 Mar 2002
By L. Day
Format:Mass Market Paperback
A very fast read and clever plot it reminded me in many ways of A Wrinkle in Time.
A group of 'normal' British people are actually part of a magical web who protect earth from attack.
It has some wonderfully funny scenes and underlying gags, the dam, dam-witches requested by the toddler who gets dragged unwittingly into the plot and causes complete chaos in a male run bastion has become a household joke.
I thoroughly recommend it - I've re-read it several times and several friends have bought others of her books after I foisted it on them!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unmissable!! 4 Jan 2001
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
An absolutely fantastic book, and one that should not be missed by anyone with a sense of humour and a taste for fantasy. The story is well crafted and pleasantly written and the characters are colourfully portrayed, ranging from perfectly charming and deeply amusing (Tod), to pathetic, to spirited, to foolish, to creepy, to downright evil. The ending is totally unexpected, which is always a pleasant surprise and all in all I wish I could wipe my memory of it so I could read it all over again.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent fantasy for a dedicated fan 23 Aug 2005
By Bee
Format:Mass Market Paperback
As an adult fantasy, this book doesn't quite live up to the standards Diana Wynne Jones has set with her children's books. The book contains several surprising twists, a lot of baby language and kamikaze sex, amongst other things.
The complicated plot revolves around a mage named Mark Lister, whose life is less than satisfactory. As one of the mages who heads The Ring - a secret society of witches who work to keep Britain, and more ultimately the World, safe from destruction - it becomes his duty to consult fellow witch Gladys when he discovers something is tampering in Earth's affairs. A visit to a badly injured girl in a local hospital reveals that another Universe has been creating disasters, in order to steal the ideas that the Ring come up with to save the Earth.
A bus full of witches is sent to the other universe to deal with the problem. The trouble starts when Mark's ex-lover stows away with them, taking her toddler, Marcus.
If you love Diana Wynne Jones's books, this is a good one to add to your collection. If you haven't tried her before, it may be better to start with Howl's Moving Castle, or Deep Secret.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wild fantasy fun! 13 Jun 2005
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is another great book by Diana Wynne Jones, featuring other worlds, quirky characters and plenty of twists and turns. Not as humorous as the excellent "Deep Secret", but with a magical sprinkling of her special style.
If you enjoy the likes of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, but fancy a little less horror/regurgitated jokes, then this is a great fantasy book to try. You'll certainly never view pylons in the same way again!
Some adult themes but suitable for most mature readers age 12+.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but 20 Feb 2011
By P
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Very little that Diana Wynne Jones writes is less than well-crafted, but I think that she has never quite hit her stride with books aimed at an adult audience. It's almost as though she is writing about adults, and with an adult audience in mind, but with the range of characters and plots and language which have served her so well in writing for the "Young Adult" market. The bright toddler, who has got to the language stage where he makes sense to his mother, but not anyone else, is a case in point. The humour resonates with parents and grandparents, but the range of emotion with that of those who haven't strayed into parenthood.

Having said that, she still tells a good story. If you've read and enjoyed "The Merlin Conspiracy" or one of her other more recent books, then this is for you. If you're new to Diana Wynne Jones, then some of her other books are a better place to start. Try "Archer's Goon" (the blurb says it was made into a BBC series - when it that coming out on DVD?) if you don't object to the "YA" tag, or "Fire and Hemlock" for more difficult emotional issues. Best of all the wonderful "Homeward Bounders".
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not her best but still good. 4 Aug 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I did enjoy reading this book, as I do all DWJs books, but it did dissapoint me. I think because there were too many charachters and I didn't really feel as if I got to know any of them so I couldn't really care what they did by the end. The plot was interesting and original though, and the ideas she has, like Zillahs piece of magic to escape on the spacebus thing, always make me wonder how she comes up with such different but logical ideas.
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